Bury FC administrator puts stadium up for sale

14 May 2021 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Professional services firm Inquesta Corporate Recovery and Insolvency has placed Bury FC's iconic Gigg Lane stadium on the market, as its administrators bid to pay off some of the club’s creditors. The club from Greater Manchester fell into administration after it was expelled from the English Football League in 2019.

Just months after Bury FC secured promotion from League Two, murmurs began to circle that the club was in dire financial trouble. Thanks to the perfect storm of a neglectful owner, a turbulent market, and a regulator seemingly asleep at the wheel, the historic club closed the doors to its historic Gigg Lane stadium at the end of August 2019, having been kicked out of the English Football League (EFL) after failing to provide proof of its financial sustainability.

The club survived HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) winding-up petitions in the High Court In December 2019 and February 2020, but in November 2020, the club was finally placed into administration. It has since been reported that it owed more than £12.2 million in unsecured debt. Now, over two years after the last competitive ball was kicked Bury’s home ground, the club’s administrator, Inquesta Corporate Recovery and Insolvency’s Steven Wiseglass, has appointed chartered surveying firm Fleurets to sell the ground.

Bury FC administrator puts stadium up for sale

Home to the Shakers since Bury FC's founding in 1885, Gigg Lane is one of the world's oldest professional football stadiums. It is now understood that ‘unconditional offers' are being sought for the entire 6.4-acre stadium site, which includes the 12,500-seat stands, and its ticket office and club shop.

Commenting on the news, Wiseglass said, “As part of the administration process, I have been liaising with the secured charge-holder over the stadium and have now appointed Fleurets to actively market the stadium for sale. My role is to secure the best possible outcome for all stakeholders of The Bury Football Club Company. Bury FC is a club with a rich history and a loyal and enthusiastic fan base, and I do hope that a suitable buyer will be forthcoming to secure the future of football at Gigg Lane.”

According to Wiseglass, there “may be an offer from a community interest group to purchase the stadium and trading name,” in the wake of the announcement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the recent budget that the UK Government would provide matched funding for purchasing assets of community interest.

Since Bury’s collapse, members of fan group Forever Bury launched a fundraising appeal in the hope of raising £2.5 million – a figure which they believe will be enough to buy the club and pay off creditors. Other potential parties interested in acquiring the business and assets, however, so the chances of such a fairy tale ending are still hanging in the balance.