August 23 – Leading figures from Britain’s centrist Liberal Democrat party have called on regional giants Manchester City and Manchester United to chip in to a fund to help save Bury, the third-tier club whose existence appears in serious jeopardy in wake of passage of a Company Voluntary Arrangement last month.
The politicians are urging establishment of a “Greater Manchester Football Fighting Fund” with contributions from “each of the region’s professional clubs”.
While the proposal envisages that other struggling regional clubs would in theory be able to access the fund, no indication is given either of its desired size or the scale of the contributions that would be asked for.
Bury – founded in 1885 – have so far not fulfilled a single League One fixture this season and have been docked twelve points.
In their statement, Lib Dem MEPs Jane Brophy and Chris Davies, and Councillor Andy Kelly said they were calling for “radical action”.
They added: “The lack of financial support Bury FC has received from the football community demonstrates that now is the time for political parties to step forward and find a solution to their problems. Lib Dems are therefore calling for the immediate creation of a means-tested ‘Greater Manchester Football Fighting Fund’, which each of the region’s professional clubs will contribute towards. This will help preserve the historic footballing institutions that our city has become so famous for and ensure staff can rest assured that their jobs are no longer hanging in limbo.”
The politicians also called on owner Steve Dale to sell the club “at the earliest possible opportunity”.
Though perennial minnows in recent decades, Bury were once among the strongest teams in England, with a best top-tier finish of fourth in 1925-26 and two FA Cup wins. The club shares with Manchester City the distinction of registering the biggest-ever Cup final victory – 6-0 over Derby County in 1903.
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