Author Archives: Aaron Benson

A rundown of the contenders for the vacant Bury job

After Ryan Lowe decided to leave Bury for Plymouth Argyle last week, a variety of names have been swirling around for who might succeed him as manager.

Whoever does replace fans favourite Lowe will have a tough challenge on their hands. With the club back in court on the 19th June, the latest man to take over the managerial reigns could be one in administration, with that being a fairly positive outcome as well.

So which employed or unemployed coach will put pen to paper on a contract leaving them in charge of the League One side?

Keith Hill

A recent fans poll saw that 68% of fans would like to see the former Rochdale manager lead the club out of their biggest financial crisis to date. Having taken close rivals Dale to promotion twice, in 2010 and 2014, on a low budget. Many believe he would be the man to consolidate the Shakers position in England’s third tier.

What’s more, Hill is ‘not afraid’ to try his hand at taking on the challenge that is Bury FC. His most recent season at Rochdale would suggest a look in a different direction with regards to management, however. He was sacked in March at Spotland with the club on the verge of relegation. Their best form occurred when he left.

Ryan Kidd

Arguably the one the fans would want to see take over from Lowe. Head of the academy, Kidd will know just what pain fans, staff and players will have gone through over the past few months as the Shakers went for promotion.

One of previous chairman Stewart Day’s best decisions was to make Lowe permanent manager, after the previous relegation from League One. A decision of this type wouldn’t be far out of place in the current climate. Will any other coach know how bad the financial situation at Bury compared to Kidd?

David Flitcroft

A former manager at Gigg Lane, the Flitcroft era was as dramatic as they come. On a big budget, he guided Bury to promotion in his first full season in charge four years ago.

But truth be told he was never a big hit with the fans, and the majority were glad to see the back of him after a horrific run of results in League One.

Since leaving Greater Manchester, a season at Mansfield ended in failure. After spending a large part of last season in the automatic promotion places, the Stags fell short missing out on promotion with the playoffs. One of the leading candidates with bookmakers but surely a long shot for the full-time manager slot again.

What Is The Best Move For Man City’s Leroy Sane

For many months of last season, Leroy Sane cut a lonely figure in a City side that completed English football’s first ever domestic treble.

Benched for most of the run-in despite key goals in games against Man United and Liverpool, the form shown by Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan meant the German was nowhere near to be seen in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven.

All this came after being named the young player in England’s top league in 2017/18. Playing in a front three with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling where the blues recorded 100 points, it came to a point where the 23-year-old seemed to be a certain winner for the Ballon D’or in the coming years.

This season we did see Sane show his quality, yet only in small doses. Games in the Champions League against Hoffenheim and Schalke was where Sane put in performances of his peak ability.

Whether it was a lack of effort or trouble behind the scenes, it seemed there was always a question mark over his performances. This due to his effort most likely, because finding a reason to fault his natural ability is so hard.

16 goals scored in all competitions and 18 assists, what was really keeping the German out of the side is anyone’s guess, or maybe, there are just better in-form players than Sane.

With a £90 million pound transfer fee hanging on his head and Bayern Munich rumoured to be on the lookout, the number 19 is at a potential crossroads with regards to his career. Does he stay and fight for a place with no attacking midfielder likely to come in this summer, or take the hasty move and walk out and return to his native country.

If he can’t guarantee first-team action, Leroy Sane is far too good to be warming up seats on the Etihad bench. With Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling in the form of their lives, Sane cutting his ties may be the best move for all parties.

‘I’d Have Him Here Tomorrow’ 68% of Bury fans Want Keith Hill as The Next Manager

A recent twitter poll showed 68% of Bury fans would take former Rochdale boss Keith Hill as manager next season.

Although this may sound a hellish thought for Bury fans, somewhere in the upcoming plans the club will have to plan for life without Ryan Lowe.

Should there be a club after the 19th June, the successor to Lowe will take over the role in dealing with a threadbare squad and possible points deduction, not to mention one trying to get over two hopeless owners.

An early contender to fill the Gigg Lane hot seat is former Rochdale manager Keith Hill. A surprise too perhaps to see the Dale favourite as a candidate, yet it seems Shakers fans wouldn’t seem to mind Hill in the home dugout next season.

Many fans left their views on Twitter. The took a look at the opinions which favoured the football league stalwart.

