Two historic northwest clubs were under threat of going to the wall in the coming days as Bury were officially removed from the Football League after 134 years and Bolton Wanderers had the same threat hanging over their heads unless a buyer could be found.

A takeover bid for Bury, who have been turmoil for the past few years, failed at the eleventh hour yesterday and the announcement came from the EFL at 11pm last night that the club had been expelled from the League, the first since the liquidation of Maidstone United in 1992.

Bolton, a founder member of the Football League alongside Everton in 1888, had two weeks to avoid the same fate but appear to have concluded a takeover.

Reader Comments (65)

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Kevin Prytherch
1 Posted 28/08/2019 at 17:58:44
With all the money floating around in the premier league, this is a farce.

٠-3million to save the club, Alexis Sanchez earns that in 2½ months.

I know it's against rules having conflicting interests, but surely it makes sense for a large north-west club (such as ourselves) to have an interest in a smaller north west club. We could provide them with some form of financial stability, they could provide us with a platform for a selection of our U23s to get some supervised coaching and playing time. If it means clubs like Bury and Bolton don't go out of business, then it's better for everyone.

Stephen Brown
2 Posted 28/08/2019 at 18:04:44
Well said Kevin!

This is an outrage really!

Niasse, Mirallas, Martina and Bolasie wages would comfortably save this club!

Sky's countdown clock is also so disrespectful! They caused this!

David Pearl
3 Posted 28/08/2019 at 18:28:06
If their 3000 season ticket holders (ish) gave a grand each that also covers it. I don't know what the guy Dale has been doing.

As for Sky... yeah l didn't like how they kept running that Tiger Woods story every 5 minutes when he was pulled over a couple years ago. That's what they do.

With all the money around these days this should never be close to happening.

Ray Robinson
4 Posted 28/08/2019 at 18:33:00
I truly sympathise with supporters of Bury and Bolton who will be devastated and on tenterhooks respectively. I agree that the amount of money swirling around in the Premier League is obscene - but that is a separate issue - to be tackled by other measures.

The issue here surely that clubs have been financially mismanaged and have failed to live within budget? The "fit and proper" test of ownership rules are themselves unfit for purpose. How else do clubs fall into the hands of "dubious" owners?

You would hardly expect a high earner to subsidise someone who has squandered their income on booze, scratch cards and gambling would you? Besides, Bolton themselves benefited from Premier League riches for many years - they just stretched themselves too far and relied on Eddy Davies to bale them out.

The Premier League clubs and Sky are justifiably vilified for greed and self-interest but this is one instance where beating them with a stick is unjustified. Only my opinion!

Steve Ferns
5 Posted 28/08/2019 at 18:40:32
Guys, it's much worse than you think. There's five clubs on the cusp of this:

Morcambe, Macclesfield, Southend, Oldham and reading. Also add in Coventry and Blackburn. These seven have recognised financial issues with the first five having missed player or staff payments in the last 12 months.

Things are getting worse and worse for the Football League clubs. We all know the example of Sunderland crashing down to league one but that's not a one off now and we can all think of others doing it or coming close in recent seasons. Bolton have done it over a longer period of time. Stoke look like they might drop again this season, and they have wealthy owners and appeared to be a well run club best placed to bounce back. It seems relegated clubs do not bounce back like they used to. There's very few yo-yo clubs anymore. Instead relegation seems to send clubs into a spiral.

The premier league clubs shared the tv money equally. Each got an equal share. Then they started getting a bonus for being on the TV. And now the likes of United want even more. So the smaller PL will drop out in even worse financial nick.

Other clubs in the championship will gamble and go for broke to make the premier league. And so the spiral goes with money and the promise of money seeing clubs gamble. Leeds, Sunderland and now Bolton and bury show what happens when the gamble fails.

I don't know the full ins and outs of the bury mess, but it seems others blame the promotion and say if they had missed out, they'd have survived. Not that they'd be fine, but they'd have survived.

The PL is to blame. The likes of Man Utd have swallowed up Bury's fan base. Guys older than me will attest better to how it used to be, I'll have to rely on facts and figures. They say that attendances across the board have generally fallen for the league clubs. Sure there are anomaly's like Man City and the two Sheffield clubs with big gates in the third tier, whilst Bournemouth make the PL attendance rates fall. But clubs like Bury don't get what they used to get. Their fans, like the Neville brothers support the club but also take on a second club, such as Man Utd. Instead of bury getting the full benefit of their fans undivided custom, they buy tickets and merchandise of other clubs as well.

Sure, most bury fans will say they they're still all bury fans, but how many of their parents mates who are bury fans now have kids who support just Utd or City?

The football league system is unsustainable. Clubs going bust is nothing new. But the number and frequency is. The FL is as big as the titanic and it's just hit that iceberg. I don't think it will sink. But I suspect that England will now fall into line with the rest of Europe and the FL will not have 72 professional clubs in 10 years time. The money is there to sustain them easily. The greed of those at the top of the pyramid is what is causing the pyramid to topple and ultimately it'll affect those at the top too.

Everton can't escape blame free. We did more than anyone to set up the PL. and we've done our best to nick Tranmere's fans, just as the RS have. We have to. That's the way the system is. We have to keep growing. We can't aim for just new foreign fans we have to maximise our support at home too. The result is Bury.

John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 28/08/2019 at 18:55:45
Hi David [3] It's unfair to expect season ticket holders [who have already played their part financially] to contribute another ٟ,000, some of whom will have youngsters who attend games, and will be part of the 3,000 you refer to.
The villains of the piece are the inept owners and directors who oversaw the operation.

Hi Ray [4] I believe that you have hit the nail on the head, why would anyone foot the bill for another's incompetence? Any genuine supporter will have sympathy with Bury and Bolton fans, but sympathy is of little value in a 'dog eat dog' scenario.

Steve Ferns
7 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:12:11
John, I think he was suggesting that 3,000 die hard Bury fans could have come up with £1,000 each to save their beloved club. That's £3,000,000 and Bury saved.

I am amazed in the age of go fund me, that no one got a successful go fund me campaign off the ground, if so, I would have happily donated £10 to the Bury cause, and I bet they'd have found the £2.7m they needed. The problem was marketing and publicity.

