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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world 18:59 - Aug 27 with 1320 viewsCrawfordsboot

There is much handwringing and sympathy on here for Bury and Bolton, and presumably for many other clubs struggling to stay afloat but most of the discussion ignores the real issue.

The structure of a 92 club professional league is derived from times when few people had cars. When in the north whole towns took a charabanc, or a special train for a wakes week in Blackpool. Such a trip was the highlight of the year. Local communities supported local teams, with local newspapers reporting the local team in detail. Players earned little more than the average working man.

A revolution in transport with high speed trains and motorways means that someone in Bolton can easily get to see Man U or City week in and week out. Mass media has destroyed the limited local reporting. It is simply a fact that community based teams are no longer the norm. Also the average supporter has easy access to so many alternative sports and entertainments

Anyone designing a professional structure in today’s world would settle for two, perhaps three professional leagues in England. There are currently far too many clubs and players chasing income and support. The Macclesfields, Oldhams, Burys and Bolton’s of this world can not all survive.

It will of course be too much to expect their fans to acknowledge this reality and regrettably therefore we will almost certainly witness a number of drawn out painful demises. The sharks and wide boys will pick over the bones of once great clubs. It’s all very sad but I fear that it is unavoidable.
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:02 - Aug 27 with 1280 viewstractorboy1978

Nonsense.
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:06 - Aug 27 with 1261 viewsCrawfordsboot

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:02 - Aug 27 by tractorboy1978

Nonsense.


Well that’s settled that then.

Don’t ya just love rational comment
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:11 - Aug 27 with 1239 viewsBent_double

I think you'll find that both clubs - and many others - simply spent beyond their means.

The support is there, but when you start handing 3-4 year contracts to average players for x thousand a week, it's bound to catch up with you in the end.

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:11 - Aug 27 with 1239 viewstractorboy1978

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:06 - Aug 27 by Crawfordsboot

Well that’s settled that then.

Don’t ya just love rational comment


You're suggesting these clubs don't have fans. Bolton averaged 14k last season, Bury 4k. There is plenty of room for all of these clubs to exist in unison.
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:11 - Aug 27 with 1235 viewsMJallday

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:02 - Aug 27 by tractorboy1978

Nonsense.


agreed - utter claptrap.

the reason for the demise of both of these clubs has been financial mismanagement.

the argument for the distribution of funds (predominantly tv rights) is a different argument, but it is a contributing factor into why there are some very rich clubs and some very poor ones - which has made it incredibly difficult for those without financial backing to trade , let alone compete.

much as it pains me to say it, this could be us without Evans, and god knows ive been a critic of his.

ive despised bolton since THAT semi final play off, but i wouldnt wish what their (and burys) fans are going through on anyone

except the budgies
and possibly derby

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:22 - Aug 27 with 1181 viewsolimar

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:11 - Aug 27 by tractorboy1978

You're suggesting these clubs don't have fans. Bolton averaged 14k last season, Bury 4k. There is plenty of room for all of these clubs to exist in unison.


Agree completely-
"There are currently far too many clubs and players chasing income and support."

Its evidently not the case that there are too many clubs and not enough support. The crowds demonstrate that undeniably.
Are there too many players and not enough income? Possibly.
But can you reduce the number of players to suit that income? Possibly.
Can you reduce the salaries of those players to suit that income? More possibly.
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:28 - Aug 27 with 1148 viewsNthsuffolkblue

The bigger issue is that fans can sit at home and watch said teams at a lower cost than going to watch the team they support. Modern transport allows me to go and watch Town when I wouldn't very often be able to at all relying on charabancs or whatever.

The fact so many fans still attend matches is testament to the game's ability to sell the match day experience still.

The money generated from Sky etc and its uneven distribution is what drives teams to outspend their means and go bust. That said, it has happened even before Sky. The figures are just far higher now.

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:30 - Aug 27 with 1130 viewsNaylorsboots

Utter rambling rubbish
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:32 - Aug 27 with 1121 viewsSpruceMoose

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:30 - Aug 27 by Naylorsboots

Utter rambling rubbish


Something old Mulley specialises in!

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:37 - Aug 27 with 1109 viewsCrawfordsboot

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:11 - Aug 27 by MJallday

agreed - utter claptrap.

the reason for the demise of both of these clubs has been financial mismanagement.

the argument for the distribution of funds (predominantly tv rights) is a different argument, but it is a contributing factor into why there are some very rich clubs and some very poor ones - which has made it incredibly difficult for those without financial backing to trade , let alone compete.

much as it pains me to say it, this could be us without Evans, and god knows ive been a critic of his.

ive despised bolton since THAT semi final play off, but i wouldnt wish what their (and burys) fans are going through on anyone

except the budgies
and possibly derby


However the bottom half a dozen clubs in the football league have gates of two thousand odd .

