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No easy path for Bury


Lower league clubs in Greater Manchester face some of the biggest challenges of any clubs in securing financial stability.  The attractions of City and United are close at hand and these clubs are generally located in not particularly prosperous areas of the conurbation.

One way out is through a benefactor.   Property developer Stewart Day acquired Bury in 2013.  When he arrived they were under a transfer embargo and in League Two.  His considerable investment saw them promoted to League One in 2015.   They are thought to have their highest-ever playing budget and have moved to a world class training facility at Carrington, vacated by Manchester City.

However, all is not well.   There have been a series of county court judgments for unpaid bills.  The bins remain unemptied because the local council hasn't been paid.  In the High Court last week they faced a third winding-up petition for unpaid tax this year, although the bill was paid and the case dismissed.

Their most recent accounts show a loss of £2.9m for the year to May 2015.  The amount owed to creditors rose from £3.4m to more than £5m.   There continues to be a series of high interest, internet-based loans taken out against their principal asset, Gigg Lane.

There are plans for a new stadium, coupled with hotel and office facilities.  But can the fan base sustain such ambitions?   Attendance at Saturday's match was just over 3,000 and some Conference clubs get more.