Sunderland's League One rivals see opening fixture postponed amid financial concerns

Two of Sunderland’s League One rivals won’t be playing on the opening day of the season – having seen their fixture postponed.

By Mark Donnelly
Tuesday, 30 July, 2019, 11:45
Bury and MK Dons' opening day League One fixture has been postponed

The EFL have confirmed that Bury’s clash with MK Dons, initially scheduled for Saturday, August 3, has been postponed after the Shakers failed to provide sufficient evidence regarding how they would be funded moving forward.

Owner Steve Dale has placed the club up for sale, but has failed to inform the league of how he plans to settle the club’s debts after a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was approved by their creditors.

And that meant the lead ‘regrettably’ had to call-off Bury’s opening fixture of the campaign – with their second league fixture also in doubt.

A statement from the league read: “Following continued and comprehensive discussions with the ownership at Bury and other interested parties throughout Monday, the EFL Board is not satisfied it has received the necessary evidence in regard to the outstanding information it requires that demonstrates how the Club will be funded moving forwards.

“As a result of not meeting Monday’s 5pm deadline, which had been extended on two previous occasions, the EFL Board feels it has been placed in an unenviable position and, regrettably, has opted to take the reluctant decision to suspend Saturday’s opening day fixture with MK Dons under the provision of EFL Regulation 28.2.

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“In addition, the EFL Board, if not in possession of the necessary evidence by 12pm on Friday 2 August 2019, will make a determination as to whether to suspend Bury’s away fixture at Accrington Stanley on Saturday 10 August 2019.”

Bolton Wanderers, meanwhile, will play their clash with Wycombe Wanderers as scheduled after fears of a postponed were staved off.

On Bolton, the EFL said: “The Board has fully considered the Club’s further submissions and is satisfied that they are sufficient to meet the requirements of the League subject to the completion of formal documentation.

“As a result the EFL Board has opted not to suspend their opening day fixture with Wycombe Wanderers and it will remain as originally scheduled on Saturday 3 August 2019 at 3pm.”