Bury to follow Hereford blueprint?

Following their demise, it looks increasingly likely that Bury FC will have to reform. But will they follow the path Hereford have set out over the last 5 years?

The Daily Mail journalist Martin Samuel insists the north-west club are “not a special case” and as such should quickly begin rebuilding within the pyramid system from non-league.

Samuel writes: Quite rightly, 70 of 71 Football League clubs voted not to treat Bury differently by readmitting them to the competition next season. Previously, clubs that have gone into liquidation and reformed have returned further down football’s pyramid, as seems fair.

Many have rebuilt on a sounder financial footing and are again close to where they started. There is, however, an unhealthy sense of entitlement around Bury.

It is argued they have history — as if those who folded before them did not — and should resume in League Two next season, preferred to a better-run club, denied promotion from the National League. Local politicians are on their side with one, Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South, threatening to take the EFL to court.

Yet, where was Lewis, or Andy Burnham, mayor of Manchester, when Hereford United went under?

If anything, Hereford’s FA Cup exploits as a Southern League club defeating Newcastle in 1972 are more readily recalled than Bury winning it in 1900 and 1903.

And Chester City — founded in 1885, incidentally, the same year as Bury — produced one of British football’s greatest goalscorers, Ian Rush.

The fact is, none of this mattered when these clubs could not afford to exist. To treat Bury as a special case in effect endorses the methods that brought them here.

It says that poor ownership does not matter, reckless over-spending does not matter, that as long as you have been in the club long enough, we’ll see you right. ‘Bury deserved more respect from the football family,’ bemoaned Burnham.

No, the football family deserved more respect from Bury. They are not special, everybody is. That’s why everybody gets treated the same.

Martin Samuel
The Daily Mail

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