Historic football club Bury on Tuesday became the first team to be expelled from the English Football League in over two decades after a takeover bid collapsed.

The two-time FA Cup winners, who only a few months ago were celebrating promotion to the third tier, lost all hope of salvation when a takeover bid fell apart shortly before the 1600 GMT deadline.

The club from northwest England are the first to be expelled from the league – comprising all the divisions below the top-tier Premier League — since Maidstone United in 1992.

Bury’s historic rivals Bolton – one of the founders of the Football League but who have been in administration since May — won some breathing space on Tuesday when they were given 14 days to find a buyer.

For Bury, though, the bell has tolled on their time in the Football League, ending over 100 years of participation which yielded two FA Cups and produced players like former Manchester City and England great Colin Bell.

Ironically Bury, who become the first FA Cup winners to be ousted from the league, and Bolton were due to face each other in a televised live match on Sunday week.

Bury are the first team to be expelled from the third tier of English football. The remaining 23 teams will complete the season and only three instead of four teams will be relegated.

A BBC journalist at the club’s Gigg Lane ground said that on hearing the news fans burst into tears with some so upset they were “crouching down to the floor”.

“Today is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the league’s recent history,” said EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans. (AFP)