It would be too easy to join the queue of people offering their condolences to Bury fans following their expulsion from the EFL this week. Instead, what is needed is a plan for the future, not just for Bury FC but for all the clubs who might find themselves in the same situation.
There was almost an inevitability to Bury’s expulsion from the league and Bolton’s extension of their extension. I don’t wish to suggest that Bolton were in a less perilous state than Bury, but if both clubs had been treated the same by the EFL and Bury had been allowed to play their fixtures. The situation might have panned out differently.
The people at the EFL meeting that took place after the 5pm deadline, must surely have been aware of the enormity of expelling Bolton Wanderers from the league given their rich history and long membership of English football.
That does not mean that losing Bury might soon be forgotten. However, there is a danger that the impact on the game may be less, given that the club will always be looked upon as a minor side who spent most of their time in the lower divisions.
Bury’s due diligence
It is possible that the EFL may want to see the back of this episode quickly and sweep the whole debacle under the carpet. Therefore, if there is one thing Bury fans can do, it is to keep the club in the limelight and demand an inquiry into how Steve Dale was allowed to pass a test of due diligence.
Consequently, it is imperative that Bury fans dust themselves off and plan for the future as soon as possible, no matter how difficult that might seem at present. There is a great deal of vitriol aimed at Dale on social media but that needs to be abandoned. The Poundland tycoon with his scant regard for the local community and the livelihoods of his employees, cannot harm the people of Bury any more. Forget him and hope that his long-overdue date in the dock is just around the corner.
Other clubs have started from scratch again and prospered – there is no reason why Bury can’t. Football has long been called The People’s Game. It’s time we took it back.