Bury now look certain to be expelled from the English Football League after C&N Sporting Risk announced they are “unable to proceed” with the proposed takeover with just over an hour remaining until the deadline.
The 134-year-old club, along with Bolton Wanderers, had until 5pm on Tuesday to complete separate sales of the clubs.
Steve Dale appeared set to sell to Rory Campbell, son of Alastair Campbell, and former Barnet caretaker manager Henry Newman.
In a statement, C&N said: “We are grateful to the EFL for the short extension they granted to us so that we could continue with due diligence, and for their acceptance of our proof of funds capable of mounting a credible takeover. This has been worked on around the clock by our team and advisors for the past 72 hours.
“It is therefore with regret that we have decided not to proceed with the takeover of Bury FC. This decision has not been taken lightly. We fully understand the importance of the club to the community and it is with this in mind that we have informed the EFL of our decision at the earliest possible opportunity.”
“The EFL Board has been informed that C&N Sporting Risk will no longer be pursuing their interest in Bury FC.
“The League announced at the [August Bank Holiday] weekend that it was working exclusively with the Club and C&N in an attempt to finalise a change of control at the Club.
Bury MP James Frith described the collapse of the C&N Sporting Risk takeover as “disgusting”.
Frith said on BBC 5 Live: “What a disgusting moment in time that this sort of financial mismanagement, this financial speculation has prevented every single bit of good intention on a takeover that was fully capable and fully able to provide an immediate and sustainable future for Bury football club.