It was announced this week that the newly formed Bury A.F.C. would be accepted into the 10th tier of English football for the 2020/21 season, after the demise of Bury F.C.
The fan-led team has been allocated a spot in next season’s North West Counties League Division One North.
For former Bury F.C. player Jamie Hoyland, there is a clear disassociation between the two.
“It’s great that somebody’s trying to do something and start it going, but it’s not Bury Football Club.
“It’s not Bury Football Club, for me anyway” stated Hoyland, 54, who amassed 172 league appearances over four years at the club.
The news comes after the original Bury F.C. was expelled from the English Football League last year after years of longstanding difficulties.
Despite winning promotion to League One in 2019, the club’s financial issues prevented them from playing in the 2019-2020 season, ultimately expelling them on August 27th, 2019.
For Hoyland, the expulsion is still sore.
“I’m still upset that they’ve gone out the league,” he said.
“I just don’t understand why Bury haven’t been asked back to the league if they get their finances sorted.
“A lot of people at the moment are still really scarred with it and feel really hurt.
“People feel they’ve had their football club ripped away from them.
“They got the promotion and then got kicked out of the league, I think a lot of fans are still very raw about it.”
Whilst the club would need 7 promotions in order for the people of Bury to return to League One of English football, they can take motivation that it has been done before.
To achieve league football, Bury A.F.C. would need to follow in the footsteps of A.F.C. Wimbledon: another “phoenix club” created by fans which recently reached League One.
Hoyland’s advice for another case of an A.F.C. Wimbledon story comes down to the new club being wise with their budget.
“If they do go down the route of what Wimbledon has done, everything will need to be cheaper.
“You can’t bring in players on thousands a week, every penny will be watched so they never get in that position again.”
Having agreed to ground-share with Radcliffe F.C. at Stainton Park, short term success to the new football club of Bury will be boosting the attendance.
The 4,000 capacity ground will need to be rocking to ensure the debut season of Bury A.F.C. is well-supported when fans are eventually allowed back into matches.
This may take time for the fans of Bury with Hoyland noting the difference between the two clubs and how Bury F.C. is not dead and buried yet.
“I don’t think the whole of Bury is going to watch Bury A.F.C.
“Your ground (Gigg Lane) is still there. If that had been taken away and it was housing, you’d think the club’s gone.
“But while there is something there, a stadium and a pitch, then Bury Football Club’s still alive for me.
“The other one that is going to play at Radcliffe, I hope people do go along and get their football fix but for me, Bury Football Club is Bury Football Club.”