EFL chief Debbie Jevans has offered a shred of hope to crisis-club Bury as the minutes tick down towards the club’s expulsion from the league.

Although a midnight Friday deadline still remains for Shakers owner Steve Dale to either provide financial information required or sell the club – Jevans conceded a short stay of execution could be granted to allow “credible” buyers time to agree a deal.

Dale has reportedly been in talks with four different buyers, one of which is former Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite.

“We at the EFL have received communication from people who are interested in purchasing the club,” Jevans told The Bury Times. “Some have asked to see financial details and we have communicated with Steve Dale on their behalf.

“We have worked with them – put A in touch with B – and doing whatever we can on that front.

“The situation we have right now is that there is a deadline of midnight on Friday.

“If by that time we are still in this situation the share will be revoked and Bury will no longer be a member of the league.

“I assume at that stage they would then have to apply to the Football Association for membership to another league lower down the football pyramid.”

Asked if they could extend the deadline and allow Bury time to agree terms with a buyer over the weekend, she added: “If there is a credible option”.

Bury North MP James Frith and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham have written to the EFL to request that they delay their decision.

There has been a mass outpouring of sympathy for the 134-year-old club across football and Forever Bury have announced plans for fans to gather at 3pm on Saturday at Gigg Lane regardless of the outcome of the next 24 hours.

The situation is of great concern to Jevans – but she maintains the Shakers cannot be treated differently.

“We have continued to ask Steve Dale for the financial information that we requested but I stress, what we are asking of him is not different to what we would ask of any other club,” she said.

“We want to know source of funding, how he intends to pay wages, electricity bills, but thus far he has been unable to do that.

“I genuinely do lie awake at night worrying about this situation. It is horrible.

“Watching what happened at the stadium yesterday and people bringing a coffin – I absolutely hate it. It is horrid. Football can’t be in this situation.

“But we have a duty of care to protect the integrity of the league and how in our right mind can we allow a club to continue when there is no proof that they can pay wages?”

In the event the sale of Bury Football Club can be progressed, Jevans has warned there cannot be any further disruption to the fixture schedule.

“Practically-speaking, we have already suspended five matches and it is inevitable that there will be further ones called off, inclement weather, for example,” she said.

“We have to consider the other clubs in all of this.

“In reality, there is a window of 24-48 hours, but it is a really short time frame.”