I am surprised as the likes of Jill Neville could have orchestrated this, with her sons Gary and Phil sharing the link on social media, and anonymous donors allowed (thereby avoiding the laws preventing the sons from investing whilst owners of Salford City), I'm sure they'd have been saved.

I think the issue there though, to answer my own question, is Steve Dale. If my scenario came to pass, the donations would effectively have gone into his pocket. So a campaign really needed to be as fan trust to allow them to buy the club off him, and this would probably need more than the £2.7m to save Bury.

It's a very sad and worrying state of affairs whichever way you look at it.

Steve Ferns
8 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:22:51
Bolton complete their takeover and are "saved". Let's evaluate that in 2 years time to see if it was a "saving".
Ray Robinson
9 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:23:27
Steve #7, your penultimate paragraph, if true, is one of the reasons why the primary issue here to sort out is the "fit and proper" rules, then address the wider issues of the Premier League consuming all with it's greed.
Steve Ferns
10 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:28:49
Ray, there was no "fit and proper" person test for Steve Dale. Bury were in the exact same mess. He was allowed to buy them for a £1 to stop them going into administration, lo and behold they were in the same situation not even 2 years later, hence my cynicism about Bolton.
Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:29:47
Extraordinary, and sad, that clubs like Bolton, Oldham, Coventry and Blackburn -- who within memory have not only played in the top flight but won it (Rovers) and finished high enough to play in Europe (Wanderers) -- are facing extinction.

The mayor of Bury says the death of the town itself may follow that of the football club.

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:36:16

I read a lengthy article on this and there seemed to be 2 issues. One being Dale wanting to make a profit. The other being the way "investors" from the Virgin islands positioned liens on the club with effectively "loan shark" lending. For example, they took out what amounts to a mortgage on the entire club. The interest rate on the loan was just 6%, but a "finder's fee" was assessed by lending intermediaries which amounted to 40 percent of the loan proceeds. The club and its assets are leveraged in such a way that even if they negotiate on taxes, wages etc they still can't shake off these Virgin island predators unless either they go bankrupt or pay in full. The 2.7 million figure simply covers the bills for now so it's a living paycheck to paycheck scenario, with the huge amount of actual debt continuing to accrue interest. In short, it would cost less to start a new club and build up aka Salford than for anyone to try and salvage Bury.

I agree with your point on Utd and City. All the Greater Manchester clubs seemt o be going broke. 25 years ago, you either walked to watch your local club or didn't watch football. Now you can watch top level games all day every day. Considering the cost of that, lots of parents probably can't or won't buy tickets to drag there kids to the likes of Bury, when the kids would rather watch City on the box.

Another issue is the grassroots. The old argument was the league clubs fed the bigger clubs. That's no longer the case. About 99% of Utd and City's players come from their own youth ranks (albeit nicked from Stockport etc as 15 year olds) or from abroad. No one is looking at Bury etc for prospective PL players. So the PL really couldn't care less if these teams all go bust. I don't like the situation but that is the reality.

Joe McMahon
13 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:38:46
21 years ago I was living only about 3 miles from Gigg Lane, and I can still remember whe Bury beat Manchester City in a league match. Before the Commenwealth games of course, that's where City were and just let that sink in.
Kieran Kinsella
14 Posted 28/08/2019 at 19:44:27

I was living within spitting distance of Maine Road back then. The area as a whole was as depressed as the fans. I used to feel sorry for them. Still do feel for the neighborhood fans who saw their team swooped off across town.

Steve Ferns
15 Posted 28/08/2019 at 22:42:05
Mike, if you ever went to Bury, you would consider it the outskirts (suburbs) of Manchester. The town is dying in the sense that it is another being slowly swallowed up by the expanding Manchester, and so has lost its identity. Without its football club, it'll be indistinguishable from the rest of Greater Manchester.

Don't draw any negative conclusions that it'll become a ghost town or wasteland with nothing to offer. It's the lack of identity as it becomes just another part of Manchester.

And as you are unlikely to know Mike. Liverpool is a bigger city than Manchester with more inhabitants. Manchester is actually a metropolitan area comprising of Manchester, Salford, and Trafford that combine to make the second biggest de facto city in England. When you're in the centre, you don't know where Manchester ends and Salford starts, it really is all one (big) place these days.

Jim Hardin
16 Posted 28/08/2019 at 22:51:16
Questions from an American who genuinely doesn't understand the uproar. So I understand blaming the EPL and its big money and separate TV contract money as the easy target. But the end of the current pyramid system should have been obvious once the EPL split off with little or no money trickling down to the other levels. So why persist with a failing system?

As an American where 10 of our 12 founding American Football Franchises do not exist any longer, and local minor league baseball and hockey teams go belly up, I ask why should the end of Bury be a bad thing? If the system is too archaic and doesn't fit with the modern football model for success, then so be it.

Why should anyone bail out the local club with TV or other money if it cannot develop younger fans and make its games become a go-to event in the community? I know this is not a nostalgic look at things but is there really any place for nostalgia in modern soccer?

In the case of Bury, I am curious about how important is the club to the town and community? The stadium there seats over 11,000 but the average attendance is around 4000 in a town of 78,000. Don't the non-attendees have some blame in this? Even the big employers in the town, although they did advertise, apparently did not invest as owners in the club. So exactly how important is the club and will its loss really be felt that much by those who live there versus those who don't but want to use Bury to cry foul?

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 28/08/2019 at 00:37:14
Great question Jim.

I feel for Bury, but why. They're a manc club, and so we should be sticking it to the mancs, but the opposite is true.

LIverpool is Merseyside. Manchester is greater Manchester. But many of us still consider both places Lancashire. Bury is very much a Lancashire town, despite its greater Manchester postal code.

Football was started when the Lancashire clubs merged with the midlands clubs to form the football league. That's why all the founding clubs are from either north west England or round by Birmingham. Of the 12 6 were from Lancashire: everton, blackburn, Preston, Bolton, Accrington and Burnley. The other 5 Lancashire clubs are within 40 miles of Goodison. They're local. They really are. You could get to any of them within an hour outside of rush hour.

Football has always been dominated by Lancashire. Between the clubs of the area we have won 60 league titles, London has only won 21, and the 60 is exactly 50% of all the championships ever. It's a Lancashire game and Lancashire clubs dominated. But look at the premier league now, and we're down to five clubs. We've 3 more in the championship: Preston, blackburn, and Wigan. None of them scream sleeping giant these days though. Instead the Lancashire clubs are diminshing and dropping down the leagues. With bury we had 7 in league one, and 6 more in league two. So I guess I'm saying there's old regional pride, more so if you're old enough to feel part of Lancashire.

