Bury chairman Steve Dale has announced he has put the League Two up for sale to new prospective buyers. The club back in court on May 15, having had a previous hearing on April 10 adjourned at the Insolvency and Companies Court.
In a statement released on Thursday, Dale announced he was only a temporary custodian of the club. He announced since his arrival last November, temporary plans had been put in place to ensure the clubs long term future, but admitted in a lengthy statement on the clubs website, decisions taken had been ‘worse than imagined’.
Dale said, ‘I have outlined in my previous statements the difficult environment we bought into in late November, which has been well documented. Even though I was advised by my advisors not to proceed, I decided I could help, given the information we had was true.
Whilst not ideal, we took it on. This football club was in serious trouble, and this turned out to be far in excess of what we could have comprehended. I can confidently say that had the takeover not gone ahead when it did, Bury Football Club would have been no more’.
It’s fair to say the club has been living on thin ice now for long time. Club memorabilia and goalposts were among the items debt collectors tried to take, trying to prevent Ryan Lowe’s team from playing their home games.
Moreover, Dale goes to further state that he and his company are the reasons the club is still afloat today, for without him, Bury FC would have gone bust.
Citing massive outgoings on player wage bills and staffing levels equivalent to that of a championship club. Ghosts of the Stewart Day era look set to haunt the future of the club and as the statement suggests, work done over the past few weeks by Dale could ensure the League Two clubs survival, with the hope a new custodian take the role.
The Statement continues with,’Let’s be clear here; there would have been no Bury FC had we not took it on. Was it 100 times worse than we thought? Yes, it was. I can’t expand on this, as it would prejudice our case in law. We have daily battles to keep the Club alive, but one thing is clear the Club needs to understand what it is. It’s a Club with c4,500 regular fans; it has staffing levels akin to a Championship Club. We need c£1.6m to pay wages, HMRC, pensions (not creditors) to the end of May, and we have a projected income of c£180k for this period’.
Life at Bury has been more than eventual where issues off the pitch have been as a big a talking point as events on it where the team itself is doing rather well, second in League Two.
In the final part of his message, the soon to be outgoing chairman credited work done on the football side of the club and, said there was interest from potential investors in buying the club.
‘Furthermore, over the last few days, I have received some expressions of interest. Given this, I would like to openly invite offers to me directly, to take over ownership of the Club.
Consideration will be given to prospective buyers who are able to commit the necessary time, money and full, undivided attention that’s needed to build upon the progress we’ve made which is considerable, and secure the future of this great Club for many years to come’.
The final line could be in doubt, for the time being at least. Whoever takes over from Dale has by no means an easy job.