If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 months or so, life at Bolton Wanderers has been an emotional rollercoaster, and that’s an understatement. Despite the atrocities surrounding our near death experience, against all the odds, we survived.
Our newly made friends at Bury however, weren’t so lucky.
Today, as you read this, is what would’ve marked and signalled a huge celebration, recognising both club’s survival whereby fans would’ve come together to, quite frankly, stick two fingers up to the EFL, oh how I wished we could’ve.
In ways, our survival is hollow when you consider an almost criminal act that was Bury’s expulsion from the league. As relieved and content with life as Wanderers fans may be, there’ll always be a part of me that wishes Bury could’ve pulled through and it hurts whenever you consider what it must be like no longer having your team to go and watch on a Saturday, through no fault of your own.
Today especially, when our meeting was scheduled, makes it all the more difficult to comprehend and reason with as to why Bury’s decline was allowed to reach the point that it did which now leaves fans with a hole in a significant part of their lives which their club fulfilled.
It genuinely feels as if a member of the family has died, a member of the football family. To put it slightly more lightly, as if there’s a friend missing from around the table in the pub. There’s a prominent gap, not only in the fixture calendar, but in the community which the EFL seem to think would be quickly forgotten and overlooked, they’d be wrong.
Whilst there’s a case of fraud being investigated by local police, there should too be an investigation into Steve Dale too given his role in all this, you have to think there’s some grounds upon which he can be prosecuted. As do I feel it’s necessary for there to be more than a simple review of the EFL fit & proper test, I’m talking a while new governing body, because I strongly believe it’s a PR move just so that they’re seen to be looking to improve, when in reality, nothing will change.
Until these rules/tests/laws are changed and preferably, undertook by a different organisation, I presume Bury will not be the only ones to fall victim to the EFL’s ignorant ways.
Whilst I strongly believe a reprieve for Bury should be considered in the form of a return at league 2 level, what precedent does it set to be seen to be overturning an expulsion?
The point being they never should’ve been expelled, knowing that there was grounds for re-consideration and it was likely that this wouldn’t just go away or wasn’t just going to be swept under the carpet as they’d anticipated. The fact they’re considering overturning, what was an incorrect decision, just because the fans have stood up for their club, shows no authority, an inability to stick to their own rulebook and most prominently, an embarrassing lack of professionalism in the way they have handled the whole scandal which they find themselves at the centre of.
Anyway, enough about those clowns, this is about Bury, Bury who deserved better and perhaps even should’ve been shown some compassion by ourselves to some degree today specifically, yet are instead struggling to make themselves heard, despite the backing of a local MP, are still without a clear picture of whether or not the club will continue or cease to exist.
I feel sincerely for our neighbours in all this given how similar this could’ve been for ourselves and how easily we could’ve found ourselves subject and victim to similar box ticking ignorance.
I therefore ask that whilst you peacefully, and perhaps to an extent frustratingly, enjoy your Sunday without the football to watch for another week, spare a thought for Bury. They don’t know if they’ll even have the football to watch ever again.
I hope the EFL are happy with themselves by the way, I really hope it enabled them to retain and regain some competition integrity in kicking them out and then re-considering it...
You don’t need me to tell you who’s responsible or why this has happened and why this game isn’t happening, we all know why and who it’s courtesy of.
Questions have been asked, little to none answered, co-incidence? I think not.
FA - sort it out
Bury - all the best