Sheffield United: 'It's a very sad situation' - Blades manager Chris Wilder has his say on troubles faced by crisis clubs Bury and Bolton Wanderers
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has described the plights of Bury and Bolton Wanderers as 'very sad situations' after expressing his sympathy with fans of the crisis clubs.
Bury, after 134 years of existance, could only be hours away from being expelled from the Football League and are yet to play a game this season, amid doubts over owner Steve Dale's ability to fund the club for the rest of the season.
Their first five league games have been postponed, their EFL Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday was forfeited and they have until close of business tomorrow to prove to the EFL's board that they have a credible business plan. If they cannot, they will become the first club since Maidstone in 1992 to be thrown out of the league.
At Bolton, manager Phil Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin resigned this week amid the club's escalating financial issues. They began the season with a 12-point penalty and seven senior players, two of whom were goalkeepers; earlier this week, they postponed their League One clash with Doncaster Rovers over "welfare concerns" for their young squad.
Wilder was once of the coaching staff at Bury, and remains close friends with Parkin and Bolton's goalkeeping coach Lee Butler.
He also has prior experience of money troubles at clubs; he was in charge of Halifax Town when they went bust, before winning promotion with Northampton Town while wages weren't being paid.
And, at his pre-match press conference this morning to preview Saturday's game against Leicester City, Wilder said: "When any historic club, like Bury and Bolton and other clubs in the past, have found themselves in difficulty and trouble, it's a very sad situation.
"And the people who get punished are the the fans. Look at teams like Portsmouth; one minute they're in Europe and winning the FA Cup, the next they're in League Two.
"It's a difficult situation for supporters to handle and deal with. There's certainly been an issue in all these clubs and, usually, the obvious one is an overspend."