Saw Bury FC's financial crisis coming: Bhaichung Bhutia
Things turned ugly for Bury as despite winning promotion to the third tier last season, it was handed a 12-point deduction after struggling to clear some of their debts
Kolkata: Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia is not "very surprised" at his one-time club Bury FC being expelled from the country's football league EFL, following its failure to resolve financial woes or find a new buyer. Bury, one of English football's oldest clubs, is where Bhutia played from 1999-2002, donning the club colours 37 times and scoring three goals.
"It's very sad and unfortunate. They have been having financial issues for quite some time. I am not very surprised by this development. I saw this coming," Bhutia told IANS over phone. "Lot of the clubs in England are having financial issues. It's very unfortunate that Bury FC has been taken out of the league," said the iconic footballer from Sikkim.
Besides Bury, fellow third-tier side Bolton Wanderers are also in acute financial crisis forcing the EFL to give them 14 days to resolve their situation or face the same outcome. Bhutia said during his time with Bury, there was financial instability also as they could not replace full time manager Neil Warnock, who brought him on board, with a new manager and asked a senior player to step in and fill the void.
"When I was there, there was financial problem. After Neil Warnock left, we had a player-cum-coach as manager due to financial problems. A senior player was tasked to manage the side," Bhutia said. "Payment issues were not there. But they could not get in new players. They had to sell some good players for the club to sustain," he added.
According to a BBC report, a takeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed after the club was given a deadline till Tuesday evening to complete the deal. "The EFL Board had maintained that there could be no further suspensions to the fixture list and that these ongoing concerns and the integrity of the competition were a significant factor in the decision."
Bury are the first team to drop out of the EFL since Maidstone's liquidation in 1992. It was expelled after spending 125 years in the football league. It failed to be in the top flight of English football since 1929 but were in the second tier as recently as 1999. Things turned ugly for Bury as despite winning promotion to the third tier last season, it was handed a 12-point deduction after struggling to clear some of their debts.
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