Tag Archives: Steve Dale

Owner’s AWOL, Staff Unpaid & Bury FC Are Seemingly Going Forgotten

Much of the football news from this part of the country towards the end of last season focused on the plight of Bolton Wanderers and their seemingly unending fight to remain in existence.

Much was made of the need to keep the club from disappearing due to its rich history. However, just down the road, an equally important battle was being fought out at Bury FC whose history dates back 134 years and have equal claims to be considered as vital to the Football League pyramid.

With Bolton heading for administration and life in League One, supporters around the country have organised food collections for staff who haven’t been paid and are experiencing acute hardship.

Whilst this is to be applauded obviously, it appears to have overshadowed the similar position Bury staff find themselves in. It is possible that Bury’s automatic promotion from League Two has somehow been misinterpreted as evidence that the club are doing well, and that their future is bright and secured – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Bury still face an uncertain future, while owner Steve Dale goes AWOL and leaves the staff to fend for themselves in this crucial and uncertain time. At the insolvency hearing in the High Court, Judge Prentis acknowledged the fact that Bury was a ‘historic’ club and adjourned the case till June 19th.

That is still four weeks away and although it gives the club some breathing space in which to bring in last-minute potential buyers, the unpaid staff still have bills of their own and are often the forgotten party in situations like this.

There is no real reason why Bolton should be considered to be in a worse situation than Bury, and there are surely fans from other clubs who would gladly help out if needed.

The problem, of course, is the lack of publicity smaller clubs get and although both Bolton and Bury will be hopefully competing against each other next season. It will always be ‘ex-Premier League’ Bolton who make the headlines despite Bury holding the record for the highest FA Cup final score for 116 years.

It should be remembered that although Bury are not as well supported as the two Manchester clubs, visitors to Gigg Lane and the town, spend money that benefits the local community and that is a vital source of income for local businesses.

I what should be an exciting preseason full of hope and preparation for life in England’s third tier, Bury are left between a rock and a hard place. Many of the playing staff are starting to vent their anger socially, after holding their tongue for too long.

There’s a sense at Bury that many people at the top end are in it for themselves, they forget that long after they have gone the fans remain, the community remains and hopefully the club remains.

This is a lower league club, a small town club, that is not there to line the pockets of crooked owners. Real life, local people are being affected by the flippant decisions made at the top. It brings stress and much more for many who have not been paid for three months, this has to stop now and the EFL have to take ownership of their dealings with potential owners.

Bury Football Club needs your help, get in touch and let’s get these amazing people who are going without pay, the aid they need.

Bury Live To Fight Another Day With Interest Growing in The Shakers

A winding-up petition for Bury has been adjourned as one of three possible buyers look set to lead the club heading into League One.

The League Two runners up were given time for owner Steve Dale to find his successor, and clear up the current debt. Owner Dale has been given till the 19th June to find a new custodian.

On a positive note, up to three potential buyers are said to be interested in buying the club, although no agreement has been reached as the Shakers returned to court following on from the previous adjournment last month.

Dale said there was ‘potential interest’ in taking over his role as chairman, with the door wide open for new investment. Bury are said to be an ‘attractive proposition’ after the clubs most recent promotion.

However, as any fan of an EFL club will know, nobody is out of the woods just yet. This has been a lucky day for the Shakers, after being given vital time with regards to finding new ownership.

Sporting director Lee Dykes was removed from his job last week with the aims to limit outgoings.  HMRC is owed £277,640.77 in unpaid tax, though they are confident this money will be paid back.

After Bolton Wanderers were placed into administration and a 12 point penalty for the start of next season in League One, this is, therefore, a fairly positive outcome.

Yet all this will be for nothing unless a change of ownership takes place and one of the potential investments proves to be a success. North Ferriby of the Non-League fell to existence only this year, even though they only owed debts of £8,000.

Bury clearly owe far more than this, but the priority has to be finding a new owner; the third in less than 12 months. The future of manager Lowe and several first-team players will be up in the air for as long as the background politics goes on.

Anyone who has an interest with Bury will wait for the conclusion of this financial drama with great interest. Still, the long term future of the 134-year team is still very much up in the air.

Lowe and Bury Caught in Two Minds as Administration Looms

Bury will be returning to League One this summer, kicking off a brand new season in August. But before even the fixtures can be announced, a trip back to court looms for the club.

