Deal close for purchase of Bury FC ground and club name

Gigg Lane

A fans’ group says it has exchanged contracts to buy the Bury FC Gigg Lane stadium, the club’s name and associated memorabilia.

The group, Est 1885 says the deal should be completed by the end of this month.

News comes almost three weeks after the Government pledged £1m to help the group buy the stadium.

The club, nicknamed The Shakers, was expelled from the English Football League in 2019 after 125 years of membership and placed into administration just over a year ago.

Est 1885 has formed a working party with a separate organisation, Bury AFC, the Football Supporters Association and the local council to plan a way forward.

It said: “This will return football to Gigg Lane and our aim is under the name Bury FC.”

A Bury AFC statement said: “We are delighted to hear that contracts have been exchanged for the sale and purchase of Gigg Lane and recognise the hard work which has been invested to get this far by those involved.

“The next stage of the process is legal completion of the transfer at which point the balance of the purchase price will become payable.

“We are in discussions with both parties, and the council, to move through the fine detail on how this could work going forward.

“Once we are able to bring some detail to our members for a vote we will, but in the meantime there is no reason for concern about the club, players or staff as they are all at the heart of any future plans.

“There is no intention to discontinue this club or its progress to date, and remain committed to ensuring there is one club representing the town next season.”

In an interview with BBC Radio Manchester, Matt Pickup, of Est 1885, said all parties were working on a target of football returning to the ground in August this year, in time for next season: “We want to get things done as soon as possible with that deadline in mind,” he said.

“We want one club (in the town of Bury). All parties do, going forward. The working group we have with them (Bury AFC) has been positive and that’s going to continue in the coming days and weeks.

“After years of bad news it’s so good we’ve had this bit of great news.”