Bury, Bolton, the remarkably durable English game


I have heard a lot of nonsense as to why Bury are this morning expelled from the Football League and Bolton Wanderers are two weeks away from a similar fate.  There are not ‘too many teams’, in fact, attendances across all levels of the game in England are at historical highs and compare favourably to those in mainland Europe.  More choice has led to more attendees.

Inadequate ‘fit and proper tests’ are not to blame either.  None of those responsible for the plight of these two clubs had red flags in their backgrounds.  The suggestion that supporter representation on the board would have inhibited clubs spending their way into trouble is perhaps the most laughable suggestion.  Can you imagine a fans’ rep. at a board meeting saying, “Hang on, we can’t sign him, that’s going to push our wage levels to unsustainable levels”?

Football clubs are remarkably durable.  Most of the senior club formed in the 19th century are still in business.  The failure rate is incredibly low comparable to any industry.

The grass roots game, which Bury is a part of, is healthier in England than in anywhere in the world.  Bury over-spent, securitised their stadium and had multi-year commitments they could no longer service.  They failed because they are the worst crop in the field.

Bolton were a fixture in the Premier League when the late Phil Gartside was in charge, but the loss of revenue from that source following relegation is like nothing else in world sport.  I’m amazed we see so few failures of this nature, but by any reasonable expectation, failures like Bury and Bolton should be more common than they are.

There are those in the game who think ‘the model’ of English football is broken.  I have been reading the tea leaves of English football finances for decades.  The model looked broken before Financial Fair Play brought a correction to the market, but we will need to see a lot more Bolton and Burys fall down before that theory stands up.


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  1. NL clearly stated weeks ago that no one would be in until other went out.. .. he has been true tio his word on that! (apart from FF loan, a position we are not desperate for) still no full backs no cover/replacement fro SB or CF as cover for OE

  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    I wasn`t specifically referring to you or to all those who have little or no confidence in Lenny , P.L. and / or the Board.



    That`s your right and their`s. And mine to disagree.



    When I hear Lenny referred to as P.L`s puppet , I feel the need to respond.


    That`s all.

  3. onenightinlisbon on




    No worries pal. Just wanted to make my own position clear.

  4. I know the transfer windae is aboooot to slam shut………..BUT,



    “The Glazier” brothers…………







  5. traditionalist88 on




    Someone posted it in the comments page of his page yesterday and within 24 hours he seems to have it confirmed?



    Credibility at an all time low probably and has gone for two biggies with that and the McKenna, Cosgrove, Meling £10m spend.



    At least his regular readers will know within a few days if they are better off reading something else!




  6. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Bauer – seems experienced – regular first team starter until he submerged in the mad quagmire that is the EPL / Championship.



    No idea whether he is any good – signed with option to buy I think.






  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    I appreciate that .



    Now , lets get these huns at the weekend.



  8. so we’ve signed a new defensive recruit – and to my knowledge ( which is limited) his name hasn’t been mentioned in the press before????

  9. Delaneys Dunky on




    Know anything about this Austrian right back we just signed on loan from Stoke?


    Never heard of him.

  10. Go tell the Spartim on

    Rubin Kazan fans thought he was decent 2 years ago. As a wee test lets see if we can give him a run of games before we condemn him in the bin first? Any takers…………………………………

  11. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    HENRIK1967 on 28TH AUGUST 2019 1:47 PM



    Shocking absolutely Shocking – I have never understood how they are not made to explain stuff like this,


    completely autonomous, accountable to no one.

  12. One simple question,



    Was he the best available player within the resources we have available for that position?

  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    BIG WAVY on 28TH AUGUST 2019 2:36 PM



    Adamantly determined to be hissed off.


    No matter the circumstances.



    Do they get any joy whatsoever from supporting Celtic ?

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