Then there's the good old British conservatism. And no I don't mean the political party. I mean British people don't like change. Let's not mention Brexit, but we like to know where things are. Good old comfort blankets. Bury are a third or fourth tier football club and you get them every decade or so in the cup. They know their place and respect the establishment and can hark back to their glory days and two FA Cup wins.

Then there's the historical angle, as I just mentioned they won the FA Cup twice. That's a big deal, when did the last FA Cup winter go bust? Never, that's when. One club ceased to exist who I shall come on to, but no one who won it since 1883 has. And the ones who won it before then were amateur anyway and so incapable of going bust.

The FA Cup winners who ceased to be, well kind of, arguably, were Wimbledon. And when Wimbledon became MK dons there was outrage. There still is by those over the age of around 40. There's slightly less outrage now there is a new club called Wimbledon and they were above franchise F.C. in the pyramid until MK Dons gained promotion back to league in May.

Finally, I think everyone knows how precarious football club finances are. We all know we're Everton were in the 90's, just a few years after our glory days. We could have gone tumbling down the leagues as a result. Even money bags Man City had financial ruin in recent years and played in the same third tier bury just got kicked out of. Football fans know that it's a thin margin. We know that could be us. How would we feel if someone stomped all over everton. We couldn't support another club. We'd just hate football forever more instead. Imagine a world where you can't watch the blues. Then you think about the family that brought you up a blue, the family you cannot pass it on to, the traditions lost, the friends you made at the match lost. Everton is a massive part of what makes liverpool. The city is just the home of the Beatles and a port without football. Football is everything to this city. Everton is diminished without the evil reds and vice versa. Loss of either club would rip this cities identity to shreds.

So bury, without football, it's nothing. It really is. It's just another rundown old Lancashire mill town on the outskirts of Manchester. The football club gives the town an identity of its own. The success of the club gives the town a source of pride, that nothing else does. Football is everything to this region and small towns like bury, Burnley, Oldham, Rochdale, Accrington, blackburn, and so on. The only one you could leave off the list is Wigan athletic which is a rugby town, only getting into the league in 1978 and so having none of the history of the aforementioned historical clubs.

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 29/08/2019 at 06:37:02
Steve(#17); That raised some interesting memories. Some years ago I worked with a bloke in Australia and when I asked where he was from his answer was, "Seven miles from Manchester".

My reply was to ask if that was in any particular direction or if they just forgot to name it. In that way that Lancashire folk do he preceded his answer with "Ohhr, ohhr" followed by "Rochdale". I said I'd always thought it was further than 7 miles but it didn't really matter.

On another occasion a Man City supporter was looking for trivia questions for a quiz night and was trying to work out a Man Utd team that actually played 11 Scots.

I chimed in with the nearest ground to the River Mersey and the three usual suspects Everton, Tranmere and Liverpool came up and somebody asked if it was a Football League club. Sometime later I said to him he should be ashamed of himself and he asked why. I repeated the question and he again asked why he should be ashamed and I asked where he was from. He looked surprised and said, "Of course". He was from Stockport.

There does seem to be a lack or a losing of identity and a similar comment landed John Cleese in trouble.

Darren Hind
19 Posted 29/08/2019 at 07:32:24
Steve F @17

That's a really fantastic post. I had 2-3 attempts to answer that question last night, but I ended up throwing my hand in.

Having seen your response, I'm glad I did.

Alan McGuffog
20 Posted 29/08/2019 at 07:51:40
Really sorry to see a club such as Bury go under. However. watching northern news programmes yesterday there was no end of vox pop a testing that the town would lose its identity without the club, blah blah blah.

Anyone been to Bury? If only half of the people walking around the market buying the superb black puddings, wearing Chelsea, Liverpool, City shirts visited Gigg Lane now and again, maybe the town would still have a club.

I repeat, I am sorry to see the demise of this or any traditional club. I still miss Third Lanark!

Joe McMahon
21 Posted 29/08/2019 at 08:17:28
Steve @17, wonderfully written. I'm from Rossendale, I live approx 4 miles north of Ramsbottom and your are correct, it's all Lancashire, and Bury FC is without a doubt a Lancashire club. The demise of the town is replicated up and down the country, as many town centres struggle, even the banks are shutting down.

To use a Lancashire phrase my mother is a Bury Lass and she will be very saddened by this news.

John Keating
22 Posted 29/08/2019 at 08:20:03
Terrible news.

Great post Steve spot on. I seem to remember a few years ago at a Saturday home game, putting a few quid into a bucket a bunch of supporters were carrying for funds to help save their club. Seems they were at all games that weekend.

Club in question? Lincoln City! It can be done.

Ray Robinson
23 Posted 29/08/2019 at 09:31:21
Great response Steve! It really is about local identity although as I discovered on a recent trip to Bury, even that is under threat. A visit to Bury Market really is like stepping back into time with background announcements extolling the virtues of black puddings and delicious sausages. The older folk meet there for tea and fried breakfast and all talk like Peter Kay. Just a few yards away however is the new (half decent) shopping centre populated by all the usual national and international chains. Being at the end of the metro line, it really is just becoming an extension of the sprawling Manchester metropolis.

Old codgers like me bemoan the loss of local identity. The younger generation, like my son, don't see what all the fuss is about. Can we stop the march of time? Does tradition really matter? Of course it does but convincing future generations might be difficult!

Football is just following the path of every other walk of life. ubiquitous McDonalds, every town centre looking exactly the same but declining due largely to internet shopping, franchising of sports teams etc. It really is depressing. Just wait for the European super league!

Meanwhile, long live Bury FC!

Jim Hardin
24 Posted 29/08/2019 at 13:53:16
Steve F. #17,

Thank you for the quite fascinating and educational response. Also, thank you to all for not just telling me I am a Yank and therefore will never be able to understand.

I can understand regional identity for pro sports and also over here the effect on towns if high school football is cut. We wrongly sacrifice music, arts, and other programs to save high school football so towns can play on Friday nights and have something to paint on water towers.

