The issues regarding League One duo Bolton Wanderers and Bury have been well publicised – with the latter seemingly more in financial difficulty than their Lancashire rivals. It is no secret that the Premier League earns billions from TV revenue now pouring in, season after season, but is all this wealth causing major damage to our Football League infrastructure – or simply bad management?
Bury have a deadline of Friday to convince the Football Association that they have the available funds in order to financially see out the 2019/20 Football League season. Failure to do so will see the Shakers Football League licence taken away from them, and booted out of the Football League, resulting in the likelihood of insolvency, and leaving diehard fans without a club to support.
The authorities have deemed it fit to postpone five Football League matches against; MK Dons (h), Accrington (a), Gillingham (h), Rotherham (a), and this weekend’s fixture at home to Tranmere Rovers, as well as the ELF Cup (Round One) tie at Sheffield Wednesday. The club had already been deducted 12 points at the beginning of the season.
The BBC has also reported that current chairman Steve Dale has turned down an offer to sell the club to former Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite, which potentially could save the club and secure its future.
Former director Joy Hart has made attempts to save her former club but chaining herself to a drainpipe whilst an upright coffin reads ‘R.I.P BURY F.C. 1885?’She told the telegraph yesterday; “All I want now is for local teams, including Man City and Manchester United, to help save Bury Football Club in its hour of need. I am appealing to all the north-west clubs. Please help us. Unless someone comes in, we are dead on Friday. Forever, “Joy has also asked the EFL to extend Friday’s deadline.”
Should these clubs help out lower league clubs who are in trouble? After all, I don’t recall seeing rival supermarkets helping each other out when their business comes under financial difficulties – they either sell up or dissolve the company! Though football is a different industry, but at the end of the day it is a business.
Is this a sign that money in football has gone insane and that something needs to give before top flight clubs realise the damage the lure and power the Premier League is potentially killing lower league football clubs or, is it a evolution cycle which sees clubs go bust every so often due to their own miss management of finances. We look at the Premier League, and perhaps Manchester United, but before they became the powerhouse they are today went through hardship themselves. Former in 1878 under the less familiar name Newton Heath, the Red Devils were bankrupt and dissolved in 1902 before quickly reforming under the new banner which we recognise today. In 1919, a century ago, a similar occurrence happened to Leeds City, whom then reformed as United.
As a supporter of a newly promoted Premier League club, and no doubt over the season I will truly see how much of a difference all this money will mean to the 20 elite teams in English football, but for those who (like myself) hasn’t quite grasped how much money is being poured in should read ‘Price of Football,’
With little time left, I fear that Bury FC will be no more (and forced to reform under umbrella AFC Bury). It is unlikely that they will be saved at the eleventh hour by the rich Premier League, leaving all football fans with nothing more but memories of a long established club.
By the deadline on Friday, we hope that the latest news brings hope and sustainability to the Gigg Lane supporters.