August 27th 2019 is a sad sad day for football… For the football league in particular, for English football and for the football clubs in League One, the fans and supporters who regularly attend games, for those who appreciate what 134 years means to exist in this beautiful but sometimes cruel game, for the ex-players, coaches, staff and local communities who will all suffer and for Bury Football Club, yesterday after weeks of stalemate their suspension from the football league was finally terminated, as too their existence from the third tier of the professional game in this country.
Bury FC are no more. They couldn’t persuade the Football League that they had the funds to survive, and the football league were in no mind to bail them out. Why should they? After all Bury Chairman Steve Dale did little to help matters himself, he should be ashamed and should be never allowed within 100 miles of Greater Manchester again.
Dale who purchased the football club for a pound is said to have wanted well over £1,000,00.00 back in return as he looked to strip the financial assets and make a quick profit to boost his own self esteem and bank balance, instead he brought misery on a whole community and shame on himself by not acting for the better of the football club and it’s people.
Dale is not alone though… Rich Millionaire Business men often see football clubs like a Lamborghini or helicopter perhaps as toys, a must have accessory to add to their impressive portfolio often to help boost their over inflated egos, sometimes, not very often but in the cases of Dave Whelan & Steve Gibson, to give something back to their communities or to financially support the side they loved growing up as a kid. The latter was certainly not in Dale’s agenda.
I’m not sure if this guy purposely took the jobs away from the players, coaches & staff at Bury Football Club, I’m not sure if he had a deliberate ploy to kill Bury FC and to cement misery on those supporters that have followed their team throughout the many years of it’s survival in the football league, but I am sure that this is not the first person in charge of a football club to make these mistakes, and I am sure it won’t be the last.
I’ve said recently that the FA and Football League need to provide a scheme where teams falling into financial trouble and receivership could be passed on to the communities, councils and supporters at cost price part funded by the governing bodies with no one person allowed to have full control in order to protect the 92. The more teams over time purchased this way will ensure the futures of these clubs do not remain in doubt and in time we would potentially see every club given protected status and ran (similarly to those in Germany) correctly by a board of members to the letter of the law and not for profit, other than the income made being put back into the club.
Whether this is realistic or not I don’t know? As it would need a mass overhaul of the game at senior level but until action of this or similar nature is taken things will only get worse.
After all Bury Football Club aren’t the only ones. Bolton Wanderers, a founder member of the football league in 1888 all of 131 years ago are facing similar consequences. Notts County formerly the oldest existing football league club, driven down by an ego inflated owner themselves last season have fallen victim of Bury’s mismanagement as they finished 91st in the football league losing status and could have had a reprieve had this mess been sorted earlier.
We’ve seen the messes of Darlington, Hereford, Stockport, Scarborough and York City (to name a few) in the past… We’ve seen the likes of Coventry, Portsmouth, Charlton, Blackburn, Blackpool all of these enjoying recent times in the Premier League, the biggest and baddest most lucrative league in world football and despite this these clubs have suffered financially through mismanagement which is proof it could really happen to anyone.
And the biggest debt in English Football? Probably Manchester United who’s annual loan repayments make Bury’s financial troubles probably sound like peanuts.
Football with all its money and technology is losing touch with its roots and it cannot continue if football as we know and love it is to survive through the ladders of this country.
Today it’s Bury, tomorrow is Bolton, the day after, week after, year after, it will most certainly be someone else.
Let’s do something about it and if we can’t protect the 92, we must now try and protect the 91 not just for the good of our game but for the good of our people and for the thousands that still consider this sport as more than just football, but football and their clubs as their religion.