COME tomorrow, Bury could become a town without a Football League club for the first time in more than 125 years.

The two-time FA Cup winners face the threat of expulsion from the EFL, a fate that would prove a hammer blow to its loyal fanbase.

Should the worst happen, it would be a tragic end to an agonising summer that has seen the Shakers face several winding-up petitions, an exodus of players and staff, and the suspension of the first six games of the new season.

Bury are yet to kick a ball in the 2019/20 campaign, with the EFL waiting for owner Steve Dale to give them the financial reassurances they require.

Dale, who paid £1 to take over the destitute club from Stewart Day in December, has agreed a Company Voluntary Agreement ­— effectively a rescue plan ­— to reduce debts, but the EFL want proof he can settle with creditors and fund the Gigg Lane club going forwards.

Already handed a 12-point deduction, Bury have also been placed under a transfer embargo, preventing them signing any more players.

Despite heartfelt pleas for Dale to sell up from fans, players and staff, as well as talk of parties interested in buying the club, a deal is yet to be struck.

Instead, Dale remains at loggerheads with the EFL, claiming he has provided them with the required information.

Dale has previously said he is open to selling for the right offer but, as time ticks away, the future of this famous club hangs in the balance.

While the extent of the current crisis has emerged under Dale, it was under Day’s reign that its seeds were sewn. After taking over the then League Two club in the summer of 2013, the property developer revealed a five-year plan to take the club to the second tier of English football.

Day set about achieving his ambition by dishing out high wages to a calibre of player not often seen at Gigg Lane.

But things did not work out as planned, and an expensively assembled Shakers side was relegated back to the fourth tier after a disastrous 2017/18 campaign.

Five years after Day revealed his ambitious plans, the club were back where they started. He left the club in December, handing over control to Cheshire-based businessman Dale.

In his first press conference after taking on the club, Dale acknowledged he had a “huge job” ahead of him, but pledged to sort out the financial “mess”.

As the Shakers continued to flourish on the field under the guidance of Ryan Lowe, things seemed to be on the up at Gigg Lane. However, the impact of the club’s overspending during the Day era was soon laid bare.

In April, the Shakers faced a High Court winding-up petition over an “historic debt” owed to former player and assistant boss Chris Brass.

A day before the Shakers survived the order against them at London’s High Court, it was revealed that several companies owned by Day had been placed into administration, owing tens of millions to creditors.

The accounts for Mederco Ltd for 2017 showed that Mr Day loaned £4.2 million to Bury, as part of a series of inter-company transactions since he assumed the helm. He was also involved in a lucrative deal to sell off more than 250 car parking spaces at the club’s ground, a project owing £190,000 to investors.

Despite the chaos unfolding around them, Bury’s players rallied to secure a memorable promotion at the end of April, sparking scenes of joyous celebration between players and fans at Tranmere Rovers.

But only weeks later, players released a statement revealing that they had not been paid in 12 weeks. In response, Dale posted a statement on the official website, in which he accused staff refusing to leave the club without pay of “draining a dead corpse” and described the creation of food banks to help staff as “disgraceful propaganda”.

As the summer wore on, the Shakers faced three further winding-up petitions, eventually fighting one off at the fourth attempt last month.

And with the season approaching, the turmoil continued as the EFL suspended Bury’s opening game, saying it had not received evidence from Dale on how the club would be funded moving forward.

Questions have been raised about the EFL’s role in Bury’s problems. An investigation by The Guardian revealed that Dale took over the club without ever providing proof of funds which is required under the league’s regulations.

Meanwhile, the desperation of the Shakers’ plight was illustrated on Friday when long-serving club secretary Jill Neville resigned.

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Her departure came just hours after she was dragged into a heated debate between Dale and Bury midfielder Stephen Dawson on national radio.

Dawson is one of only a handful of players that remain at Gigg Lane, with several having joined Lowe at Plymouth Argyle. The club is now a hollow shell of what it was in May, and many fans fear they may lose it altogether.

From the euphoria of sealing a return to League One in April to being one day away from losing league membership, it has been a long and painful summer for Shakers fans.

For now, their dream is simply to watch their club play again.