I guess I would feel the same if the Steelers, Browns and/or Bengals all packed up and left to another region or folded and there was no professional football in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, given the history of our steel mill towns and their traditions and identity to our version of the professional game. I do remember the emotional loss to Cleveland and to the region when the original Browns moved to Baltimore. However, that was a situation of a mercenary owner getting a better deal from another city to move the club to make even more money rather than because of a lack of support and money.

Unfortunately, it seems that there will be more clubs to go the path of Bury if something does not radically change quickly. It would appear that somehow the disconnect with potential fans must be fixed, but how? Can the League actually do anything without falling back on funding through TV revenues, I wonder?

Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:18:47
Steve #17, I'll add my thanks for your post. Informative and much welcomed by the across-the-pond contingent who could never fully understand the geographic or historical elements to British footy. (Lancashire?)

Jim #24, you'll never see that "you're just a Yank" response on TW, at least not anymore. I used to get a bit of stick for it occasionally when I first logged on 13 years ago, but these days all you'll get is some gentle teasing. And a whole lot of affection.

I would point out, however, that your NFL comparison doesn't quite stack up. Naturally it would be unimaginable for the Bears, Steelers and Packers to play anywhere else, but lots of NFL franchises have hit the road over the years in search of profits, not just Modell's Browns. The Rams were actually the first franchise to bail out of Cleveland (the Browns were founded as their replacements) and wound up moving three times. So have the Cardinals. There have been more incarnations of the Colts (originally Dayton) than the Dalai Lama.

These English footy clubs aren't movable franchises. They are in most cases locally owned and sponsored entities with a deep connection to the town and its history, more like minor league baseball once was in the Class B and C days. Picture Bury FC as the Durham Bulls or Toledo Mud Hens (both founded in 1902) and you'll be closer to an accurate comparison.

James Welford
26 Posted 29/08/2019 at 16:21:54
Steve @ #17. That's one of the best posts I've ever read on TW. Thanks!
Eugene Ruane
27 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:09:55
In 1978 I started at Bolton College Of Art on a graphics degree course.

I lived there for the next 2-and-a-bit years.

At the time (I was just 18) I didn't have much experience of life or people outside Liverpool and although it was only 40 mins up the road (used to hitch it every 2 weeks) it was, for me back then, VERY different.

Smaller place, slower pace ('wools' etc blah) but I really got to love the place and still have a soft spot for the people (warm, genuine, friendly).

One bonus was there were lads in the college from all over Lancs (Blackburn, Preston, Burnley, Bury, Preston, Bolton obvs) and football, being something that'll always get conversation started, I was soon mates with just about all the lads who were supporters of one club or another - "Who do you follow like?"

After a while, lads would ask me "do you fancy comin' watchin' Raw-vurrrz?" (or whoever) and I'd always take up the offer (a lot of midweek night games - wonderful).

They'd take you to their homes, their mams would do you egg and chips then off to the game. A pint after, bus back to Bolton, perfect night as far as I was concerned (actually..still is).

There was also the novelty of watching football without the stress of giving a shite about the score (although I wanted my mate's teams to win)

I visited all those grounds many times and my memory is of lovely warm people who were genuine supporters who would never have DREAMED of following City/United/whoever instead of their local side.

These lads knew as much about their teams as I did about mine and I think I even called one lad Golden Gordon, such was his knowledge of Blackburn (Golden Gordon, Michael Palin, Ripping Yarns, 1979 Link )

I thought of all this when I heard of Bury's end and thought what it must be like for supporters to be told 'Your club? It doesn't exist anymore.'

Those who've allowed this to happen will almost certainly have no real idea of the pain they're responsible for.

It's an absolute and genuine fucking crime.

Ray Roche
28 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:17:51
Lovely post Eugene. I always enjoyed away days at Lancashire clubs. I was a poverty stricken apprentice and could only afford the northern or midland clubs for away matches but, as you say, the people were invariably warm and friendly. You have to feel for the fans right now.
Jay Harris
29 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:18:08
I will add to the compliments.

A very well though out and written post.

Unfortunately nothing stays the same, everything changes.

The only thing now is the speed of change which unfortunately is mostly due to the search for more money.

Principles and traditions have been sacrificed in the pursuit of greed.

In addition to that the world has become a much smaller place in that it is now much easier to travel long distances.

Every change brings with it good and bad.

Cars and planes have enabled much more mobility but have polluted the atmosphere.

Computers and new technology have enabled unheard of progress but have created an anathematized anti social population and a decline in retail stores and banks.

New housing developments have caused the breakup of long established communities where generations of families knew each other.

Likewise with football the wind of change has caused a major decline in grass roots football with only elitist academies catering to those who show a talent at an early age and forsaking the later developers.

As Steve rightly points out no longer will we get a Dixie Dean from Tranmere or a Neville Southall from Bury. It is far more likely they will come from somebodies academy or from a foreign league.

We have to embrace change but the nostalgia in us clings to those simple happy days.

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 29/08/2019 at 17:41:19
Jim 24

Adding to Mike Gaynes comment if you look at say Chicago, it has a lot of history and tradition which ties in with the sports. But 200 years ago it was a smaller place full of migrants from elsewhere. Many of these Bolton's, Burys etc were mentioned in the Domesday book from 1066. Many families trace their roots back in the area as far back as records exist. More so than London or Liverpool which always attracted immigrants. So the clubs, represent a local identity going back to the Norman invasion.

Peter Neilson
31 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:05:26
On a similar theme leaving the match last night there was a local dad and his mate explaining to their upset youngsters why they supported Lincoln. Their summary " because it meant something. Supporting Chelsea or Man City would mean nothing."
Ed Fitzgerald
32 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:06:55
Jay Harris

The governance of football is a joke that is the reason for the decline of grassroots football and the tragic expulsion of Bury from the EPL. Their fans must be gutted over a century over history and tradition has been wiped out because of a feckless, greedy owner.

The PL care only about the next broadcast deal, creating a global audience eager to see the elite (sic) clubs across Europe and placating the big 'six' PL clubs avaracious owners. They are so beholden and terrified of the big six breaking away or organising their own broadcasting they don't give a flying fuck about clubs outside the PL.

The FA and the FL can do little to address the alarming decline in grassroots football (e.g councils selling off playing fields etc) without the PL being expected to financially support them. The only way this will ever come to pass will for a government to pass legislation that ensures that football at all levels receives adequate support. That would require a government who would enforce a law that football has a single governing body. I recognise this is unlikely at this present moment but unless some action is taken an important part of the nations cultural life/heritage will be lost.