Very few people are going to pay tv subscriptions to watch scunthorpe, Stevenage or Oldham.

Two thousand tickets in the fourth tier will not bring in a whole lot of income. How can clubs pay their way.

Don’t get me wrong, football has been hugely important to me as a player, a fan and as a coach and I would be very sad to see any club fold but I stand by my comment that we have too many clubs for a modern environment
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:38 - Aug 27 with 1097 viewsCrawfordsboot

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:22 - Aug 27 by olimar

Agree completely-
"There are currently far too many clubs and players chasing income and support."

Its evidently not the case that there are too many clubs and not enough support. The crowds demonstrate that undeniably.
Are there too many players and not enough income? Possibly.
But can you reduce the number of players to suit that income? Possibly.
Can you reduce the salaries of those players to suit that income? More possibly.


Fair comment but the bottom of div 2 has very thin support
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:47 - Aug 27 with 1053 viewsMJallday

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:37 - Aug 27 by Crawfordsboot

However the bottom half a dozen clubs in the football league have gates of two thousand odd .

Very few people are going to pay tv subscriptions to watch scunthorpe, Stevenage or Oldham.

Two thousand tickets in the fourth tier will not bring in a whole lot of income. How can clubs pay their way.

Don’t get me wrong, football has been hugely important to me as a player, a fan and as a coach and I would be very sad to see any club fold but I stand by my comment that we have too many clubs for a modern environment


personally i think its the depth and amount of clubs in our league that make football as special as it is.

ive been to matches with only 200 people at, with a better atmosphere than some premier league games ive been to

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:50 - Aug 27 with 1040 viewsnoggin

People in Bury and Bolton have always been able to get to Manchester easily.

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:52 - Aug 27 with 1026 viewsJ2BLUE

I do love when people present a bizarre nonsensical theory as fact.

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:54 - Aug 27 with 1017 viewsPJH

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:50 - Aug 27 by noggin

People in Bury and Bolton have always been able to get to Manchester easily.


Very true although no doubt over the years Manchester has moved a lot closer to Bury and Bolton.
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:02 - Aug 27 with 997 viewsCrawfordsboot

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:11 - Aug 27 by Bent_double

I think you'll find that both clubs - and many others - simply spent beyond their means.

The support is there, but when you start handing 3-4 year contracts to average players for x thousand a week, it's bound to catch up with you in the end.


So what your comment implies is that the professional packages go too far down the footballing pyramid. The obvious conclusion therefore being that div 2 should become semi pro and the pro leagues reduced to three.
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:02 - Aug 27 with 998 viewsTheBoyBlue

I don't deny that elements of that are true, but a big problem is the disproportionate fall in wages of players from the top and down the leagues. Man City can afford to pay players £200k or £300k a week, so the players further down the PL expect a wage based on that. Teams like Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, etc can afford that whilst in the PL. However players in the Championship expect wages not that much less than players in PL yet the drop in income drop for clubs is huge, thus you end up with players on near-PL wages playing for Championship clubs getting Championship wages. That gradually goes down the leagues. Players in L1 & L2 aren't getting paid vast amounts by football standards, but still more than their clubs can afford, yet those clubs will stay pay it out simply to stand still & thus it all comes to head.

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:03 - Aug 27 with 979 viewsCrawfordsboot

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:02 - Aug 27 by TheBoyBlue

I don't deny that elements of that are true, but a big problem is the disproportionate fall in wages of players from the top and down the leagues. Man City can afford to pay players £200k or £300k a week, so the players further down the PL expect a wage based on that. Teams like Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, etc can afford that whilst in the PL. However players in the Championship expect wages not that much less than players in PL yet the drop in income drop for clubs is huge, thus you end up with players on near-PL wages playing for Championship clubs getting Championship wages. That gradually goes down the leagues. Players in L1 & L2 aren't getting paid vast amounts by football standards, but still more than their clubs can afford, yet those clubs will stay pay it out simply to stand still & thus it all comes to head.


