Nigel Clough casts doubt over EFL test as Bury and Bolton battle for survival

‘I don’t think there are too many sane people looking to buy football clubs’: Nigel Clough casts doubt over EFL test as Bury and Bolton battle for survival

  • Bury are in administration and currently have debts of £2 million
  • The EFL have postponed Saturday’s season opener against MK Dons  
  • Clough’s Burton due to play troubled Bury and Bolton in League One this season
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Burton manager Nigel Clough believes the EFL’s current Owners’ and Directors’ test is not fit for purpose as both Bury and Bolton continue to battle financial turmoil ahead of the new season.

Bury have had their League One opener against MK Dons on Saturday postponed after owner Steve Dale failed to provide the EFL with assurances that he could pay the club’s debts and field a team.

Bolton, meanwhile, staved off the threat of oblivion thanks to a £2million loan from the Professional Footballers’ Association to pay players who had not been paid for five months.

Burton boss Nigel Clough has doubts over EFL's current Owners' and Directors' test

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Burton boss Nigel Clough has doubts over EFL’s current Owners’ and Directors’ test

Clough, whose Burton side are due to face both Bury and Bolton this season, was asked at the EFL’s season launch on Tuesday whether the governing body’s test – which is designed to ‘protect’ the ‘well-being’ of clubs – was up to standard.

‘I think evidence probably suggests otherwise,’ Clough said. ‘Whether they are a little bit lenient in certain circumstances on it, I’m not sure, but I don’t think there are too many sane people looking to buy football clubs at times.’

The Burton manager added that more needs to be done to vet potential owners of clubs.

Bury owner Steve Dale has hit out at the EFL for cancelling their opener against MK Dons

Bury owner Steve Dale has hit out at the EFL for cancelling their opener against MK Dons

Bury owner Steve Dale has hit out at the EFL for cancelling his side’s opener against MK Dons

‘Yes, I think there has to be,’ the 53-year-old said. ‘But I can understand the dilemma because if a club is struggling and you get somebody coming in and it’s a case of having them as an owner who will do something, or nobody – what do you do?’

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‘They’re not all going to be knights in shining armour who are going to come and rescue clubs for the right reasons. So, it’s very, very difficult position most of them are in.’

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Bury currently have debts of £2 million and fans fear they could face liquidation

Bury currently have debts of £2 million and fans fear they could face liquidation

Bury currently have debts of £2 million and fans fear they could face liquidation

 

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