Over time I can see many clubs facing the same sad fate as Bury, to assume larger clubs (like Everton) are immune is wishful thinking. Incrementally many clubs under the current governance and business model of football will become increasingly vulnerable to extinction. Jay Harris states that we have to embrace change, I would retort that football clubs and fans have to help shape the change(s) that occur in our national game.

It is about time a political party took a genuine look at football and realised the urgent need for effective regulation to protect it.

Stan Schofield
33 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:06:56
It strikes me that the likes of Bury were never likely to be sustainable these days because of the availability of elite-level football to all and sundry. Youngsters can watch Man City or Real Madrid easier than they can watch Bury, without any effort, because of technology.

Years ago, if you lived in Bury then you'd likely watch Bury, because that was most accessible, certainly to working class folks who generally didn't possess cars. You could watch the top clubs like Utd and Everton on the TV as well, but that access to the top clubs wasn't what it is now.

Clubs like Bury are not 'cool' enough for kids when they have access to the elite teams. Bury is one example, and many others will likely follow. It's inevitable, just as inevitable as the demise of town centres because people have easy access to more 'elite' shopping access by virtue of having cars.

People tend to choose the best they can get for their money, and that has probably always been the case. The 'tragedy' of Bury is probably a tragedy only if you support Bury.

Peter Neilson
34 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:26:08
The problems at Bury and Bolton are down to parasitic owners with no long term interest in the clubs and terrible ongoing financial controls/auditing. The FA/EFL fit and proper person test is farcical and little more than a box ticking exercise and is followed up with no ongoing monitoring of clubs financial status. The FA/EFL need to be held to account and change. Personally I'd rather leave politicians and government intervention out of it, they have the ability to make any situation worse.
Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:36:39
When clubs go bust, and there will be a few more going that way, which Steve points points out, it is mostly the fans who suffer the heart ache, Portsmouth won the FA cup less than ten years ago, now they well down the leagues, a direct move in that direction with foolish ridiculous payments to managers, players and agents one of the main reasons clubs end this way, and they take and take and just move on to the next club when the money runs out.

It could have happened to Everton, Liverpool were only weeks away from going into liquidation a few short seasons ago, greed is the only reason clubs go bust and fans are the main people who put money in.

Eugene Ruane
36 Posted 29/08/2019 at 18:46:18
Stan - #33.

I could not disagree more.

You say..

"Clubs like Bury are not 'cool' enough for kids when they have access to the elite teams. "

Well the 4000 (last year) Bury supporters who regularly attended presumably thought them cool enough.

You add..

"People tend to choose the best they can get for their money, and that has probably always been the case. The 'tragedy' of Bury is probably a tragedy only if you support Bury."

Sorry, but re football, that theory doesn't (nb: and never has) hold/held water.

How can I be sure?

Because I watch Everton.

Each year I pay 500+ nicker for a season ticket to watch Everton.

And I've never thought for one second of (regularly) watching anyone else.

But do I believe Everton are 'the best I can get for the money'?

Well I'm fairly sure Liverpool, Utd and City are all similarly priced (ie: priced for supporters in north-west working-class cities) and if I was going purely on 'success' (ie: the best I can get for the money) surely, by your reasoning, I'd be supporting one of them.

But I don't - because it's absolutely NOT that simple.

It's emotional and complex and for genuine supporters, 'success' has very little to do with continued support.


Stan Schofield
37 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:10:02
Eugene, I agree it's all about emotions if you're a Bury supporter. I support Everton not through 'rational choice', but because my dad took me when I was 7, and I was hooked, and remain so. It's both a blessing and a curse in the case of Everton, but it's not a choice, it's 'in my blood'. If Everton ceased to exist, it would probably cause me to feel a bit down, and I'd no doubt have to tell myself it's only a game of football and there are more important things in life. I've done that a lot with Everton.

So I can sympathise with Bury supporters. However, so far as I can see the pull of elite football with, its easy accessibility with the technology we have, has made the 'traditional' following of clubs like Bury to be something of questionable sustainability. I'm not saying there's no support for Bury, there clearly is, including from youngsters. When I say Bury aren't cool enough for youngsters I should really have said they're not cool enough to prevent youngsters being attracted to the likes of Utd or Liverpool in a way that didn't and really couldn't happen 30 years ago.

The technology that enables you and me to have this conversation plays a major part in the plight of clubs like Bury.

Eddie Dunn
38 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:12:08
Surely there must be many supporters in the Lancashire towns, of some of the smaller clubs, who also go to watch City or Utd or even Everton or Liverpool.

Being from the Wirral, as a teenager, myself and a mate (a Red) would get the bus to watch Tranmere on a Friday night and one of us would go to the match over the water the next day.
We considered oursleves Evertonian and Liverpudlian supporters, but we still watched the local side and wanted them to do well (unless we drew them in the Cup).
I am sure that similar loyalties exsist in Lancashire.

The geography and history that Steve so eloquently describes has meant that so many clubs in the Northwest are so near the big cities. The likes of Lincoln (last night) are far enough away from Nottingham and Sheffield to prevent such divided loyalties.

Andy Crooks
39 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:12:51
It seems,from the news at least, that Bury have a backer but the expulsion must stand.. Football from the highest level down has for much of it's history been administered by quite a few self serving thieves who should have been behind bars.

FIFA have been criminally corrupt and it runs through the game. Whatever has gone wrong it us not the fault of the good folk in Bury for whom this must be devastating. There are, or must be, people who buy clubs for benevolent reasons. For a lot a lot I guess it is about ego. These are dark days in many ways and maybe the fate of a small club is neither here nor there.
That's not how I see it, to me apathy about small but meaningful things leads to acceptance of anything. And my God we accept anything. Just depressing.

Kieran Kinsella
40 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:21:08
I think the likes of Bury would have died a slow death because of the PL eventually but I think lack of league oversight has exacerbated it.

The fact a joker with 48 failed business ventures to his name can show up, pay one quid and go through no kind of vetting process whatever before "buying" a club is ridiculous. It is also ridiculous that Villa, Sheff Wed and Derby have sold their stadiums to stay within "FFP" guidelines for the next three seasons is equally ridiculous. How will they balance the books three years from now? You can only sell the crown jewels once. The owners are banking on being in and staying in the PL to balance the books. If they fail then they walk and the clubs go under. In the words of Bury FC owner Steve Dale.

