Bury FC have been given an 11th-hour lifeline after owner Steve Dale accepted a takeover offer from a London-based consortium.
Dale had been given until 23.59 on Friday to either provide proof to the English Football League he could fund the League One side this season or hand it over to someone who can.
Extinction was the option if not but, after a day of claim and counter-claim, Dale confirmed he had agreed a deal to relinquish control to a sports analytics company, C&N Sporting Risk.
The EFL is now considering an extension to the deadline.
An EFL spokesperson said: “The EFL has this evening received notification that Steve Dale has accepted an offer from C&N Sporting Risk for the sale of Bury FC.
“We are currently in discussions with the potential purchaser and await information to allow the Board to consider a request for an extension to Friday’s deadline.”
Rory Campbell and Henry Newman’s C&N Sporting Risk having been working closely with Bury North MP James Frith over the takeover bid and will now hope to close out the deal with Dale while satisfying the EFL’s demands to ensure the club remain in the Football League.
They said in a statement: “‘We can confirm that over the past 10 weeks we have been in discussions with Bury FC, the EFL and others with a view to putting forward a proposal to buy the club.
“It is a very complicated scenario and there remain a number of outstanding legal and other issues that have to be addressed. Our background is in football and data analytics and it should therefore not be surprising that we are taking a very detailed forensic look at the realities of Bury FC finances.
Bury EXCLUSIVE: Player Stephen Dawson pleads with owner Steve Dale to sell club
“A club like Bury ought to have a viable long-term future even if the short-term future is clearly very challenging.
“To that end we have been in discussions with the EFL about an extension so that we can continue to explore the prospects for a purchase. We will be making no further comment at this stage.”
Dale’s declaration of a sale came just before 10pm, with a little over two hours remaining of the EFL’s deadline.
Having been unable to prove the club’s financial viability, Bury have had all five of their League One matches suspended so far this season and have also been removed from the Carabao Cup.