As the dust settles on this year’s promotion back to the third tier, the realisation a potential history defining date on May 15th could well decide Bury’s future.

Until financial issues can be dealt with, planning for next season has to be put on hold. Despite a second place finish in League Two, it seems Bury are unable to make any steps forward as far as strengthening the squad is concerned.

Ryan Lowe and his players have not been paid for two months and while owner Steve Dale has the club up for sale, no potential buyer has come to the forefront yet.

Lowe urged Dale to ‘find a solution’ when discussing the off the pitch drama at the club. As far as his immediate future is concerned, the former striker said he and his players would not be going anywhere soon, yet would need assurances that all club staff, from manager to cleaner, would have a regular wage coming in.

When discussing the off the pitch troubles, Lowe said.

“We’ve done our bit. Now it’s time for the club to find a solution. The club needs an investor or a new owner. It’s up for sale and I hope it’s resolved very soon because I’ve got players effectively out of contract as of yesterday. 

They want to know where they stand, and so do I. Because we’ve all gone a couple of months without pay and we’ve all got to look after our families. 

I ain’t in no rush to leave and nor is anybody else. As long as the finances get resolved, I’m happy. But there’s a deadline on everything isn’t there? And there’ll come a point where all of us – myself, my staff, the players – become available’.

Many clubs will look to the work achieved by the former striker, realising that in the past year the EFL saw the emergence of a top manager. Only days after the 2018/19 season drew to a close, Plymouth Argyle was a club reported having shown an interest in him.

Danny Mayor is now out of contract and Nicky Maynard is a free agent. These are two players of many who could look elsewhere in their careers if they are to lose faith in the Bury board.

For now, fans will hope and pray Dale finds his successor. Wednesday’s big court day could well decide everything. Long AND short term.

Steve Dale Puts Bury Up For Sale as Bailiffs Tried To Take The Goalposts

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.

Bury Fans Hoping For Promotion Party 2.0 at Prenton Park

Four years ago, Tom Soares goal earned Bury a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, ensuring a top three promotion spot and that The Shakers would play their 2015/16 football in League One. On a rather substantial budget, David Flitcroft’s team won promotion, finishing the season third on 85 points.

Sadly this would be ex-manager Flitcroft and ex-chairman Day’s one and only promotion with the club. 18 months later the now Mansfield boss was sacked from the helm at Gigg Lane whilst Day would flee the club the same year the club were relegated back down to League Two, 2018.

Now on Saturday an all new Bury side will aim to repeat what was achieved on the final day of the 2014/15 season, or at least take them near enough to the finish line. Although the squad has seen a fair few turnovers, the strong contingent of fans remains the same and a sell out visiting end will travel to Merseyside with plenty of optimism ahead of Bury’s final away game of the season.

A win would near enough send Bury back up to League One. This has become a must not lose game for Lowe’s side as any more slip ups could leave them faced in a potential five team final day promotion battle.

Tranmere are certainly not the side there were back in 2015. Then already relegated to the Non-League, now Micky Mellon’s side sit four points off the automatic promotion spots, five behind Bury after 44 games. Within their ranks is none other than James Norwood, league Two’s top goalscorer with 27 goals and player of the season, pipping Danny Mayor and Jay O’Shea to the award.

Mellon will believe his side are more than a match for Bury. Having gone without a win in three away games on the road, putting a dent into The Shaker’s promotion coffin is by no means impossible.

However, the never die attitude of Bury FC is something Rovers will find hard to match. Visiting fans may well see another post match 5pm huddle, something we’ve seen a fair few times in recent weeks.

81 points should be enough for promotion, due to MK Dons and Mansfield going up against each other next Saturday.  In the event of a ‘promotion party’ which will probably include a pitch invasion in the Port Vale game, this would mean a fond farewell to the fourth division, but on the flip side, a goodbye to the majority of first team players and maybe even manager due to problems completely out of their hands.

But that article can wait. First let’s see if this present team can collect six points can from their final two games.

Bury Must Find a Way to Get Past This in-Form Newport Team

After a spirited second half performance over Colchester last Saturday bringing home a much-needed three points for Ryan Lowe’s side, Bury will need something similar on Good Friday against Newport.

Dom Telford helped resurrect the Shakers promotion hopes, but it will all be for nothing if they suffer a Good Friday defeat in Wales.

Having only lost three times at home in the league this season, whilst reaching the FA Cup fifth round in the process, there has been plenty of positives for Michael Flynn and co, particularly over the past five weeks.

