Keith Curle says plight of Bury and Bolton Wanderers is 'an alarm bell' for all football clubs

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business
Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

Friday is D-day for Bury - and Cobblers boss Keith Curle believes their plight is 'an alarm bell' for football clubs up and down the country.

But he has reassured Town fans their club is in very safe hands.

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

The Shakers are are on the brink of being kicked out of the Football League unless the club comes up with a credible business plan or a new owner before the midnight deadline.

Promoted from Sky Bet League Two in May, Bury have yet to play a match in league one this season, with the EFL postponing all of their games to date, and also throwing them out of the EFL Cup.

Managed by former Cobblers player and assistant boss Paul Wilkinson, Bury have just five registered players after last season's squad and manager walked out after not being paid, and are reportedly £8 million in debt.

They are already on minus 12 points with the club having entered Company Voluntary Arrangement as a way of trying to settle their bills earlier in the summer.

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

But it is looking grim for the Greater Manchester club that has been in existence for 134 years.

A few miles down the road, Bury's north west rivals Bolton Wanderers are also in dire financial straits.

They too have also been docked 12 points and this week they were forced to postpone their league on clash with Doncaster Rovers in a bid to protect the youth team players they are being forced to field due to a lack of senjor professionals.

Their manager, Phil Parkinson, resigned on Tuesday, and the future looks bleak for a club that was a staple of the Premier League just a few years ago.

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

Bury FC is in danger of going out of business

Both clubs have been the victims of gross financial mis-management over the past few years.

Of course, back in November, 2015, the Cobblers were also on the brink of going out of existence until Kelvin Thomas and his associates stepped in at the 11th hour to seize the club from David Cardoza.

On the pitch, it hasn't gone as smoothly as Thomas would have liked in the intervening four years, but - the saga of the east stand non-development aside - there is little doubt things are pretty stable behind the scenes.

Since taking over at the club, Cobblers boss Curle has regularly spoken about 'good housekeeping' at the PTS Academy Stadium.

He says it is 'massive' for clubs at league two level that a club is run properly, and he has reassured Cobblers fans their club is run properly from the top to the bottom.

Asked about the situation of Bury, Curle said: "What has happened is an indication and an alarm bell for what can happen if football clubs spiral out of control.

"Sometimes what you will find is football clubs, who have recently been relegated, because of their desire and aspirations to get back to where they were they can throw money at it.

"That can have long-term negative affect on a football club if you don't show good housekeeping.

"This football club was relegated, they went through the period of time of investing to try and stay in the division (league one) and then also to try and reinvest to get out of the division.

"But there comes a point where you have to have a start and a finish point on a spreadsheet.

"You have to say 'this is where we are at, this is what we are able to sustain over a long period of time', and that housekeeping is key.

"You might have to grow slower, but you put down firmer foundations."

Curle has been busy in the transfer market over the summer, signing 12 new players and letting 12 leave the club, with the latest to depart being Junior Morias, who on Thursday was sold to Scottish Premiership side St Mirren.

But he insists he is working within a sensible and manageable budget, and told Cobblers fans their club is in good shape.

"The message here is, we know where we are at, and all relevant parties know where we want get to, but there is plan of how we want to get there," said Curle.

"Everybody would love to have a billionaire in charge and throw money at it, and for money not to be an issue, but we haven't.

"We have got very good businessmen who understand the bottom line of the football club, where we are at, and where we need to go to.

"Within that, there is a management structure in place that is used to working within those guidelines and getting value for money.

"All football clubs want value for money and that is what we are trying to achieve, but within that we still need to win matches, and we still need to be very competitive."