Greetings again Darlo fans

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ShakerFan
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:28 am
Team Supported: Bury

Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by ShakerFan » Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:56 pm

Hello all - I have been away for a while and have finally managed to get back on here and update you on what is happening at Bury, its a long post but I would appreciate any feedback. :-)

A lot has gone on in the world of being a Bury fan since we last spoke, both on and off the pitch.

On the pitch you may or may not have seen that Bury successfully achieved promotion to the Northwest Counties Premier League last season, clinching the title with a game to spare by beating St Helens 4-0 in the last home game of the season. It wasn't an easy ride, despite suffering just one defeat all season, and it was this that really cemented my passion for Bury AFC. Personally, I and many others I know and spoke to loved the ride and the experience along with the rewarding feature of lining the pockets of numerous clubs with our big away followings.
In the end we successfully held off two other teams in our promotion bid, both who produced superb form throughout the season to really challenge us and make things interesting. I honestly think any other season we'd have been up with six games to spare. First Golcar were the early pacesetters, but we dispatched them 7-3 in October in front of a packed crowd on a Tuesday night to go top of the league. Golcar kept at our necks but began to slip away in the new year, however, behind them and creeping quietly were Holkier Old Boys who managed to put together an unbelievable run in the new year which took them to just three points behind us and with a game in hand as we approached the closing five fixtures. A defeat in the late February, a postponement followed by two successive draws couldn't have come at a worse time for us, and very suddenly we looked laboured, tired and lacking in ideas whilst Holkier hit some blistering form around this time, a notable result for them was a 6-1 victory away at Darwen, a team we'd just failed to beat the previous Tuesday, at home. I admit I became very worried at this point that we'd stutter and collapse. However we pulled ourselves back together with three successive 2-1 victories which put us on the brink of promotion. The pick of these being a 2-1 win at Bacup Borough, a club who had chosen to create a mini rivalry with us and with a manager who liked to openly slag us off. Their home support for the fixture was even boosted by 50 odd Rochdale fans who chose to turn up and cheer on the home side, despite their own team being engaged in a league two relegation battle. It added to the sweetness of the victory, the scenes at full time as flares went off and players celebrated together and in front of the fans, then in the local cricket club post match, with hundreds of Shakers singing whilst in the background car horns beeped and rattles shook as fans leaving and entering the cricket club yelled 'Bury' loudly. It felt like we were on the brink of something great after so much sweat and toil, and this was cemented when promotion was secured the following week in front of nearly 1900 fans.

Couple of low points - our crowds, whilst very good for this level are not as high as I'd hoped.
Radcliffe's fixtures meant we had to move most of our Saturday games to a Sunday or a Tuesday. I didn't get to see us play a home Saturday match until January for this reason.
Other low point being the appearance of another group of fans - EST 1885 who rather than trying to work with us, chose to work against us, and this brings us to my next point.

So there has been this divide amongst Bury fans for nearly three years, the divide being caused by some who believe Bury AFC were set up too early, as Bury FC still 'existed.' However, the club is nothing but a lifeless carcass that exists name alone. This has led to a hate filled campaign from one set of fans called FTP, (f**k the phoenix), and the likes of me and 1500 odd Bury supporters are labeled rats for not sticking with the original club, even thought there is nothing of the original club to stick with. I could go on and on and list all the things that have happened around this hate campaign, but I will be here all day. Its something that has been constant and not very pleasant though, and it has really divided what was already a shattered and limited fanbase.

So this group EST secured Gigg Lane, you'd think that's great. However, their intention wasn't or work with Bury AFC, it seemed they wanted their own club called Bury FC. When they secured the ground they actually released a statement saying or at least insinuating that they'd rescued the original club, which of course wasn't true. The two groups finally started to work together in the new year, but there was always something underhand going on. EST made a bid for a place in the league with their own club called Bury FC, (no debts paid, just wanted the FA to feel sorry for them and accept them), unsurprisingly it was rejected. It turned out they needed a hand me out off the government to get the funds for Gigg Lane so didn't have the required money. This was secured owing to Bury being a marginal political seat, there have been a few other incidents but the crowning glory came back in May when a statement was released from the official Bury FC twitter account that had been dormant for three years stating the club had come out of administration. It went viral and nationwide with clubs congratulating Bury FC on the news, some of our own and other club supporters really thought it had happened. The tweet was released with the old news story and a link which basically just repeated the original story of EST getting the ground and the naming rights.
Nobody at EST corrected the mistake, in fact members were retweeting the story.

