The outpouring of grief and contempt at the sad ordeal of Bury Football Club has been a timely reminder to us all of just how much football clubs mean to their fans and communities. The actions of the club’s incompetent custodians have been condemned by all, and rightly so, yet for some reason this has been the same for neighbours Salford City.
The rise of Salford since their association with the Class of ‘92 has been well documented and much maligned, but in an era where more and more clubs are being run into the ground under poor ownership, should it be?
There’s no denying that Salford are not the fairy-tale that some portray them as, but they certainly do not deserve to be villainised as such. The club’s ownership group have fortified a community club into something that wouldn’t have been possible without them, putting in place a brand new stadium, a solid infrastructure and a playing squad capable of performing in the Football League.
Of course this has not been achieved for free and there has been substantial investment in some instances, which is something no-one at the club would deny. With clubs like Bury being held to ransom by rogues like Steve Dale or starved to the brink like Blackpool under Karl Oyston, should this be mocked? The owners are passionate with a desire to improve the club and are clearly in it for the long haul – so why should they be held in any less esteem than Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt, one of the best owners in the game?
Active steps have to be taken to ensure that Bury aren’t the first of many to reach the brink in this modern era of football, with stricter guidelines to ensure clubs are in the hands of the right people who are in the business for the right reasons, in the hands of people who care, just like Accrington Stanley, just like Salford City.
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