Bury owner makes illness claims but promises to speed up sale of club
Bury owner Steve Dale claims an incurable form of leukaemia and the degenerative condition acute osteoarthritis leave him “unable to leave my bed, let alone home some days”.
However, following increasing criticism from supporters and an open letter from Bury players urging him to sell quickly, Dale insists he will do all he can to save the club.
In a statement on Bury’s website, he wrote: “I thought it common knowledge I have an incurable form of leukaemia as well as acute osteoarthritis. This renders me unable to leave my bed, let alone home some days.
“I do however work tirelessly till all hours on my computer and phone to save our club.”
Dale, though, confirmed manager Ryan Lowe, who guided Bury to promotion to Sky Bet League One, is in talks with Plymouth about taking up the vacant position at Home Park.
Dale said: “Leaving the club, clearly not something we want to see but Ryan is a young man starting on his management career and who are we to stop his trajectory if he wants this?
“Plymouth asked to speak to him, (which) we sanctioned, but as far as I know he is still with Bury.”
The Shakers are facing a winding-up petition as they owe approximately £277,000 to HM Revenue & Customs.
A High Court hearing scheduled for last week was adjourned until June 19 to allow Dale, who only took over the club last December, time to find a buyer.
Dale though, alleges their financial concerns are the legacy of the previous regime and that cuts to the wage bill are necessary.
He said: “The club was bust due to the previous owner’s tenure, in fact turning out as it unfolded to be far worse than anyone could have known.
“Nobody would have taken it on, I did and am being vilified by the same few trolls/persons with agenda for sorting a mess that I did not create.
“I think I must make this abundantly clear, this is a horrible situation to be in, of course, everybody needs to be paid but the club cannot afford the level of employees it has.
“There is no magic wand here, certain people if they genuinely care about the club would have left long ago knowing they were not adding value just draining a dead corpse.”
Players who said on Wednesday they have not been paid wages by the club for 12 weeks – the Professional Footballers’ Association stepped in to cover their March salary – stressed the urgency of the situation.
Bury finished second in League Two but there are now fears the squad will be broken up, a situation Dale says he wants to avoid.
He continued: “It is my priority along with the winding up order to settle the playing staff as fast as we can and I can only apologise for the delay. It’s not what I thought would happen, but if it can go wrong it will at Bury.
“We want this resolving as fast as we can and I can assure the players it’s the last thing I want to break up our winning team.
“I hope you can allow us to get the past cleared so next season there are no re-occurrences of the last few months, only our cutbacks and prudent financial controls will achieve that.”