League One side Bury have been expelled from the English Football League.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 27, 2019
Written by Neil Dawson
While I don’t like the Premier League wealth, it isn’t responsible for the demise of Bury. Nobody would have paid the TV money they paid to watch us play Manchester City to watch us play Bury back in the day. It’s that tv money and the huge interest it has generated with flagship billionaire owners that gives Sanchez £400k a week and nothing else. While it is madness it is completely unrelated.
All these people phoning in radio shows saying Pogba should give a weeks wages etc is good populist stuff but should Lewis Hamilton give some of his ridiculous money to a formula 3 driver struggling to make it, Federer give cash to a struggling county player? Does anybody ever suggest those things?
I have some sympathy with clubs that get into the Premier League have to pay the wages to compete and then get relegated but even then the parachute payments protect. Bury have nearly always remained in the same two leagues a situation we know so well.
The fault lies with the non-regulation, both of the owners and of the annual accounts. Steve Dale is the personification of idiotdom but the club was £7m in debt when he bought it for a quid. He didn’t ruin Bury…. unless you are in Poundland things are a quid for a very good reason. So while he should have had a fit and proper test there wasn’t a queue of others because nobody wants a loss-making entity already 7m in debt.
That is the problem. Why did they get to that debt? Paying too high wages for their 2000 odd gates and making transfers they couldn’t afford to stay competitive. Unchecked. All the non-league clubs that turned professional have not gone bust. They started with the budget they could afford and waited until good coaching either pulled them up through the leagues or didn’t. Others like Fleetwood or Salford were vanity projects funded. Doing away with them by putting wage caps in is probably a step too far for the league. What they should do though is sign off expenditure and get deposits from owners to cover an extra year at this expenditure level. They would then be able to take the clubs back in house where things go wrong and run them for a season before franchising them again with fans accepting that they might see a whole host of cheaper players coming in.
It will take another couple of Burys before anything gets looked at though. This hasn’t happened since 1992 so it’s hardly an epidemic. Bolton would be more seismic. What a shame.
…I am sure that many of the Premier League club’s owners would struggle to convince that they are ‘good and proper’ owners of clubs…the potential for alleged money laundering and tax-avoiding must be monumental in some instances…however The Premier League doyens wouldn’t ever be able to really challenge them financially in terms of court cases etc….I am not saying that the Premier League is the cause of clubs going bust, but since its formation, the spread of football wealth is somewhat a reason for that outside of it to struggle for money…IF we hadn’t got promoted to it then who knows where we might have ended up and where we might end up when we get relegated from it…
Neil Dawson responded…
The premier league didn’t take money off people though. There was a very small tv deal that got spread more equitably with the lower two leagues still getting next to nothing. People were only interested in watching the best teams and players. Just like I watch Spanish football on TV but I wouldn’t watch third-tier Spanish football. What was capitalised on was that and that league grew its share to be shown more often.
The lower leagues didn’t become worse off. They just didn’t become better off. At the time I understood it as a third-tier fan. The money also drips down in transfer money. We have paid football league clubs the best part of £50m for Brooks/Billing/Kelly and Stacey. They will send that money down the chain for replacements in some cases. That money wasn’t sloshing around when we nearly went bust else we would have received money for Elliott etc that might have saved us.
It’s a good thing. The only faults here are that Bury were not regulated and spent well beyond their means. They were then allowed, unsuitable owners. The football league should be franchising clubs on a strict basis or we allow the lottery to carry on unregulated. It’s got nothing to do with the Premier League tv money. A lot of little clubs would have gone without this. – Join the conversation, click here.