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Shakers set to pay off PFA debt
BURY expect to pay off their loan to the PFA this week, according to commercial director David Manchester.
The club is waiting on its annual payments from the Premier League, thought to be around £200,000, which are expected to be in their bank account by tomorrow.
That windfall will help wipe off the PFA debt, which triggered the transfer embargo imposed by the Football League last month.
And while the restrictions on registering new players will not be automatically lifted, it is only thought to be a matter of time before Bury can dip back into the transfer market.
The effect of the embargo – compounded by a raft of injuries, illnesses and departures – could be clearly seen at MK Dons last Saturday, although the Shakers dug deep to earn a point.
“The performance the team put in at MK Dons – with David Worrall playing out of position and only three outfield players on the bench – was nothing short of incredible,” said Manchester.
“I don’t know how (manager) Kevin Blackwell does it? He is performing miracles with the squad. We call him Paul Daniels.”
Bury have not won in eight League One matches, but, after a number of battling draws, they remain just three points from safety.
Manchester and his fellow directors are now committed to putting the club back on an even keel financially to give Blackwell and his squad the best possible chance of league survival.
“The key to making sure this (transfer embargo) doesn’t happen again is good housekeeping,” he said.
“We have to live within our means.
“It is clear we are trying to run a League One club with Conference attendances. So to keep competing at this level we really need to look at increasing our revenue streams off the pitch.”
Manchester said the club is launching a bond scheme to raise capital, with the details set to be released next week.
Bury will also receive a cash windfall from Sky, who will televise their match at Notts County on Friday, February 22.
But it is clear a boost in attendances between now and the end of the season would also help stave off further financial problems.
Bury had an average gate of 3,600 last season, but have only broken 3,000 in three matches so far this campaign.
The average has dropped to 2,600, but with a key home game against Sheffield United coming up on Tuesday and former Championship sides Coventry and Doncaster Rovers visiting in the next month, that figure is set to rise.
“We have not had too many big games at home, but we have got three big ones coming up,” said Manchester.
“I sincerely hope the town will get behind the team and we can get some big crowds.”
Bury welcome Stevenage to Gigg Lane on Saturday before the big one against Sheffield United next week.
Blackwell’s squad will be boosted by the return of Andy Bishop, who has recovered from a heel injury, while Troy Hewitt and Andrai Jones have recovered from a sickness bug. However, David Healy remains sidelined with a groin problem.
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