Bury release 16 players following relegation to League Two

Efe Sodje

Troubled Bury have released 16 players, including 40-year-old defender Efe Sodje, but expect positive news shortly regarding investment in the club.

Striker David Healy, Northern Ireland's record goalscorer, and midfielder Tom Soares are among those also departing.

Manager Kevin Blackwell has been left with a squad of eight senior players.

However, the say negotiations with new investors are at an advanced stage and hope to "reveal positive news within the coming days".

Bury, who will be playing in League Two next season, said in April that they

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Bury skipper on 'frustrating' season

Blackwell was only able to name two of his permitted seven substitutes in the final weeks of the campaign as his squad was severely stretched by injuries and suspensions.

Former Nigeria international Sodje spent five years at Bury, playing 212 times and scoring 18 goals, while injuries restricted Healy to one goal in 19 appearances during his year-long stay at Gigg Lane.

Marcus Marshall, Mark Carrington, Mark Hughes, Carl Regan, Euan Holden, Cameron Belford, Craig Fagan and Valery Mezague are also leaving, while out-of-contract defender

Captain Steven Schumacher, who had a year remaining on his contract,

Only Trevor Carson, Phil Picken, Shane Byrne, Adam Lockwood, David Worrall, Craig Jones, Andy Bishop and Shaun Harrad remain contracted to the Shakers for 2013-14.