It’s a bittersweet time to be a Bury fan. Just a couple of weeks ago they looked set to challenge Lincoln City for the League Two title, pushing them all the way.
Then news broke of financial concerns and it snowballed quickly. One minute they were on the crest of a wave, looking up rather than down. The next minute, they’re staring the end in the face.
They survived a winding up order this week, but it’s only been deferred. The chairman has a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season to ensure there will be football at Gigg Lane next year.
One player who perhaps typifies the issues at the club is 35-year-old Jermaine Beckford. The former Everton, Leeds and Leicester striker joined after being released from Preston in May 2017, part of a huge overhaul of the squad by the ambitious owner.
Sadly, it was a dream built on sand, incorrectly funded and doomed to failure, instead of challenging for the Championship, they were relegated.
Some of the high-earners moved on in the summer, Chris Maguire being one, but Beckford couldn’t go anywhere. After scoring eight times in 16 matches last season, he picked up a serious knee injury that ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.
He’s struggled to get fit this time around too, playing just 13 minutes of their League Two season.
His contract is up at the end of the season and it looks like being a sad end to a very good career. He played in the top flight and represented some great clubs, but his final act has been to help drag a struggling team down.
His wages won’t have been cheap and without his input on the field, all the club have done is fritter money away. It’s not Beckford’s fault, he signed a deal and would always take his wages, but it must be a hard situation for him to be in.
He’s done his best for the club, his early goals ratio was good, but not only is his career coming to an end, but it might also signal the end of the club that signed him.