Heartbreaking to watch Bury league expulsion
Bury’s demise and late last night, expulsion from the EFL, was both painful and deeply upsetting to watch. For any football fan who respects the wider panoramic of what it really means to support a team beyond that of being sat in front of the television cheering on multi-millionaires wearing a stupid half and half scarf, will all be hurting this morning. Those desperate Bury fans will feel total helplessness and anger.
All football fans should feel angry, particularly those of smaller community clubs that become projects or playthings for the rich, or often not really rich at all. Those egos that within a quick fire few months can mismanage the running of a business to complete disaster, and seemingly not give a toss.
The list of owners, which include Charlton, that are allowed to dismantle decades of history at these football clubs is becoming longer and longer. From Manchester United to Macclesfield. Clubs like Manchester United pay players not fit to lace Bobby Charlton’s boots hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, yet pay club staff less than the minimum wage. Other owners, like Mayfair-based hedge fund Sisu have effectively made Coventry homeless. Blackpool were asset stripped. Bolton Wanderers, who teeter on the brink, haven’t paid any member of staff for 5 months.
And all the while the suits at the EFL standby and watch and throw matches on small flames as they wave on errant owners who somehow pass the laughable fit and proper tests. I watched Debbie Jevans on television look a little shell-shocked as she oversees under her administration the first football club league expulsion since Maidstone in 1992. She said that every board member had given up time to find a solution for Bury, there’s a been a load of meetings, and then told fans to write in with any grievances. Write in?
With Manchester United and Manchester City a few miles away down the road it is both disgraceful and unforgivable that it has come to this for Bury. For the town, and the generations of loyal supporters.
How do you move on from losing your football club? It is a painful thought. In March 1984 Charlton were minutes from going into liquidation. Well before the wider use of the internet and obviously social media I met a mate at London Bridge station at 5pm, the deadline set by the Football League. I had spoken to him throughout the day and it looked like our fears were going to be realized. Those conversations of what to do with yourself on a Saturday afternoon, who to support next, if at all anyone, were so painful to even consider.
We bought an Evening Standard and a tiny stop press corner of the back page screamed in small red print that we’d been saved as Sunley had put together a rescue package. Me and my mate hugged with tears in our eyes.
That’s how much it means to football fans. Maidstone can be an example of this, of how supporters when they are together, organized and determined are bigger than anyone individual, who somehow with no fault of our own, gets to hold the keys to decades and centuries of history. People like football club murderer Steve Dale.
Fight on Shakers, we football fans are with you every inch of the way back.
CA, ironically, that March, 1984 Saturday match with Grimsby Town, after the eleventh hour bail-out on the Friday evening, was my very first live viewing of Charlton Athletic. I was chaperoning my son’s school “soccer” team visit to Kent and our coach, who had grown up near Shooter’s Hill, suggested we take in his old club’s match, should they actually play it. So we did and so began my following of Charlton Athletic. I clearly recall the great atmosphere, amongst a fairly small crowd (6000?) in the soon to be vacated rickety old Valley, as they celebrated the continuance of the club they loved.
That was a great game. I’ve found a clip:
Brilliant CA! Thanks for that. I would like to say it just seems like yesterday, but the 12 year olds (including my son) that we were chaperoning are all now in their late 40’s with kids of their own!! 🙂
Any remaining Addicks amongst them?
It was only the two coaches and two chaperones who attended the match, as the kids were spending time with their respective hosts on that particular day, so no, other than the one teacher/coach who was born there and myself, no lasting Charlton supporters. My son periodically asks how Charlton is doing, but deep down, he’s a Liverpool supporter!