Why Joao Cancelo would be a perfect fit for Man City

With defenders of Manchester City enduring a painful night on international duty in the Nations League, fans of the Premier League champions will not begrudge the potential addition to an already expensively assembled back four.

The man on everyone’s lips is Joao Cancelo of Juventus, who as a right back will challenge Kyle Walker for a regular starting role.

The England International has been at the centre point of City and England’s success over the past two years. From a nearly man at Tottenham with regards to winning trophies, Walker has become a permanent figure in the eyes of both Pep Guardiola and Gareth Southgate.

Yet despite his success with trophies, there is no denying Walker has let his standards slip since last summers World Cup. Perhaps due to fatigue, however extra competition down the right flank won’t do him any harm.

With Brazilian Danilo expected to leave East Manchester this summer, therefore a new replacement would be needed and quickly. It’s well known the Premier League champions are after a midfield replacement for Fernandinho, yet the deal for Atletico’s Rodri has gone quiet over the past few weeks.

Priced at 50 million Euros according to the Manchester Evening News, he’s rated by football manager at 158/200 according to his current ability, although he’s a potential of 170/200, with stats based from acceleration, crossing and pace.

Although his form lacked consistency in the latter part of the season, there’s no reason to suggest he can’t improve. Even at 25, he isn’t exactly a young player, but City would be taking a player on who is nearing his peak level.

Challenging for a particular position never going amiss in football and City is no different. This is no doubt going to an exciting story to follow.

Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt steps in to help save Bury FC

Andy Holt is known as one of football’s finest owners within the football league. Accrington Stanley are punching well above their weight in League One and show no chance of letting up any time soon.

The fine work at Stanley leaves the onlooker with a lot to admire. Whilst a club only up the road look like they could go forever with Holt at the helm, Bury may not last three weeks more and could still be liquidated.

In just a matter of days the club captain, manager, assistant and director Matt McCarthy have all left the club, it looks as though the summer from hell is only just beginning.

Whilst forever Bury continue to drum up plenty of fan support and much-needed finance, the Accrington owner had his say on the Shaker’s financial crisis.

After speaking with Bury North MP James Frith, he looks set to take up an advisory role with the club. He will join existing structures within where somehow an experienced board of advisors will help the club stay afloat.

Speaking on Twitter yesterday afternoon he addressed the grave situation of the cash-strapped club.

While outlining that Dale was ‘doing an administrators job’ and was ‘trying to get rid of overheads’, he did outline communication running through the club needed to be far better, especially when dealing with staff. He also claimed Dale needed to have done ‘a detailed plan and an early settlement’ with staff, as he would have done.

What was clear in Holt’s message was for clear, communication between staff needs to be better. Alongside board members from JD Sports and former executive of Burnley, Frith with fans support hopes that come August Bury, as we know it will still live on.

There is no denying the mountain of debt Bury are in is worrying and still, no owner has been found to take over as custodian. Forever Bury are doing their very best with more members daily so fans can keep their fingers crossed.

Between now and the 19th June, Dale needs to report accurately just exactly what is going on with regards to the staff coming and going. While administration looks a possibility, something that looks a certainty is having a youth team setup and manager.

At least with Andy Holt on the board, there appears to be better business nous on the side. Bury have been missing that for a while.

Why It’s Imperative Bury FC Fans Sign Up To Forever Bury

Nearly a week on from the Bury supporter summit where supporters group Forever Bury announced they were going to fight till the lights go out to keep their beloved football club afloat, the re-vamped supporters club is really starting to take shape.

300 fans turned up to join Dave Giffard and his team as they look to keep their local team alive for future generations.

Bury FC was founded in the 1800s, although financial issues over the past few years had led to the club on verge of liquidation.

Productive work across social media had lead to the supporter’s group seeing more fans sign up over the past few days. A week ago only 700 members were apart of Forever Bury in a 9,000 nationwide fan base. That figure has risen considerably over the past seven days.

There have been more than 400 new signups since last Saturday at Gigg Lane alone, with a total of £68,000 raised. With a mission to buy the club in the near future and to see the club find themselves back into safe hands, only fan support can save the Shakers from liquidation. It really is that simple.

With work by Dean Hamer alongside Giffard, there is now renewed hope that the League One club will run for years to come. Hamer set up a ‘Go Fund Me’ page yesterday, raising £465 at the time of writing with a target of £500,000.

