Bury's first two League One fixtures suspended over debts

(Reuters) - Bury have had their first two matches of the season against Milton Keynes Dons and Accrington Stanley suspended after the third-tier club failed to provide a viable plan to settle their debts, the English Football League (EFL) has said.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - League Two - Bury v Port Vale - The Energy Check Stadium, Bury, Britain - May 4, 2019 Bury celebrate promotion to League One Action Images/Paul Burrows/File Photo

Bury, along with fellow League One side Bolton Wanderers who are in administration, were given a deadline of earlier this week to provide the EFL with the necessary evidence. Both clubs start the season with a 12-point deduction.

Bury’s opening fixture against MK Dons on Saturday had already been called off and their second match has now been suspended.

"The information provided is still not enough to demonstrate that the club (Bury) has the ability to immediately settle all football debts, meet the obligations to unsecured creditors and ensure the club has the appropriate financial resources for the 2019/20 season," the EFL said in a statement here.

“As a result the Board has regrettably determined that Bury’s League One fixture away at Accrington Stanley, scheduled to take place on Saturday 10 August 2019, will be suspended under the provision of EFL Regulation 28.2.”

Bury chairman Steven Dale said the club, who last season won promotion from League Two, had been “dealt a grave injustice” and questioned the motive behind not waiting until Monday to postpone next weekend’s fixture.

"Again after submitting all that was asked from the EFL from our lawyer, we got a call late tonight saying they are postponing our fixture with Accrington Stanley," Dale said in a statement here.

“Why did they not wait until Monday to again postpone our fixture if something was missing, we have the weekend to get any information to them.”

Bury’s next match is a first round League Cup encounter at Championship (second-tier) side Sheffield Wednesday on Aug. 13.

Bolton, who met the deadline to provide evidence of financial viability, were allowed to play their first game at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday but lost 2-0 after only three senior outfield players travelled with the squad.

As many as 13 players in Bolton’s squad had never played for the senior team.

The club, who were founder members of the Football League in 1888 and four-times FA Cup winners, was forced to cancel three pre-season friendly matches against Preston North End, Oldham Athletic and Chester last month.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Christian Radnedge