Former Bury striker Andy Bishop is concerned the club will be left in limbo by their current ownership issues.

With administration looking a possibility if Steve Dale cannot strike a deal to sell the club solvent and a High Court hearing to come later this month, there is no immediate end in sight to the Shakers’ woes.

Losing manager Ryan Lowe and key midfielder Nicky Adams this week was another damaging blow to the promoted side, who at present have just nine contracted players with eight weeks remaining before the start of the League One season.

Bishop believes the chaos at neighbouring Bolton Wanderers has taken focus off the immediate problems at Bury but that both teams will be experiencing similar recruitment problems over the coming weeks.

“This should be the time they are sorting out the squad but the whole place is up in the air now,” he said. “By the time it gets sorted, the players you actually want will be already taken.

“Bolton are a massive club and shouldn’t be where they are in League One – what has happened there has taken a lot of the headlines off Bury, who had done terrifically well to get back to that level.

“This league is a challenge. I remember going up last time and the club managed to finish mid-table on a small budget. 

“For all this to be happening when they should be celebrating their success is such a shame.”

The confusion at Gigg Lane was summed up this week when Bolton-born playmaker Adams announced he was leaving for Northampton Town in League Two after an agreed contract extension turned out to be a dud.

“The way the club’s staff and the players have been treated is a disgrace and for a player like Nicky Adams to feel he has to leave – they should be building a team around someone like that,” Bishop said.

“I played with him, remember him coming into the team as a 17-year-old, and I know what the place means to him. 

“To see them not look after him twice now is wrong.

“You shouldn’t be helping a club get promoted then finding out your contract is invalid.

“He’s the type of person you’d want to be building your dressing room around after promotion.”

Though financial issues were often mooted under previous chairman Stewart Day, uncertainty over the extent of the debts owed continued well after he had stepped away from the club.

Bishop has been unimpressed by the words and actions of current owner Dale and hopes he can sell the club, foregoing the need to go into administration, which would leave the Shakers with a 12-point deficit at the start of the League One season.

“Under the previous chairman, Stewart Day, there was a lot of money spent that they didn’t have,” he said. 

“You were getting in players on big wages, bigger names, the move to Carrington probably gave people a wrong impression of where the club was at, financially. They could never sustain that.

“At the moment we don’t know what is going to happen – the chairman doesn’t seem to be doing or saying anything.

“We hear there are people who want to buy but do they, or anyone else know how much trouble they are really in? I feel like it’ll be a while before this gets sorted out, and the sad thing is that the season isn’t far away.”

Bishop keeps in touch with friends made at the club over a seven-year spell which saw him score 83 goals in 264 games in all competitions.

“It’s such a shame for the fans because they have been there through thick and thin,” he said.

“They are good people and they don’t deserve to be going through this. They absolutely love the place.

“It isn’t about football, it’s people’s livelihoods. The club supports their families and it is letting them down.”