So, I am obviously biased towards AFC, but you may be able to see why I and many other members of Bury AFC might have an issue with this group, many of them are wealthy and used to sit in our executive suite at Gigg Lane back when we were in the league. All the indications they have given is that they don't care or want the regular fans running things.

After all this though, we are at a point in negotiations where a business plan has been drawn up and there is real potential, (vote pending), for the two groups to merge. If this happens Bury AFC will be playing at Gigg Lane, which for many is our spiritual home. The plus point of this is we will get a lot of money from the government and council to boost Gigg Lane and turn it into a community hub, we will have a more unified fanbase, all aiming in one direction and the worry of two clubs will be over and the players and manager who brought a lot of joy and delight last season will be doing it all again, but at our historical home ground. Also, Bury AFC will at some point down the line revert back to Bury FC and for many it will be the original club. For me this is massive and I would have snatched your hand off for this back in August 2019 after our expulsion.

The downside of this is, (if the vote carries, its both groups who have to vote for it) 49% of the club will be handed over to the 'benefactors' who helped fund this. Meanwhile our superb board who have created and ran AFC so well, through a pandemic and broken fanbase, to make monthly profits and sit in a strong place financially, will be broken up and have to sit for re-election against the Bury supporting members of EST. It's a huge risk and if the vote doesn't carry we would be in the hands of unreliable people who put themselves well above the fans.

It also irks me and others that the so called benefactors didn't have anywhere near enough money and had to rely on a government hand me out to get this over the line, yet they are demanding 49% of the club. The main benefactor is called Peter Alexander, he is American and according to his twitter page he supports United. He is originally from Bury though, but a recent interview saw him claim Colin Bell as his all time favourite Bury player as he remembers him scoring a hattrick at Gigg Lane. The game in question happened when Alexander would have been three years old and Bell left shortly after, so not something that fills me with confidence. Fairly recently he came to Bury and pitched a presentation at Gigg Lane which included budgeting for crowds of 3000 fans at Gigg Lane in tier 9, and gaps left for income from 'other investors.'

Now since then things have changed as Bury AFC people have worked on the business plan and the council have insisted on having input and someone from the council sitting on the board. It's being released tomorrow and I am very wary on which way to vote, however, pending what the plan says I will vote yes. Some are militantly saying no as it'll sacrifice everything AFC stand for and have built and as you can imagine the FTP brigade are not happy either.

I apologise, its a long post and the road remains rocky and uncertain - so I ask, taking everything into consideration what would my Quaker friends do in the same situation?


Feel free to ask any questions as I have missed some things out, and it is worth adding that there are some good and professional people involved in EST, but as a whole they have not acted well or professionally, not IMO.

Up the Shakers and Up the Quakers

eddie-rowles
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:51 am
Team Supported: Darlington

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by eddie-rowles » Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:07 pm

Thanks for the update I guess if you can limit Mr alexanders holdings below 30-40% then fans keep majority shareholding.Yes understand all the hard work being relinquished but its about bury surviving and progressing is the most important and maintaining your spiritual home is key. How many Darlo fans with hindsight would have left feethams? Zero . Good luck and keep us updated and look forward to a cup tie in the future perhaps.

joejaques
Posts: 2982
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:36 am
Team Supported: Darlington
Location: Milford Haven

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by joejaques » Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:38 pm

Is there anything in place to ensure that the 49% remains maximum holding? :roll:
Image

jjljks
Posts: 2546
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:25 am
Team Supported: Darlington

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by jjljks » Thu Jul 07, 2022 8:55 pm

Thanks for the update, Shakerfan. I can empathise with your joy in gaining promotion & competitive games in little grounds that are the grass roots of the game. Also the dismay at disunity caused by splintering, yet being positive about recovery of Gigg Lane - at least it did not disappear under new development. Take the dosh from Council & HMG, but watch out for the egomaniacs. Keep the faith & hopefully there will be another Shakers v Quakers clash in the future.