It hasn’t been the easiest time for clubs in Greater Manchester recently. Only a short drive from Gigg Lane stands Bolton Wanderers, long-standing rivals yet fans with a shared goal of keeping their respective clubs in business.

The likes of Blackpool, Macclesfield, Charlton and Coventry also have also had a fair few problems with ownership this season. A growing trend which overshadows the competitiveness that the EFL is spanning three divisions.

Despite only 10 miles from Manchester City and Manchester United, the League Two runners up are worlds apart from this long-standing football league club.

Yet better than non-existent, a point no fan wants to admit but knows the prospect is possible. Only by following Forever Bury can fans hope to keep their club in safe hands.

You can sign up to Forever Bury below using this link

Danny Mayor’s Comments Speak Volumes Regarding The Future of Bury

‘Tell us what is happening’ were the latest comments said to Bury chairman Steve Dale regarding the club’s future and wages for all of the club staff.

The author of those comments was Danny Mayor, who alongside fellow critic of Dale Nicky Adams, speaks volumes for the worries held within the dressing room.

Mayor was at the heart of Bury’s success last season but is yet to sign a new contract keeping him at Gigg Lane. Having spent six years with the Shakers, Mayor has seen everything from promotion to relegation.

Despite dipping in and out of form at times, the number 10 was on top form notching up many goals and assists helping his side to promotion, including the decisive goal at Tranmere in the final week of the season.

Yet he may have played his last game due to the grave uncertainty regarding the future of the club. Speaking to the Bury Times, Mayor spoke out against the chairman and the issues surrounding wages.

“I’m the same as the other lads, I don’t really know what’s going on,” said Mayor.

We’ve not been told anything about whether the club’s going to be sold or not.

We’re kind of in limbo, really.

We saw the statement but we’ve heard a lot of things before and it’s not come to fruition so we have to take it with a pinch of salt.”

Mayor has been linked with several clubs including Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday over recent weeks. There were even reports about a move to near neighbours Salford City as they began their transfer window with the signing of Richie Towell.

However, despite numerous transfer talks, the midfielder seems happy working with Ryan Lowe as are so many of his colleagues. Up to 70% of players want to stay working with their manager this upcoming season.

Despite the positive comments regarding their future which will certainly please fans, no fans would argue with a mass exodus should Steve Dale fail to pay wages or his successor as club chairman.

A nightmare worry could still become a damming reality if a new owner is not in place by June 20th, the day of the new fixture release.

“It’s tough for everyone. I’d love to say everything’s going to work out and I’ll stay at Bury but I can’t sign anything when it’s not been offered.

I can’t keep waiting around to see what they say, hoping the club gets bought. A lot of lads are in the same situation.

They’re out of contract and they’ve got families, and they’ve got to do what’s best for them.”

Why Bury’s Danny Mayor Pips Jay O’Shea to The PFA Player of Season Award

Danny Mayor and Jay O’Shea can’t keep out of the headlines when it comes to the end of season awards, leading the nominations for the fans player of the season.

Although Tranmere Rovers James Norwood may be tough to beat when it comes to taking home the prize, the midfield duo will both run the eventual winner very close.

Or on the other hand, of course, one of Mayor or O’Shea does take the award home. It would be hard to find a reason why either player shouldn’t take the prize, especially due to their individual presence in Ryan Lowe’s team.

Scoring the most important goal of Bury’s season arguably, the equaliser at Tranmere to secure the Shaker’s promotion, 2018/19 was the year we saw Mayor back at his best.

Whereas O’Shea may have just had the best season of his career, the number 10’s performances were a true reflection of his ability. Known to be shy off the pitch, his real trouble has been the level of consistency shown week in, week out.

Many critics and pundits will say he was the best player of League Two. Not knocking O’Shea of course, his run of goals between October and February came in Bury’s best run of form, particularly the period at the turn of the year when the eventual runners up went on a long unbeaten run stretching to the end of March.

The 30-year-old suddenly found where the net was working with Lowe, maybe he found his true form with former midfielder Steven Schumacher part of the backroom staff.

Part of a midfield duo in front of firstly Neil Danns then Jordan Rossiter, the work of the loanee from Rangers helped both Mayor and O’Shea find even more ways to create chances.

