Bury’s demise is grim proof that small-town Britain is being left behind | David Conn

26 August 2019 03:26
When I was growing up, Gigg Lane glowed with local glamour. Now the club’s plight may be prophetic for a neglected regionThe threatened expulsion of small town Bury from the English Football League – which could happen if the owner, Steve Dale, does not conclude a sale of the club by 5pm on Tuesday – has been a touch more emotional for me than many of the football traumas I have investigated as a journalist over the past 20 years. I grew up in north Manchester, five miles down the road, and went to school in Bury. Twice a day I used to pass the club’s Gigg Lane ground and wonder at it from the top of the 35 bus: a proper football home, bedded in with all its history behind a pleasing line of trees.In these crisis-stricken months for Bury, a club founded in 1885, many people have rightly pointed with bewilderment to English football’s violent inequalities; to Manchester City and United 10 miles away, owned by overseas billionaires, making multimillionaires of their players and managers. Supporters have despaired at the gaping holes in football’s governance, its painfully limited “fit and proper persons test” for owners, so long campaigned for but that still fails to protect beloved clubs from needless ruination.Since the coalition government formed in 2010, Bury council has suffered cuts of £85m, 61% of its annual budget Related: Bury’s fate is a parable for the state of modern football | Anthony Clavane Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian