Well, sadly, I return to the subject of Bury FC again this week.

You’ll have seen various MPs and such-like trying to persuade the EFL to give Bury another chance. Folk talking about them not dropping down as many leagues as may have been feared. Tales of the EFL taking a more sensitive approach – of them consulting with clubs to discuss the re-admittance of the Shakers.

Now this must be music to the ears of any Shakers fans – or is it just dragging out the heartbreak?

Now I’m going to be a tad harsh here. Are they gone or not? If not, is it fair on the other clubs to have their fixture lists now clogged to cope with the return of Bury? If they come back, what does that say for the authority and integrity of that already tarnished body, the EFL?

But there’s more. We now hear tales of the police being called into Gigg Lane some months back – apparently at the request of the much maligned Steve Dale. So, has there been a fraud or not. And, if so, by whom? And what did he (or she) do?

I find myself asking if we don’t need a club failure – possibly two (say, a somewhat larger club which may just have flirted with Europe in its recent history) – for the World of Football to give its proverbial head a shake?

Shake. Shakers. See what I did there? Genius?

Anyway, do we not need a proper, real-world failure, and then a well-publicised fraud trial, to get the authorities – and those commentators who can’t see beyond sixth place in the Blessed Premier League – to start dealing with clubs and owners properly? I heard someone on a phone in on Radio 5 Live argue that clubs like Bury FC don’t matter! The words I used, shouting back at the radio, are not in the HUST dictionary. I bet he lives in Kent, watches MOTD and Sky and calls himself a Manchester United fan!

But back to my point. How many clubs teeter on the brink – supposedly get saved – and then teeter again? How many owners (and wannabee owners) do we see flirting with the truth and the legal system? We’ve been here have we not? Several times!

Is the failure – the extinction – of an historic club such as Bury FC not what ‘the game’ needs?

Now I really do feel for Bury and their long suffering fans – but I really do believe that ‘we’ need a failure to start putting things right. Having said that, because it is ‘poor little’ Bury I would expect many folk to have forgotten all about them within weeks. So, Bolton, how about it? A sacrifice for the wider good of the game?

OK, I’ll leave it there – with another apology and wave of sympathy to everyone involved with Bury FC.

So what about Pools? Great to see a run of form developing and let us hope that we don’t disappoint in front of the TV cameras tomorrow night – although I can’t imagine who – other than Poolie exiles – will be watching a 7:30pm kick-off from the Vanarama on a Saturday night! And what sort of crowd will there be in Fortress Vic on a Saturday night? And how many will be sober? And pity poor Ronnie ‘Lycra leggings’ Harnish – will he be able to pull himself away from watching Strictly Come Dancing?

Pip Pip



  1. Author

    I see that the EFL are now launching a procedures/regulations financial sustainability review for EFL teams. This is certainly a step in the right direction, however, the league is basically administered on behalf of the club owners. Surely formal regulation needs to be an external body, ideally an independent body, that has powers beyond the control of club owners? Decent owners with good intentions should not be afraid of this.

    My preference is for something set up by government, but the FA should be the very minimum to oversee this.


  2. Portsmouth should have gone years ago & then the football authorities might have sat up and taken notice if a Premiership club had folded.

    1. Author

      The Premier League appeared to carefully nurse Pompey through to their inevitable relegation where they promptly washed their hands of them. The list of clubs who have failed is getting longer though they’re all ‘small clubs’, non-league clubs, why would enough people care? Until something significant changes I fear it’ll just be a long talking shop.

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