ShakerFan
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:28 am
Team Supported: Bury

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by ShakerFan » Fri Jul 08, 2022 12:56 pm

Thanks for the replies - I think there are things in place to ensure that the club can not be less than 51% fan owned. Whether that can be changed down the line, I am not sure, but the business plan is out this afternoon so should tell us more.
My issue, and the issue of others is that the 51% fans part of the club will not necessarily be AFC people. The AFC board will disband as will the EST 1885 CBS board, and candidates from both boards will have to run for re-election. Personally, I am more than confident that if this happens AFC people will carry plenty of votes and make up most of the new board. However, it is a risk because, as I have mentioned, if a number of these EST people get on board to run the 51% CBS it will not end well. They are generally ex directors, sons of ex directors or well off local businessmen who are desperate to get their executive suites back, many were supporters of Stewart Day (the original conman from 2013-late 2018 who did most of the damage before selling to Steve Dale). A good number of them have, for the best part of two years, been liking and sharing comments online and spreading virol, either slyly or publicly, and not hidden their agenda of being anti fan owned thus anti Bury AFC. This is just the scratching the surface, I could tell you more about their antics of the last two years, which has included the endorsement of conmen. We have over 1500 paid up members and averaged just short of 1400 fans last season, despite many games not being played on a Saturday afternoon, a divide in the fanbase and the ongoing Covid issue still lurking around, yet people who could well be calling the shots of our club in the next few years were more than happy to slag the club, fans and set up of this fan owned football team off.

Sorry about the rant - but that is why it isn't straightforward, even though I will likely vote merge and despite being confident that when the votes happen it will see many AFC board members elected to the new board. I still have my reservations.

A couple of friends who are totally behind the merge have stated it doesn't matter who is in charge of the club as for them Gigg Lane = Bury FC being back in all but name, even though it'd be in tier 9 or 8, (pending promotions and if we get back there). For me that's totally the wrong attitude after everything that had happened.

On the plus side we will be taking part in the FA Cup next season, we have just drawn Hallam FC away :-)

What round do Darlo enter?

AndyPark
Posts: 11851
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:08 pm
Team Supported: Darlington
Location: Darlington

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by AndyPark » Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:19 pm

I hope guys come to a resolution between both clubs & this merger. Just vote for what you think is right mate, do the right thing.

Hopefully you have a little cup run & get some decent cash in. I believe we enter in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

onewayup
Posts: 2360
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:02 pm
Team Supported: Darlington

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by onewayup » Fri Jul 08, 2022 2:55 pm

If it can be stated in your articles of association that the fan owners must always maintain a 51% share namely the controlling share then the split entitys should be working to come together for the best interests of the club and gigg lane.yes there will be hurdles to overcome or navigate it will be difficult but everything can be overcome with each side conceding ground to being one entity which has Bury football club at its core. Good luck and hopefully 2 become 1.

shildonlad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 9:53 pm
Team Supported: Newcastle united and gatesheas
Location: Chesterfield

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by shildonlad » Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:14 pm

As a outsider looking in i hope the two entities merge and play at gig lane because two rival phoenix groups would dilite the fan base and the bury playing at gig lane would get by far the biggest fans. Such a shame its taken as long, look at macclesfield, original club wound up and new club formed soon after, seemed much simpler
I may not live in the north east anymore but i still support the north east teams

EDJOHNS
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:56 pm
Team Supported: Darlington

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by EDJOHNS » Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:43 pm

My take may seem very simplistic, but if you have enjoyed the ride., have a good working board and volunteers, and have the will to keep going, why worry about what "another club" want to do?
It seems to me that some, (as with some Darlo fans), want to jump back into bed with money men rather than do the work needed to earn your own living.
I think the vast majority of our fans will say that if the NLN is the level we can afford that is preferable to taking the risk of being shafted again by money men walking away when they don't get their own way, (ie promotion every year).
You have built what is obviously a decent working model as you got promoted in year 1. I bet any amount that a second promotion under your own steam will be far sweeter than if some grey suite is paying the bills.

MCFCDarlo3
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:28 pm
Team Supported: Manc born Darlo & City
Location: Manchester

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by MCFCDarlo3 » Mon Jul 11, 2022 3:26 pm

Have you drawn Hallam away in the cup?

ShakerFan
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:28 am
Team Supported: Bury

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by ShakerFan » Tue Jul 12, 2022 11:36 am

MCFCDarlo3 wrote:
Mon Jul 11, 2022 3:26 pm
Have you drawn Hallam away in the cup?
We have indeed - I wonder if Sean Bean will turn up :D

ShakerFan
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:28 am
Team Supported: Bury

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by ShakerFan » Tue Jul 12, 2022 11:47 am

