Former Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft ‘gutted’ to see demise of his old club Bury

Former Stags boss David Flitcroft.
Former Stags boss David Flitcroft.

Former Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft today said he was gutted for supporters of Bury FC to lose their club and angry they were allowed to get into the financial mess they ended up in.

The EFL last night expelled Bury after 134 years after they failed to prove themselves financially solvent and a late deal to save them fell through.

Flitcroft, who led the Shakers to promotion in 2014/15 during his three years there, said it would be a huge blow to the community as a whole.

Bury were one of the sides that pipped Mansfield to promotion last season, which ultimately cost Flitcroft his job with Stags, and he said: “I am sitting here at home not working and I feel aggrieved.

“I think that anyone who runs a football club professionally should feel aggrieved today that that was allowed last season.

“Bury had the best players, though couldn’t afford them. But they still used them and got promoted, then the next season find they’ve overspent.”

He stressed he had nothing but admiration for Ryan Lowe and his side’s achievements on the field.

“All credit to the group of players they had. With the football they played they deserved to get out of the league,” he said.

“Bury had the best players - top performers in League Two - and they were managed brilliantly by Ryan Lowe.

“But for the new owner to take over without a fit and proper test and passing it is wrong. I have been at clubs before where you’ve had to sell players as you can’t afford them

“I just think the EFL wanted the league to carry on last season and not worry about points deductions.”

However, he said the club’s expulsion from the EFL would hit the town hard.

“As a football fan waking up this morning I am disappointed for football and gutted for the community in Bury,” he said.

“You see how important a community club is to people.

“You have got the dads who want to take their kids to become Bury fans, and you have the older fans who want to be socially included, get out and watch the team, have a cause and something to believe in.

“Whether they are winning or losing, those people are getting out on a Saturday afternoon.

“You can go on away days with the club and it gives you a cause, a belief and a purpose – any football club does, League or non-League football.

“But mismanagement has given up that right for that community to support their football club. That’s the saddest part of it for me.

“It’s a really sad day for football as you see communities are built on that being together on a Saturday afternoon.

“You can see and feel the passion which is born out of a belief system that your grandad passed onto your dad and then onto you and your son.

“It’s a strong connection that football clubs have.”

Flitcroft said the money problems of lower league clubs hurt even more with the Premier League dripping with money.

“With all the wealth in the game it’s very difficult for a normal supporter to come to terms with what has happened,” he said.

“Could the football world have come together to save Bury? The problem is that if other clubs are struggling they have to bail them out as well.

“I think it’s a wider problem. When the Premier League split away the EFL decided to take the money which were just the crumbs from their table.

“The Premier League has just got wealthier and the smaller clubs have got smaller.

“In Germany the wealth throughout the league underpins the supporters’ money coming in and you don’t have to pay as much on the turnstiles – and they have got full stadiums.

“You don’t have to pay £20 and more to get in. If you have a family now here it’s £100 a game.

“You also have football on the telly every single night – and it’s done brilliantly.

“Sky have invested in getting good people on the TV and good pundits. It’s an entertainment.

“So there are a lot of things lower league clubs are fighting against.

“But the first thing we are all fighting against is splitting off from the Premier League.”

Mansfield striker Danny Rose, who joined Stags from Bury, Tweeted that he was ‘gutted’ at the news of his former club’s demise.