Same reply as above really
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:05 - Aug 27 with 951 viewsSpruceMoose

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:02 - Aug 27 by TheBoyBlue

I don't deny that elements of that are true, but a big problem is the disproportionate fall in wages of players from the top and down the leagues. Man City can afford to pay players £200k or £300k a week, so the players further down the PL expect a wage based on that. Teams like Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, etc can afford that whilst in the PL. However players in the Championship expect wages not that much less than players in PL yet the drop in income drop for clubs is huge, thus you end up with players on near-PL wages playing for Championship clubs getting Championship wages. That gradually goes down the leagues. Players in L1 & L2 aren't getting paid vast amounts by football standards, but still more than their clubs can afford, yet those clubs will stay pay it out simply to stand still & thus it all comes to head.


Just let Premier League teams affiliate with lower league teams and use them as full blown nurseries which they fully fund. Twenty Premier teams, three affiliates each. No more promotion to the Premier League. Then you get three lower leagues of twenty teams each, full of under 21s playing various degrees of football that nobody really wants to watch. Just be done with it. Football is already ruined anyway so what's the point.
[Post edited 27 Aug 20:07]

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:07 - Aug 27 with 937 viewsCrawfordsboot

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:47 - Aug 27 by MJallday

personally i think its the depth and amount of clubs in our league that make football as special as it is.

ive been to matches with only 200 people at, with a better atmosphere than some premier league games ive been to


Fair enough that’s a personal preference but the marketing reality ( I.e. what TV companies are prepared to pay for Premier Football over Div 2) tells us that you are very much in the minority
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:32 - Aug 27 with 839 viewsquirkie

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:50 - Aug 27 by noggin

People in Bury and Bolton have always been able to get to Manchester easily.


Technically Bolton and Bury are in Manchester, well Greater Manchester.

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:37 - Aug 27 with 824 viewsdeano85

Remember when most squads consisted of 11 players, 1 sub. And a cupple of reserves??
Now, even the smallest clubs want a 20 man squad, reserve team, youth team, and a huge backroom staff...
That cant help costs...
[Post edited 27 Aug 20:38]
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 20:47 - Aug 27 with 759 viewsSwansea_Blue

If these stats are correct, they show that average attendances have held up pretty well. We’re seeing record attendances in the top two tiers, post-war highs in tier 3 and close to record levels in tier 4.

https://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn/nav/attnengleague.htm

It’s seems more likely to be the huge TV deals that have distorted the finances, especially since gate receipts are insignificant now to most clubs in the PL. Who’s to ‘blame’: Sky for starting the ball rolling, the clubs for paying more in wages than they can afford, the public for driving demand for TV products, the leagues for hawking to Sky/BT?

I’ll sit on the fence and say it’s a combination of all these things. Bury & Bolton’s situation is then compounded by bad management (see also Blackpool & others where owners have not put the clubs’ interests first).

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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 21:13 - Aug 27 with 717 viewsNBVJohn

View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 19:38 - Aug 27 by Crawfordsboot

Fair comment but the bottom of div 2 has very thin support


If I think back over the years I’m fairly sure that the bottom half of the 4th tier has long since existed on gates of 2 - 3,000.

There’s an awful lot of hogwash talked about historical attendances, not least our own. The fact is that the year we got promoted last, the average home gate wasn’t much lower (2,000 ish) than under the widely (but not exclusively) regarded ‘nadir’ of the MM years. There will always be fair weather supporters. Economic factors doubtless also have an effect. Of the 4 greater Manchester / NW teams in the Championship last season, Bolton just edged the highest average at around 14,000, and they were the one that got relegated.

I read a report last year that basically said that a number of PL clubs could turn a profit even if they played in front of an empty stadium. Surely that tells you something about the distribution of money throughout the leagues? Bolton failed to secure their term future during their PL boom years in favour of chasing the dream. Same for Leeds and Charlton with clubs like Villa only avoiding a similar fate because of their saleability.

I have no sympathy for the owners of Bolton, though I certainly do for the supporters. (bleating about Barry Knight not withstanding). There are more than enough of them to sustain a properly run club, in a properly governed league where the gap between the two top divisions doesn’t require parachute payments to offset gross overspending whilst in ‘the promised land.’

[Post edited 27 Aug 21:18]
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View the bigger picture re the Burys and Bolton’s of this world on 21:35 - Aug 27 with 665 viewsRadlett_blue

You are right. Only England tries to keep a structure of 4 (now 5 as the Conference or whatever it's called now is pretty much all full time) full time national leagues. It is unsustainable and the focus of most of the media & casual fans for over 20 years has been on the Premier League. Most of the 4th tier clubs struggle to attract more than 4,000 fans but they still over-pay in wages in a desperate attempt to climb their league. A restructuring has been long overdue, with more regionalisation, fewer subsidies and proper wage caps.
The real game changer could be the formation of a European Super League, which might restore some sanity to the English game, but I think that's a few years off.
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