Mayor was suspended for games including Cambridge, Carlisle and Colchester as news of Bury’s financial troubles came to light. On the pitch, he was missed more than ever. Winning one of the three games the creative spark was flickering but certainly lacking in brightness.

O’Shea would have been less of a miss than Mayor. The latter can cover both roles, the former less so. Not because O’Shea isn’t a good player, he is, just less of one than Mayor.

Cast your vote here >>>

Fans Turn Up United to Help Save Bury FC

There are few occasions in this world where a back street social club can save a football club, however, the Victoria Community and Youth Centre in Whitefield may have just bucked the trend.

Despite chairman of Bury FC Steve Dale being a no show once again, club director Matt McCarthy took to the microphone to answer questions Shakers fans have been dying to answer for weeks.

On an early spring night against Cambridge United, rumours began to fly around regarding just how bad the money situation was concerning the League Two runners up.

Now two months since the drama surfaced, over 250 fans came together alongside the board of directors to help save one of England’s oldest football clubs.

The aim of the night was to ‘be united’ and end the deep divide between any Bury fan or club official who has taken aim at how the Shakers have been run.

By the end of the night, board member McCarthy was receiving warm applause from all sections of the room. There you can work out how well the night had gone.

The situation regarding Bury is still a mess, so to speak. Staff are yet to be paid, players can follow Scott Burgess out of the club at any given time. Ryan Lowe can leave the club for Plymouth or potentially Tranmere Rovers if he wants to at any moment.

Yet the beauty of having an ex-player as a manager means, Lowe will do no such thing. Fans were told Lowe and the majority of players would stand by the club. The training pitch at Carrington may have to go to save costs. All being well, however, if Bury are to be sold and bought again, the manager and his staff want to be training at Lower Gigg as soon as possible.

Right now though Steve Dale is the chairman and until any changes are made as far as he is concerned, Bury Football Club still remain in trouble. Attendees were asked not to shout or hurl abuse at Dale anymore. This Saturday a protest will be held outside the ground at 1 pm.

The good news regarding a sale is potential investors still remain. One of whom is Forever Bury where Dave Giffard has launched a potential takeover bid, but he said his expected claim will be turned down.

The good news is, far too many people in the area don’t want to see Bury go into liquidation. Everybody, however, wants Dale to sell up and never to think about them again.

McCarthy will hold talks with the EFL today with regards to the clubs future. As we all know, however, this turmoil cannot last forever.

With the 2019/20 fixtures due to be released on June 20th, the chances of another court adjournment are impractical. Nobody who loves football wants to see a club founded in the 1800’s go bust.

Sadly far too many custodians of 21st century football have threatened for clubs to fall beneath the waistline. On a positive note, far too many won’t let that happen, as a meeting on a warm May night in Whitefield proved.

Statements, Rumours and Protests – A Pre-Season of Hell For Bury

The decision taken by Scott Burgess to leave Bury could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The 21-year-old’s decision to take a step down the footballing ladder from League One to Two would usually offend a normal club on the back of promotion, but with regards to Bury, nothing is normal at present.

Fans of the club staged a protest outside the house of Steve Dale on Bank Holiday Monday. Still the club is for sale, still, club staff are yet to be paid.

The reaction to the joint player statement was met with national sympathy last week. It seems the financial drama surrounding chaos has reached a new audience in the past few days.

Nevertheless what is needed more than ever is a successor to Dale and fast. If not, the lack of activity regarding the boardroom changeover will lead to the breakup of this squad, full of attacking talent and a manager who has taken to management like a duck to water.

Although Burgess may not have been key to promotion, his decision to walk away may be backed by his fellow colleagues in the coming weeks. With the court date of the 19th June looming ever nearer, how the club can prepare for pre-season is anyone’s guess.

Although a pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers has been pencilled in for 24th July, whether that game will even take place looks doubtful.

After another confusing statement by Dale opening his letter with ‘Without Prejudice’, he looked to have passed on the baton of blame to his predecessor Stewart Day.

While neither men cover themselves in glory and are both responsible for the mess Bury find themselves in, the need for a new and improved custodian is the minimum fans deserve.

On May 27th, staff were told not to come into work until ‘further notice’.

Forget pre-season or any glamorous fixtures against Rangers or Liverpool, it looks as though there might not even be a club as things stand.

The clock is ticking. Nobody can predict what will happen next.

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