Bury fans protest at Gigg Lane earlier this week Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire
KARL Robinson has urged the football world to learn lessons as Bury’s 134-year history is put on the line.
Unless there is a last-minute solution found before today’s deadline, the Shakers will be expelled from the EFL.
It would leave Sky Bet League One with just 23 teams, a truly sorry sight.
The crisis has mounted throughout the summer, but owner Steve Dale has been unable to either satisfy the authorities the club can be funded adequately or agree a sale.
And like many of his counterparts across the division, Robinson is dismayed.
“You’re dealing with human beings – stewards, secretaries, cleaners, groundsman, players, coaches, physios,” he said.
“It’s their job and somebody has disrespected them.
“Those teams are the heartbeat of their community.
“It’s sad, but while that’s terrible we all have to learn.
“Many teams have found themselves in this situation.
“It’s not right and it certainly has to change. We wish Bury well.
“We just hope someone comes along and gets them out of it.
“From our point of view it would reduce the number of teams relegated from four to three, but that’s not what we wanted.
“We want to play, but equally it’s having an impact on fixtures. That can’t be right.”
While Bury are the most extreme case, football clubs making big losses and becoming reliant on owners is a recipe for trouble and an increasingly common situation.
United themselves were plagued with problems last season, incurring multiple winding-up petitions and the staff’s March wages were paid late.
Finding a solution is not straightforward. Much of the focus is on toughening up the EFL’s fit and proper persons test for owners.
Robinson thinks forcing clubs to pay a bond up front for their running costs is worth investigating.
That approach does get more complex the higher up the pyramid clubs get, but it would have solved United’s problems last season – which were blamed on moving money into the UK from overseas.
The U’s boss said: “You could put in six months’ money so if there are difficult days players and staff would at least have guaranteed money.
“At the highest level people could go a long time without being paid and it wouldn’t put a dent in some of their livelihoods, but the further you go down the pyramid it’s not like that.”
There are also big problems at Bolton Wanderers, who called off their match in midweek before manager Phil Parkinson resigned.
Long-running financial problems mean only a handful of senior players have been available, prompting welfare concerns for the young players who had been promoted into the side.
Robinson believes it is unbalancing the competition.
He said: “It doesn’t sit right with me.
“We’re having to slog ourselves across Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday.
“I had three or four players last season who (due to injuries in the squad) put themselves in a very dangerous situation with injuries.
“There was no sympathy for us. It’s not fair.”