"‘I never went to Bury. It's not a place I frequented,' Dale told 5 Live. ‘So for me to walk away from Bury and never go back is a very easy thing to do. ‘I don't do anything up there. I didn't even know there was a football team called Bury to be honest with you. ‘I'm not a football fan.'

David Pearl
41 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:33:44
Hi John 6, and Steve
Yes sorry I was referring to the go fund me age. Not that the money should be given over to the owner. If given the chance I'm sure a lot of locals would of been interested in investing in their local team and having a say in the running of the club. That's me probably over simplifying things... a lot. A dreamer with his head in the clouds got greedy.

Anyone remember that guy that supposedly purchased Utd and ran on the pitch juggling a ball?

Stan Schofield
42 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:36:35
Andy@39: I suspect football is rife with corruption, particularly at the top with the amount of money sloshing around. The cheating on the field is probably a reflection of it, and it puts me off the game. Of course, when you're a kid you neither know nor care about any of this, but as an adult it makes the game less attractive.

Regarding corruption and politics, there are bigger fish to fry than being too concerned about football clubs regardless of their size or status. And not being too fussed about the plight of a football club has nothing to do with a focus or concern about other issues outside of football.

Peter Neilson
43 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:39:52
The problems at Bolton and Bury have not been caused by declining gates. There are plenty of other relatively thriving teams with lowers crowds. Both clubs problems have been caused by criminal and inept owners. It's not any fans switching allegiance that's caused this.
Jay Wood

44 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:44:19
A very thoughtful and descriptive post, Steve Ferns. Well done.

As you describe, many century-old English clubs were/are central as to why the cities in which they reside are on the map at all.

Many were borne out of Church communities and financed by local industrialists to keep their workers entertained in their free time. There is even an Everton connection to Bury's nickname, the Shakers. It originated from 1892 when Bury played Everton in the Lancashire Cup final.

Their chairman-manager reportedly gave a team talk saying"We shall shake 'em! In fact, we are the Shakers!"

Our next League Cup opponents are called Sheffield Wednesday because, originally a cricket club that played mid-week games on a Wednesday, they formed a football team as a means to keep fit in the winter months and thus the name was born.

Like others in this thread, I always enjoyed visiting the grounds of different clubs, often to see non-Everton related games. The attendances may have been smaller. The facilities humbler. But the passion and loyalty of their followers could never be questioned.

In recent days I've seen some harsh things said about the supporters of the likes of Bury and Bolton, and their communities. Somehow making them culpable for their respective clubs' demise.

The greater failing for me is the governance of the game. The FA were ill-prepared for the advent of the PL and effectively lost control of the game's finances and the running of its own competitions. There was no longer an equitable distribution of wealth that the game generated.

The world's (previously) most emblematic KO competition, the FA Cup, has been progressively diluted from its original format to its current anaemic form to accommodate the fixture congestion of an elite few.

The criteria in judging who qualifies as fit to own and manage a professional club is clearly failing in its primary role.

Technological and social 'progress' has further undermined 'local loyalties' a small town inhabitant may previously have felt and gravitated towards for his home town club.

It is also naive to think the possibility of extinction is limited to the minnows such as Bury. Chelsea were very, very much on the brink before Abramovic stepped in to save them tumbling down the leagues. Man City were struggling to keep afloat barely a decade ago. Leeds almost went the same way.

Clubs have been getting away with poor governance for decades. Bury may be the joker that sees an entire house of cards come tumbling down, leading to a complete restructuring of the four divisions of the Football League as we know it, with more and more clubs reverting to semi-professional, rather than full-professional. A back to the future, if you will.

It seems inconceivable that a giant of a club such as Everton could go extinct. But when you look at the numbers of our income versus player salaries, the monies we must find to fund BMD, the likelihood that for Moshiri Everton represents an investment rather than preservation of a legacy that he will offload to any buyer should it not offer the returns he seeks, a cold icy finger runs down my spine.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 29/08/2019 at 19:58:30
Eugene #36 and Stan #33/#37, I think you disagree less than you might realize. Tradition and emotion are powerful drivers of fan support, certainly much more so than perceived economic value, but as Stan implies tradition is not immortal, and frequently it does not cross generational boundaries, particularly in a world that has changed so much so quickly. I've seen several TV stories from Bury (BBC) with interviews of devastated Bury fans. Without exception they were over 50 years old. No young footy fans. They were probably too busy watching Man United videos on their phones.

Money, power and economic reality are undoubtedly major forces endangering small traditional clubs like Bury, but technology-driven cultural changes are a huge factor as well.

Kieran #30, I was born and raised in Chicago, and 200 years ago it was a swamp occupied only by a few scattered tribes and a small band of soldiers at Fort Dearborn. But I agree with your point.

Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 29/08/2019 at 20:03:58

It is also greed and wages. I checked out some stats from the PFA and Deloitte. As recently as 2010, the average wage in the championship was reported to be 211,000 a year. As of this year, it is reported to be 1.3 million. Likewise, division 2 salary average has gone from 38,000 annually in 2010 to 78,000 in 2019.

Season ticket prices in the CL average around 400, and in division 2 around 300. So if you had 5,000 season ticket holders in league 2 (which is unrealistically high) you'd bring in 1.5 million a year. Divide that by a squad of 25 players and you are paying them 60,000 per year. That is 18,000 less per player than the reported average wage for that division. So just in wages you're running a deficit of around 450,000.

If you sold 25,000 average priced CL season tickets you'd bring in 10 million. If you have 25 players, you'd have a shortfall of 450,000 PER PLAYER just to cover the average wage.

Now granted, there are other income sources e.g. TV, prize money, sponsors. But there are also other expenses: ground maintenance, utilities, kit, travel costs, coaching staff, general club staff, permits, fees, taxes, etc Not to mention debt servicing costs which are substantial and would include lease payments made by say Derby to use their own stadium.

