Ryan Lowe opens up on life as Bury manager: Over-ambition, alarm bells, promotion

'We saw people leaving and the CEO left, the sporting director, there was no one to lean on or talk to'

Bury manager Ryan Lowe 2:11
Former Bury manager Ryan Lowe defends his spending while manager of the club

Ryan Lowe opened up to The Debate about life as Bury manager as their problems mounted ahead of liquidation.

The Shakers won promotion from League 2 in Lowe's one and only season as manager, despite off-field issues dominating the second half of the campaign and players and staff having their wages delayed.

The club were deducted 12 points ahead of this season, saw their first six games of the season postponed by the EFL and, hours after a last-gasp takeover bid collapsed on Tuesday, were thrown out of the Football League due to their mounting debts.

Banners and messages of support left outside Gigg Lane following Bury's expulsion from the Football League
Image: Banners and messages of support were left outside Gigg Lane following Bury's expulsion from the Football League

Lowe told The Debate that in spite of the club receiving a winding-up petition during that promotion campaign, and long-standing issues with club salaries, he was left in the dark over its financial position.

"I didn't really know," he said. "March and April we saw people leaving and the CEO left, the sporting director, there was no one to lean on or talk to.

"There were people coming in, changing rules, but I thought that's fine, I want to worry about my team, my family, make sure there is food on the table, bills getting paid.

"What we did as a group and a squad, is say no one can take away a promotion, we had to deal with the things off the field but we had one aim, to get promoted. You look back and think I'll never know how we did it, but I do - we had a great squad."

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Steve Dale
Image: Bury owner Steve Dale oversaw the club's expulsion from the Football League

The club, its owners and even Lowe himself have come in for criticism for the financial troubles which dogged it during its final days before expulsion, and the former boss admitted it may have suffered from over-ambition in its pursuit of success.

"Maybe it was big ambitions, big plans to achieve something that Bury will never achieve, I wanted us to get to the Championship but it was never going to get there," he said. "The population of fans on a good game, when you're playing well, 4 or 5,000, that can't get you to the Championship with 700 to 1,000 season tickets.

"How did it happen? God only knows. I look at things now and alarm bells ring when you're there as a player or manager, and there's things I'd like to say which I can't, but in terms of how it happened, god knows but it should never happen to any club let alone Bury.

Phil Neville says the heart of Bury FC was ripped out after they were expelled from the EFL and explains how it has affected his family

"I've heard of players on £8-9,000 a week - it was nowhere near that. My budget that I had, when I first took over was competitive, but it was nowhere near millions of pounds.

"When I was the manager before the new ownership came, we spent around £1.2m. I brought 12 or 13 players in, that's not a lot of money. There were players there on decent enough money, but that was out of my control.

"I came in as the manager and got told this and that is to spend, people have criticised me and said 'you've done this with big money', but no I haven't. I used the best players I could who were already there, but those big figures banded around - not a chance."

Consortium 'has £7m to save Bury'

An international consortium has £7m in the bank and is ready to complete a takeover of Bury, if the EFL agrees to reinstate the club, Sky Sports News understands.

Gustavo Ferreira, a partner in a gold mining company, is the man behind the proposed takeover and is trying to get the EFL to rescind its decision to expel the club from the English Football League.

Read the full story here.

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