Bury bid under consideration from EFL after sports data company leads rescue mission for troubled club

Jeremy Wilson
The Telegraph
An extension to the English Football League's extension has been requested by Rory Campbell and Henry Newman - Offside
An extension to the English Football League's extension has been requested by Rory Campbell and Henry Newman - Offside

The English Football League was on Friday night considering a bid to rescue Bury from Rory Campbell and Henry Newman, the founders of the sports data company C&N Sporting Risk, after owner Steve Dale accepted an offer to sell up.

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Telegraph Sport on Friday night revealed that Campbell and Newman had provided proof of funds, but that they have also requested an ­extension to the EFL’s midnight deadline at which Bury could be ­excluded from the league.

It is understood that there are particular concerns still surrounding a clause on the stadium. ­Newman and Campbell have been working in the professional game for a number of years, providing statistical expertise to clubs both in the transfer market and in their match analysis. Newman coached previously at Barnet and they released a short statement on Friday night which confirmed that they had been in talks with Bury and the EFL over the past 10 weeks. 

“It is a very complicated scenario and there remain a number of outstanding legal/other issues that have to be addressed,” said Campbell and Newman. “Our background is in football and data analytics and it should therefore not be surprising we are taking a very detailed forensic look at the ­realities of Bury’s finances.

“A club like Bury ought to have a viable long-term future, even if short term future is clearly very challenging. To that end we have been in talks with the EFL re an ­extension, so we can continue to explore prospects for a purchase.” 

As of 11pm on Friday night, the EFL had not decided whether to grant an ­extension and no deal had been completed with Dale, who had ­nevertheless told BBC Radio Manchester that he was selling to a football analytics company. Campbell is the son of former Downing Street spokesman Alastair.

The EFL on Friday night confirmed the offer. “The EFL has this evening received notification that Steve Dale has accepted an offer from C&N Sporting Risk for the sale of Bury FC," said a statement. “We are currently in discussions with the potential purchaser and await information to allow the board to consider a request for an extension to Friday’s deadline.”

There were at least two other offers on the table as the midnight deadline approached for Dale to sell up or demonstrate that he has the £2.7 million needed to stop Bury being thrown out of the professional game.

They included former Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite and Joe Sealey, the son of former Manchester United goalkeeper. Dale had earlier also said that it was “up to the fans” to rescue the club, prompting angry responses from supporters on social media.

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