Brian Harrison
47 Posted 29/08/2019 at 20:28:17
I feel really sorry for Bury fans, and it was good to see Bolton look like they have now been saved from a similar fate. I just wonder if its sustainable to have 92 professional football clubs, I cant think of another country that has this many professional clubs. Maybe these clubs may have to become part time to survive, as there seem to be more and more lower league clubs in financial difficulty. The Premier league is where all the money is and although relegated clubs get parachute payments, many have players on 4 year deals and on top money. So these clubs despite parachute payments become likely to be in financial difficulty if they cant get back into the Premier within 2 years of being relegated.

But I think that even within the Premier league, its such a holy grail to be in that clubs are selling their grounds to help them survive in the Premier league. Plus the Sky 6 have talked about how they want more of the Sky cake than the other Premier league clubs. I suppose hard headed businessmen who run these clubs would argue why should the pot be shared equally, when its the big 6 who bring in the worldwide audiences to sell Sky Sport all over the world. There has also been discussions about a European league, so far nothing has come of these discussions. But I could see a time not far away when if the top 6 don't get the share from Sky that they want then a European league will be more appealing.

For those who say well let them go, but where they go the money would follow and what was left of the Premier league then would not be getting anywhere like the money they get now. Also the talk about a European league said that there would be no relegation for 10 years, so the chances of clubs outside the top 6 getting into this elite league would be nil. I do believe in the next 5 years even if there isn't a European league, the money from Sky will not be shared equally as it is now. When the Chairmen in 1992 sold their souls to set up the Premier league, it was the pre cursor of money being the over riding issue in football.

Stan Schofield
48 Posted 29/08/2019 at 20:31:09
Just to add a more positive point about all this, in relation to the success and support of current elite clubs (City, Utd, etc.) compared with the plight of small clubs like Bury. Just my own view:

I think we would all agree that supporting a club makes you part of a 'tribe' with a common identity. Traditionally, most Bury supporters would be from Bury, and there would be a strong local identity and sense of oneness and belonging to that 'tribe'.

It was similar with Everton, but with the added aspect that our success, say in the 60s, led to wider-spread support that went beyond the locality of Liverpool. In the modern era, this is even more so for the current elite clubs, and is driven largely by information technology. In this sense, success produces a bigger tribe. The current elite clubs have massive tribes with global extent.

This very forum of ToffeeWeb represents an Evertonian tribe of people (notwithstanding very heated arguments!) with a common thread, the love of Everton. The tribe is pretty much global, where I'm able to discuss Everton with an Evertonian in the USA or in Brazil.

This technology has brought people together. It's one of the good, possibly great, aspects of the technology. It can bring people together in a common cause, in this case Everton. As an Evertonian who was born in Liverpool, I've now communicated regularly and easily with, and learned much from, Evertonians who were born thousands of miles away. Something unimaginable not very long ago.

Surely this enlarging of tribes, of bringing people together, is a good thing?

Peter Neilson
49 Posted 29/08/2019 at 20:42:02
Kieran both clubs have been asset stripped with no governance from the FA/EFL. Any drop off in gates is a symptom not the cause and in neither case has it been the primary issue.
Don Alexander
50 Posted 29/08/2019 at 21:06:16
My sympathy is 100% to the Bury fans and zero to their, erm, "peculiar" owner and especially towards the EPL. The EPL had years to deal with the demise of Blackpool football club from Premier League to almost oblivion under the ownership, one way or another, of the Oyston family the EPL had deemed fit for office despite the input of their wealthiest member, a convicted rapist.

They were eventually castigated as a disgrace, or words to that effect, by a civil court judge who forced them to sell the club and fuck off (which was right up Owen Oyston's street after all of course). Anyway, Blackpool survived by its fingernails, just, whilst the EFL did zilch, promising though to re-examine their vetting-prospective-owner procedures.

Bury fans may wonder what they made of their current "peculiar" owner.

If you didn't know better you might just think football clubs think of their fans like a bulldog thinks of a cat.

Jay Harris
51 Posted 29/08/2019 at 21:44:28
I do not disagree on your sentiment at all.

By embracing change I am talking about managing it.

The costs of running a club these days is astronomical.

When I played clubs were allowed part time pro
's something I do not believe exists now.

I think many small clubs have owners who are fans and try their best to run the club effectively but clubs like Crewe whose philosophy was to develop players and sell them on are struggling in the new environment.

I don't have an answer but you would think the FA, PFA and the supporters associations would get their heads together to prevent this situation.

Andy Crooks
52 Posted 29/08/2019 at 21:50:48
Don, spot on.
Kevin Latham
53 Posted 29/08/2019 at 21:59:54
I'm probably being a bit simplistic here, but the game we all live changed irrevocably from the moment Sky weighed in in 1992. The money clubs generated went astronomical, and 2 of the consequences where that a) the players and agents wages and fees went the same way, and b) clubs went from being owned and run by usually local men to shysters who cared nothing about the game but were quick to see a huge earner. But of course, the clubs still need to be run with a bit of nous and, dare I say it, honesty. Bury is the latest example of someone seeing pound notes before their eyes without putting in some hard yards to earn a decent return, another recent example would be Blackpool under Oyston. The fans, who are the real people who put their hearts and souls into the club - and pay for the privilege- are treated with contempt by these people, adding insult to injury. I really feel for the Bury fans, real fans by the way who haven't gone over to City, United or the redshite. And I might also ask the question of how have the Sky billions improved the match day experience of genuine fans? Many of the stadiums are still years behind, and fans still pay extortionate prices to watch millionaires taking all of the money out of the game when many clubs could reduce prices drastically. Sure, playing standards might have improved but for anyone who has only seen the game in the Sky era, trust me when I say that it wasn't too shabby a game before, very often with players who had an emotional connection with their fans - and didn't kiss the badge. I can't think of too many great players who came here at the top of their game but I can think of quite a lot who came for a final payday. I know I may sound right out of Jurassic Park and may well be in the minority, but for all its slick presentation and millions I'm not convinced that Sky has been a great success for the industry of football in general. And thanks to people who think they can milk a club for all it's worth with no thought to the fans who really care, clubs like Bury go to the wall and take the community with them. Yes, clubs could and did go out of business before Sky but I'm not convinced that greed played as big a part as it does now. I hope Bury comes back soon, the fans just don't deserve what they've had to put up with.
Kieran Kinsella
54 Posted 29/08/2019 at 22:03:59
Stan 48

Fair point and I guess it applies to the world in general.