Unbeaten for over a month, spanning five league games, this could be a so-called banana skin for Bury as they hunt down promotion.

The good thing for the Shakers is that they lead the race for the teams looking to steal promotion. The bad news is they can barely afford to lose even one match. From second to fifth- the table looks like this.

Bury 74,

Mansfield 73,

MK Dons 72,

Tranmere 71.

Bury’s last away game is at Tranmere too.

Last Saturday’s win was just what the club needed, following on from the financial drama which still hangs over the club. Ryan Lowe got his players to stand together in a huddle at full time whilst regularly clapped the fans for their support as they sung,’Oh Ryan Lowe’ throughout the game.

However, he, his players and staff are still to be paid as this is written, how long the peace and harmony can be kept up is anyone’s guess. The club will return to court on May 15th with a hefty 200K debt hanging over them. A ‘Just giving page’ has been set up on Twitter to get the staff paid.

Again the hope for all Bury fans is the players can pull thought this fiasco. Lowe has already said that the players will play onto the end of the season without pay if worst comes to worse.

Fans will hope Steve Dale can sought out these ongoing issues, for the fans part, a modest 3,900 crowd last weekend may not have been the dream number they may have wanted either.

That said for the team to throw away promotion would be a great disappointment, although Newport will do their worst. The Exiles return to form sees them only five points off the playoffs and are one of only three top half teams to have not lost any of their past five games.

For Bury however, the race for promotion goes on, with or without pay. How long the players stay unboard with the chairman however remains to be seen.

Let’s pack out Gigg Lane in a must win game for Bury against Colchester

Having managed to avoid administration or liquidation in Court on Wednesday, Bury can finally focus on what goes on between the white lines, rather than what happens in the boardroom.

For now anyway, the winding up petition has been adjourned until the 15th May when the club are back in court. This will allow time for the players, coaching staff and fans to concentrate solely on promotion back to League One.

Before moving onto the financial trauma at Gigg Lane, Ryan Lowe and his players will need three points to get their promotion push back on track. Following on from a hat trick of defeats against Swindon, Cambridge and Carlisle, Saturday’s game against Colchester could prove to be the catalyst for a new charge at the top three.

Sitting only one point off Mansfield and MK Dons in second and third place, hope is not all lost for Bury in the promotion race but to lose again against John McGreal’s side could prove just too costly.

No Bury fan wants to see their side fall further behind in the promotion race, nor see the club go bust, meaning support this weekend is bigger than ever. With the announcement the club need to pay back just over £277,000 of unpaid tax to the HMRC by the end of the season, gate numbers will be pivotal in order to keep the club afloat.

With only three home games left before the end go the season, The Shakers don’t exactly have time on their side in order to claw back the debt they owe through match day revenue anyway.

Saturday’s game will see long serving home fans ditch their season tickets and pay the normal ticketing price, one only a ground hopper would pay if ever they attended this League Two fixture.

Incomings at Bury are more important than ever, so too is limiting the outgoings the club has in order to avoid liquidation.

In his latest club statement, Chairman Steve Dale stated that the running of the club will need significant reform if they are to survive in the long term.

‘There will need to be major changes in the Club to sustain its existence, it can no longer act like a premiership club as the previous owners aspired to and it needs to be cutting its cloth accordingly to guarantee its future as this is paramount to Fans and Community, some actions needed will be bitter pills to take and some people will disagree but our course of action is impartial I’m here to save a Club not pander to certain individuals, the Club comes first.

‘There are many issues within the Club that need addressing, take it from me what you see is not what you get, it serves certain people who do not have the interest of the club to heart only their own personal agenda but spin clouds this, time will show who these people are’.

BuryFlyer

Ryan Lowe Defiant Despite Dark Clouds Over Bury

Somewhere today all those associated with the of Bury FC will know the clubs future destiny, short and long term.

At 10.30am the Shakers are up in Court where the long term future of the club looks set to be decided. Now a week on from the social media breakout which painted the club in bleak light, highlighting staff within the club hadn’t been paid for March, directors not present at Tuesday night’s game against Cambridge and the club statement announcing  ‘prehistorical debt’ was affecting the club in worser ways than anyone could have imagined, on and off the pitch the wheels seem to be coming off.

On Saturday the management staff and players will somehow look to halt the slide of three consecutive defeats, as they take on promotion chasing Colchester United.

