Saturday, September 26, 2020

Phil Neville: “It’s disgraceful. Bury, after 125 years, no longer has a football club.”

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Tom Beresford
Sports journalist. Non-League football reporter. YouTuber, presenter, podcast host. Previously heard on FiveLive and Love Sport Radio. Managed by Epic Sports Management

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England women’s manager Phil Neville says the heart of Bury has been “ripped out” by their expulsion from the English Football League, BBC Sport reported.

The League One club lost their place in the EFL on Tuesday when a takeover by C&N Sporting Risk fell through.

Bury-born Neville’s mother Jill last week resigned as club secretary, while his late father Neville was a director.

“I’m devastated,” said Neville. “It’s disgraceful. Bury, after 125 years, no longer has a football club.”

He added: “I find it difficult. I dread to think how my mum’s feeling.

“I’ve obviously been living it as my mum’s been secretary for 31 years. She resigned last week but still worked every hour that God sent to do the right thing for the football club.

“The heart of the town has been ripped apart. Now it’s up to the Bury people – myself included – to try to put some heart back into a town that relied heavily on a football club.”

The businessmen who pulled out of a plan to take over Bury said they could not overcome the financial problems the club was facing.

With the Shakers now expelled from the EFL, they will not be able to play again until next season at the earliest – and then it will be at a non-league level.

Neville’s siblings, former England defender Gary and ex-England netball coach Tracey, have both responded to criticism from supporters via social media that they did not step in to help the club.

Both Gary and Phil are part-owners of League Two side Salford City, meaning they were unable to offer any financial support under Football Association rules.

“It’s ripped the heart out of our town, out of our club and out of my mum and the family,” added Phil.

“There’s a stand named after my dad who worked for the club for 26 years – my nanna, my grandad, my auntie, my uncle all worked behind the scenes and me and my brother supported the club.

“Every town needs a football club. It’s emotional for me. My mum’s given her heart and soul to that club, my dad – it nearly killed him at one point.

“It’s difficult because I’m part-owner of another football club so we couldn’t do anything about it. It doesn’t mean you don’t care. It’s like a death in the town of Bury.

“We’ve probably given Salford an identity; they’ve got a league club. Bury haven’t got a league club any more.”

[Source: BBC Sport]

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