Stan Schofield
55 Posted 29/08/2019 at 22:24:02
Kevin@53: I would agree with you, but would also say that it's ordinary people who willingly pump money into Sky which props up that very system. A few years ago I encountered a posturing red who wanted Everton to support them in boycotting a certain rag. His attitude was self-righteous, and I said to him that I'd agree to boycotting said rag if his club agreed to boycott the entire media empire that owns that rag, the empire that owned Sky. He thought it a stupid idea, because of the money from Sky which his club depended upon. So he was posturing morally about a boycott whilst happy to accept money from the very organisation that was the root cause of the problem he was complaining about.

The current system, in which clubs like Bury get submerged, is supported by ordinary punters who lament the demise of such clubs.

Kevin Latham
56 Posted 29/08/2019 at 22:35:55
Stan (55) that's a very fair point you make, despite my rant I suppose we're all guilty of some double standards thanks to our love for this game and its tribal nature as you alluded to earlier. Of course, as we all know, LFC fans have double standards in their DNA!
Ed Fitzgerald
57 Posted 29/08/2019 at 23:13:31

Apologies - I must have misread the sentiment of your previous post which is highly possible as I have been on a daily heady cocktail of drugs of Gabapentin, Tramadol, Naproxen and Paracetamol for a month. This has its good moments but also causes some confusion!

I am firmly of the belief if we want some solutions to problems faced by Bury and Bolton we need new laws passing by government. Whatever the flaws of government intervention I have zero faith that self regulation by the private sector is reliable in protecting institutions (cultural or otherwise).

Raymond Fox
58 Posted 29/08/2019 at 23:54:51
Bury can still have a football team but it wont be in the Football League!

I don't know the ins and outs of the club so I can't criticise any aspect of it, Kieran mentions bad loans as one or the main cause of their plight.

In a free market economy, you have to balance the books or you go under, tough but it's the same for any business large or small.

Players' wages are the main drain on all clubs from the Premier League to semi professional clubs, they have reached crazy levels, the more ambitious the club the greater the risk of financial suicide.

Ben Howard
59 Posted 29/08/2019 at 00:01:27
Steve @17. That was a very eloquent post.

I think it's outrageous that the powers that be could oversee Bury and Bolton's demise. With the FA's deep pockets a bailout would be a simple thing to organise I'm sure. Hell, even Sky could do this as a gesture to show their acknowledgment of how they've indirectly caused these kind of problems.

The problem comes from the the precedent that would be set as a result - sail close to the wind and, if the worst happens, a knight in shining armour will appear and pick up the pieces.

I personally think they should be saved though and then more thorough regulation of business practices should be introduced to stop this from happening again. You might say that FFP is there to do this but, in reality, all it's done is cement the position of the top 6 clubs that spent money they didn't have to secure their position at the top table – Champions League money and the like – and then stop a plucky Everton from doing the same a few years later (bitter – too damn right!).

"Everton is diminished without the evil reds and vice versa. Loss of either club would rip this cities identity to shreds."

I'd be interested to know hypothetically whether Reds would bail us out and vice versa. I think we would actually.

Les Green
60 Posted 30/08/2019 at 09:06:55
Bury had superstar football links in the Neville family and Paul Scholes, and if they weren't prepared to help then why should I?

For Bolton, Fat Sam and Kevin Nolan must have taken millions out of them over the years so I bet they'd be happy to help if somebody asked them. I'm sure Sam could arrange something with a nod and a wink and a brown envelope

Alan J Thompson
61 Posted 30/08/2019 at 12:38:53
I really don't know the ins and outs of why Bury FC ended up in the financial situation that they did and there have been opinions expressed that the 3,000 season ticket holders could have thrown in a grand apiece to bail the club out and how a town may lose its identity with its football club.

Perhaps the answer for other such clubs is to be part of the local scene by encouraging local youngsters to attend training sessions. Build up a network of local junior sides starting at say 10 year olds upto 14 with local leagues and then a higher grade, let's call them District teams, to play other districts. It not only gives you the chance to may be pick up some talent but gives you an identity within your community.

Kieran (#30); Liverpool was made up of a series of villages and some of these are/were mentioned in the Doomsday Book and further. As an example there was a Stone Age encampment at Woolton (Ulleton, I believe, in the Norman book of possesions) which from an article on ToffeeWeb may have been known as Wultha's Lair.

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 30/08/2019 at 20:51:58
Funny because I remember when Everton started over-spending on average players and I had a picture in my head of Eugene, looking just like the man in the link he's just shown! His scarf was blue and white of course but his mantra was that it's not our money, so why should we care?

Great post Steve, I was thinking about this on holiday after talking to a Bolton fan, and I was asking him was moving away from Bolton, the start of there slow demise, obviously because I think it's something that would have happened to my own club, if Kenwright had gotten his way, and Everton would have ended up in Kirkby, even though our saviour said he was glad when KEIOC, saved the day?

Agree that life moves on, but not always for the better though, and after reading what Steve says, (through one eye) then the future doesn't look to clever, for loads of lower league teams.

I think the EPL clubs could help a lot more, but it's the greed of the beast, which kills most things in the end, so maybe this is just the beginning of the end for loads of these lower league clubs, which is so sad when you realise what an average player earns each season right now.

Martin Mason
63 Posted 30/08/2019 at 21:04:33
But Bolton and Bury aren't in the EPL so why should the EPL, its clubs or players help even though they have the money to? The problem is the EFL's? Surely, if there is no financial case for these clubs to survive then they should fail?
Ray Robinson
64 Posted 31/08/2019 at 11:02:47
Martin - depends on why they failed though doesn't it? If it's because of greedy or corrupt owners which the EFL have wrongly deemed to be "fit and proper", then why should the fans suffer? If a company goes bust and you've paid over a 𧴜 on a credit card, you're entitled to your money back.
Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 31/08/2019 at 12:55:20
Martin @63, you talk in cold hard facts, and this is why I'm sure no help will be fore-coming from the richest football league on the planet.

The football family won't come into it, but my own thoughts were that on any 3 given weekends of the Premier League fixtures, every home club could donate 㾶 off every ticket price, and put it in a pool to help these lower league clubs.

What's 400,000 X 㾶? Around ٢ Million X 3 times a season = 㾸 Million. It won't happen, because life is about looking after yourself until you need help off others of course, which won't happen whilst the television companies are giving so much money to the big league, and the new phrase in English, seems to be that “It is what it is”.

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