The EFL have confirmed the proposed takeover of Bury is off – with the club now hours from expulsion.
The Shakers had been poised to be expelled from the EFL on Friday for failing to prove their financial viability.
But a 11th-hour takeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk ensured the club’s deadline was extended to 5pm on Tuesday.
Owner Steve Dale had accepted an offer from C&N Sporting Risk but it was announced the takeover had collapsed on Monday, just over an hour before the deadline.
It is believed the key issue of concern for potential buyers was a clause relating to Gigg Lane.
A statement read: “The EFL Board has been informed that C&N Sporting Risk will no longer be pursuing their interest in Bury FC.
“The League announced at the weekend that it was working exclusively with the club and C&N in an attempt to finalise a change of control at the club. However, following a period of due diligence, C&N have opted not to progress matters.
“The League continues to be in discussions with Bury FC in advance of today’s 5pm deadline and will provide a further update as appropriate.”
Hundreds of volunteers joined Bury fans at Gigg Lane on Monday to help clean the stadium in preparation for Saturday’s match with Doncaster.
But that match is now in serious doubt with the club facing being expelled from the EFL.
Dale bought Bury for £1 in December after previous owner Stewart Day ran up huge debts following years of overspending at Gigg Lane.
Having initially claimed to buy Bury for “philanthropic” reasons, Dale put the 134-year-old club into administration this summer and engineered a debt repayment scheme.
The scheme, known as a company voluntary arrangement, would see creditors paid only 25 per cent of what they are owed, with him and his associates being the main beneficiaries.
His plan, however, depended on Bury being allowed to start the season – with a small squad and skeleton staff – and the EFL handing over the club’s share of its central income.
Having previously greeted each EFL postponement of a Bury game – five league fixtures and an EFL Cup tie so far this season – with an angry statement on the club website, Dale announced he was willing to listen to offers for the club early last week.
League One opponents Bolton are also working towards a 5pm deadline on Tuesday to find out if a takeover can be agreed.