“The debate included consideration of the proposal submitted by the Bury FC Rescue Board for the club to be admitted to League Two under new ownership in season 2020-21.
“Following in-depth discussions, it became clear that the proposal did not have the necessary support and that EFL clubs favoured extending the existing principle of a reduction in relegation across all divisions as a means of returning to 72 clubs now and for the future.”
The Rescue Board, chaired by Bury North MP James Frith, had appealed to EFL members to support a “compassionate re-entry” for the club, but their plea fell on deaf ears.
“While we are saddened that Bury FC is no longer part of the EFL, the board’s difficult decision to withdraw membership was only taken after every opportunity to find a resolution was exhausted,” she said.
“Since then, in recognition of the efforts made on behalf of the club, the EFL has engaged with supporters’ groups, shared their submissions with our members and debated at length the issues raised.
“Following the discussion [on Thursday], clubs have established that the preferred direction of travel is to reduce relegation from League Two as a means of returning to 72 clubs. The clubs felt that, in a difficult situation, this approach maintains fairness for all members and upholds the principle of the football pyramid.”
Bury will now have to apply to the Football Association to be permitted to a league further down the football pyramid from next season (2020/21). An FA board will decide which league.
Meanwhile, the clubs have backed the proposed appointment of former Liverpool and Premier League chief executive Rick Parry as the new EFL chairman.
The statement said: “The appointment will now go forward for formal ratification at a general meeting.”
‘Lessons learned’ for EFL
While the EFL did “everything in our power” to ensure Bury could compete next season, according to Jevans, the organisation’s executive chair admitted “lessons have been learned”.