EDJOHNS wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:43 pm
My take may seem very simplistic, but if you have enjoyed the ride., have a good working board and volunteers, and have the will to keep going, why worry about what "another club" want to do?
It seems to me that some, (as with some Darlo fans), want to jump back into bed with money men rather than do the work needed to earn your own living.
I think the vast majority of our fans will say that if the NLN is the level we can afford that is preferable to taking the risk of being shafted again by money men walking away when they don't get their own way, (ie promotion every year).
You have built what is obviously a decent working model as you got promoted in year 1. I bet any amount that a second promotion under your own steam will be far sweeter than if some grey suite is paying the bills.
The issue is the council and politicians have got involved, we even had Boris on our pitch the other week and this has further fueled the fantasy that Bury FC are back. That is one of the issues with this EST group, they turned things political by getting the conservatives involved. Then before we knew it Labour MPs and the council were involved too. Without us EST have nothing and will be bankrupt in a few months, (they really don't have that much money) and if that happens then there is a good chance Gigg Lane will be gone forever and in the long run this will impact the club with us not having a permanent home.
I am also led to believe that if our fans do not agree to the merge then there is a sizeable chance that the club will stagnate in lower none league, (this is from talking to a couple of AFC volunteers and directors), crowds will drop off as will volunteers. Now to make it clear I absolutely loved last season and have truly been woken up to some superb lower none league setups, as well as the passion, commitment and quality of the players and the games. Some of these clubs were right on my doorstep without me even knowing. However, for me at least, the whole idea of Bury AFC was a continuity of the original club and I always wanted this entity to get back up the pyramid. If not to the National League then as close to it as possible. This is something that has always been on AFC's agenda. I think if no merge happens then this will never happen.

The 51% will be fan owned and as far as I am aware, it won't ever be any different, the so called benefactors and council funds etc are all driven to making Gigg Lane sustainable. The issue for me is if I vote merger and the new board gets taken up by members of EST, many of whom have shown themselves to not be very nice people in the last 12 months and more.

It really is a case of rock and hard place.

shildonlad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 9:53 pm
Team Supported: Newcastle united and gatesheas
Location: Chesterfield

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by shildonlad » Tue Jul 12, 2022 5:02 pm

ShakerFan wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 11:47 am
EDJOHNS wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:43 pm
My take may seem very simplistic, but if you have enjoyed the ride., have a good working board and volunteers, and have the will to keep going, why worry about what "another club" want to do?
It seems to me that some, (as with some Darlo fans), want to jump back into bed with money men rather than do the work needed to earn your own living.
I think the vast majority of our fans will say that if the NLN is the level we can afford that is preferable to taking the risk of being shafted again by money men walking away when they don't get their own way, (ie promotion every year).
You have built what is obviously a decent working model as you got promoted in year 1. I bet any amount that a second promotion under your own steam will be far sweeter than if some grey suite is paying the bills.
The issue is the council and politicians have got involved, we even had Boris on our pitch the other week and this has further fueled the fantasy that Bury FC are back. That is one of the issues with this EST group, they turned things political by getting the conservatives involved. Then before we knew it Labour MPs and the council were involved too. Without us EST have nothing and will be bankrupt in a few months, (they really don't have that much money) and if that happens then there is a good chance Gigg Lane will be gone forever and in the long run this will impact the club with us not having a permanent home.
I am also led to believe that if our fans do not agree to the merge then there is a sizeable chance that the club will stagnate in lower none league, (this is from talking to a couple of AFC volunteers and directors), crowds will drop off as will volunteers. Now to make it clear I absolutely loved last season and have truly been woken up to some superb lower none league setups, as well as the passion, commitment and quality of the players and the games. Some of these clubs were right on my doorstep without me even knowing. However, for me at least, the whole idea of Bury AFC was a continuity of the original club and I always wanted this entity to get back up the pyramid. If not to the National League then as close to it as possible. This is something that has always been on AFC's agenda. I think if no merge happens then this will never happen.

The 51% will be fan owned and as far as I am aware, it won't ever be any different, the so called benefactors and council funds etc are all driven to making Gigg Lane sustainable. The issue for me is if I vote merger and the new board gets taken up by members of EST, many of whom have shown themselves to not be very nice people in the last 12 months and more.

It really is a case of rock and hard place.
Not much left to loose to be honest. No merger then yous wont get back to gigg lane and a bury playing out of towns fanbase will soon stagnate. Lost of clubs have rise. Through the leagues again but these tend to be the ones playing in the old clubs ground like chester, halifax, hereford etc
I may not live in the north east anymore but i still support the north east teams

MCFCDarlo3
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:28 pm
Team Supported: Manc born Darlo & City
Location: Manchester

Re: Greetings again Darlo fans

Post by MCFCDarlo3 » Thu Jul 14, 2022 1:35 pm

ShakerFan wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 11:36 am
MCFCDarlo3 wrote:
Mon Jul 11, 2022 3:26 pm
Have you drawn Hallam away in the cup?
We have indeed - I wonder if Sean Bean will turn up :D
:D

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