I must start this month by passing on the thoughts of all at Turf Matters to those groundsmen and their fellow staff at Bury Football Club. The euphoria of promotion last season had not long died down when the doors closed for the last time with expulsion from the league structure.
It is absolutely devastating for all the staff and supporters who had taken huge pride in supporting a club which had been part of the Bury community since 1885 and it shows just how precarious the situation for a great many clubs within the football league structure.
Bolton Wanderers were given a reprieve well into Fergie time and we all hope that their struggles are now behind them, but it does not require a huge leap in imagination to see similar Bury and Bolton scenarios occurring in other clubs.
Reputation and history counts for nothing. Just look at Rangers north of the border. After going into liquidation in 2012 the blue half of the Old Firm returned, but only in the bottom tier and it took a number of years to return to the Scottish Premiership, filling the ground of ever hosting club along the way.. It is good to see them back, but Steven Gerrard is operating on a fraction of the budget of Neil Lennon at Celtic, albeit still much more that the rest of the other rival clubs.
I’m sure Bury will not die entirely and will no doubt return in reduced form well down the football structure but that will be of no solace to those who relied on salaries to pay the bills.
To change sports and offer a comment on a brighter note – wasn’t Ben Stokes something else? Sporting moments like that at Headingley can galvanise a country. So well done, Ben, for achieving something no-one else has accomplished for quite some time.