Yet there are fears the club might not even survive till the weekend, especially if Bury are to be wound up in court or Chairman Steve Dale fails to deal with the debt which hangs over the club as they face a history defining day.

However, despite this worrying time for Bury, manager Ryan Lowe still believes the players can rise above the off-field drama.

Speaking to TalkSport at the EFL Awards on Sunday night-where midfielder Jay O’Shea was named in the League Two team of the year, Lowe seemed in good spirits and only had eyes for promotion, for now anyway.

‘Every team has bumps in the road on the way to success and we are going through ours now’.

I get that the lads not being paid is an issue and I hope that gets resolved very soon, what we need to do is unite together as a club.

On the current wage problems – ‘I honestly don’t know(when the players and staff are to be paid), I haven’t had any confirmation from the directors nor the owner in all honesty’.

‘Its affecting the players 100%, not being paid. We hadn’t conceded 9 goals in three games all season, now we have done (against Swindon 1-3, Cambridge 0-3 and Carlisle 3-2).

‘I am trying to make sure there is positivity but it’s certainly affecting the lads.

On the players striking, something seen done recently at rivals Bolton Wanderers – ‘We are never going to do that, for all the fans and those who are also associated with us. We’ve scored 96 goals and been one of the best teams in the league this season’.

The lads have been fantastic, I think we really deserve to go up. I’ll  discuss my future at the end of the season with the owners. I want to see these lads, staff and fans over the line’.

Bury Need to Put Off-The-Field Troubles to One Side With One Final Promotion Push

In some way shape or form Ryan Lowe and his side really need to put this weeks drama aside. How they do this is another matter, due to the fact they haven’t been paid for March and that issue is still to be resolved at the time this article is being written.

What can be agreed on though is the commitment all players and coaches of the club. March was not the first time wages hadn’t been paid to the staff of the club, this just showing how troubling the off the field troubles have been so far this season.

Steve Dale said when he bought the club a significant amount of financial damage had to be resolved, and fans and all those associated with the club are only just realising the trouble left pre-December takeover.

In a statement released by Steve Dale last night, he announced that the financial rumours were indeed true, but he and the board were doing all they can to ensure the club survives the latest fiasco that is upon Gigg Lane.

‘I can confirm that there is some element of truth in the circulating information relating to the club’s financial affairs. Due to a number of unforeseen issues, the financial position of the club is significantly worse than what was discovered during our due diligence process prior to the acquisition’.

‘The full extent of the problems inherited from the previous ownership of the club have become apparent over time, and this has undoubtedly led to our current difficulties’.

It’s very difficult to believe that Bury are still 3rd in League Two, and on the pitch still so many questions are yet to be answered. The Shakers are on 71 points and despite back to back home defeats, hold off Mansfield by two points in the race for promotion, with eight of the top nine having played 40 games.

Fans will no doubt have worried greatly about the future of Bury, with thoughts turning from promotion to whether they will have a club to watch next season. At Carlisle today, the away end will be full with Bury fans hoping to cheer on their side for a valuable three points.

Ryan Lowe and his staff have agreed to play on till the end of the season, even if they aren’t to be paid. In a more positive part of Dale’s statement, he announced he, nor his colleagues, would be letting the club fall into the abyss.

To address some of the gossip pertaining to my own position, I can assure you that this remains the same as it has been from day one. On the pitch, I have always been clear that I can add nothing; from that perspective, the club is in the highly capable hands of our Sporting Director, our Manager, and the players.

We’re currently sat third in the league, and so I consider them to be doing their jobs extremely effectively. If in any given week the team loses a bit of form, showing them support and enthusiasm will help them rise to the occasion, as they have so many times before.’

‘The full extent of the problems inherited from the previous ownership of the club have become apparent over time, and this has undoubtedly led to our current difficulties. It is certainly a testing time, but we can overcome it. We will overcome it.’

Bury join Bolton in being on the brink of administration, Salford back in form and Rochdale appoint Brian Barry-Murphy

This is the EFL and Below Show, your weekly look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester which doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined in the studio by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave, where Bolton and Bury’s financial turmoil is a big talking point.

The lads also chat Salford’s chances of National League promotion and Brian Barry-Murphy’s appointment as new Rochdale manager as they look to stave off relegation.

Catch the latest episode here >> https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-buryjoinboltoninbeingonthebrinkofadministration-salfordbackinformandrochdaleappointbrianbarry-murphy

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