‘You should never have taken over because you’ve literally destroyed lives’: Bury captain Neil Danns slams owner Steve Dale as it is confirmed club won’t take part in FA Cup after expulsion from the Football League
- It has been confirmed Bury will be unable to feature in the FA Cup this season
- The 134-year-old club was kicked out of the Football League on Tuesday night
- Captain Neil Danns has unloaded on controversial owner Steve Dale
- Danns said Dale ‘has literally destroyed lives’ and should take a look at himself
Bury captain Neil Danns has publicly slammed owner Steve Dale after the club’s expulsion from the Football League, accusing the business of ‘literally destroying lives.’
Dale took control of the club in December 2018 after paying just £1, but ran the 134-year-old institution into the ground after a series of unpaid bills and poor management.
Now, following their official ejection from the English Football League, captain Danns has not held back with his opinions on Dale’s actions.
Bury captain Neil Danns has publicly slammed owner Steve Dale after the club’s EFL expulsion
Owner Steve Dale did not sell the club in time for the EFL deadline to be met
‘I would say look what you’ve done,’ said Danns when asked during an on-air interview with Talksport what his message would be for Dale.
‘This should never have happened. If you thought you could not move this club forward in a positive way you should never have taken over because you’ve literally destroyed lives, because that’s what this football club meant to so many fans.’
The latest developments come as the FA confirmed, via a statement, that Bury would be unable to compete in the FA Cup this season following the revoking of their Football League status.
FA STATEMENT ON BURY FC
‘This is without doubt a sad day for Bury FC, their supporters and the local community. We appreciate how hard this decision has been for all parties involved.
Following on from their expulsion from the English Football League, Bury FC will no longer be able to participate in the Emirates FA Cup for the 2019/20 season. We are therefore now consulting with our stakeholders regarding the first round proper following their exit from the league.
If the club re-forms we look forward to them applying to make an application to The Football Association to re-join league competition further down the English football pyramid from the 2020/21 season.’
Bury’s fans have been vocal all week, with a coffin saying ‘RIP Bury F.C. 1885?’ most prominent
Joy Hart, a former director of Bury, handcuffed herself to Gigg Lane last week
1885 – Club is founded on April 24 through a merger between two church teams, the Bury Wesleyans and Bury Unitarians. Club leased plot of land on Gigg Lane on Earl of Derby’s estate.
1887-88 – Bury enter the FA Cup for the first time.
1889 – Bury become foundation members of the Lancashire League.
1892 – The clubs wins the Lancashire Cup, beating Everton in the final. Before the match, chairman JT Ingham was reported to have roused the players by saying: ‘We shall shake ’em. In fact, we are the Shakers!’ The 1892 Lancashire Cup was the first of 11 such titles stretching to 2017-18.
1894 – The Shakers are admitted to the Football League. They win the Second Division title in 1894-95 by nine points, gaining promotion to the top tier.
1900 – Bury win the FA Cup, beating Southampton 4-0 in the final.
1903 – Club wins FA Cup again, downing Derby 6-0, having conceded no goals throughout the tournament.
1925 – Bury come fourth in the First Division – highest-ever top tier finish.
1929 – The club is relegated from the top level, and have not returned since.
1957 – Bury drop out of the Second Division for the first time.
1971 – For the first time, Bury are relegated to the fourth tier.
1997 – Two successive promotions under manager Stan Ternent lift Bury to the second tier for the first time in 30 years.
2001-02 – Financial problems linked to the collapse of ITV Digital take Bury into administration and close to folding. Supporters raises enough money for the club to survive.
2005 – Bury are first club to score 1,000 goals in each of top four leagues.
2012 – The Shakers have a transfer embargo placed on them after financial trouble due to poor attendances.
2018-19 – Bury finish second in League Two to win promotion. Businessman Steve Dale buys the club in December 2018 and pays an outstanding tax bill to avoid a winding-up order. But financial trouble returns in mid-2019.
‘If the club re-forms, we look forward to them applying to make an application to The Football Association to re-join league competition further down the English football pyramid from the 2020/21 season.’
Danns made 39 appearances in all competitions last season as the team nicknamed ‘The Shakers’ were promoted to League One despite their off-the-field problems.
In July, the club were given a 12-point deduction after entering into a company voluntary arrangement to try to clear some of their debts.
A threadbare first-team squad had been training under new manager Paul Wilkinson and the team were hopeful of getting out on the pitch.
‘We have been in as normal, training. I don’t think anyone really believed that this was going to happen,’ Danns added.
‘For it to happen so suddenly, it’s still really unbelievable. For a club with so much history and that has added so much to the league, for it to just be gone like that is just unimaginable.’
Bury’s slide into liquidation was a ‘slow-moving train’ wreck which was allowed to happen by the English Football League, says Accrington Stanley’s outspoken chairman Andy Holt.
Despite a number of last-minute takeover offers – the EFL announced that the Shakers, twice winners of the FA Cup had become the first outfit since 1992 to be thrown out of the competition.
The decision spurred the likes of Holt and other individuals in football to have their say, and lament the way the situation had been handled with minimal interaction along the way.
Taking to social media, Holt created a thread in which he offered his views on how Bury Football Club, its players, staff and supporters had been let down.
‘We desperately need to learn the obvious lessons from this catastrophe. We need a post mortem. A club has died and it’s OUR fault.’
Holt noted the selling of the club stadium with around ‘£3.7million of debt’ and ‘eye watering’ interest charged. Added to this, numerous unsettled liabilities, football creditors and a team repeatedly incurring points deductions.
‘The club could not survive its debt burden. He [owner Steve Dale] had walked into a hornets nest.
‘That’s what was happening behind the scenes, an attempt to pull debtors and fixed charge holders together. It’s exactly the same situation at BWFC (Bolton Wanderers).’
Like their north west neighbours, Bolton could soon follow Bury and be given their marching orders by the EFL.
Despite being one of the 12 founding teams of the Football League, Bolton find themselves in a perilous financial position, crippled with debts and wages left unpaid.