CHRIS Stokes admits he is considering walking away from Bury for nothing with no end in sight to pay issues at Gigg Lane

The full-back, who played a major part in the Shakers’ success under Ryan Lowe last season, says the financial pressures of not being paid fully since March are now starting to tell.

Stokes wants to stay at Bury and enjoy the rewards of promotion in League One but says a lack of clarity on when – or if – wages issues will be solved could force his hand.

“I don’t really have a choice as I’m not getting paid,” he said.

“When you’re a footballer you have a short career, so you have to look after your family, and I’ve had a successful time on the pitch in the last couple of seasons.

“Teams will obviously be interested in that, and they will be looking at that if they want to go up from League Two for example, or I can play in League One where I’ve done that at the top end with Coventry.

“I’m now in a situation in my contract where I can leave for free, so I have that right to do that.

"It’s up to Bury, because I’d rather stay if I can because I moved to this football club to be a part of it, I’ve moved my family up here and we’ve settled in the area, so if I can carry on and I do get paid then I’d love to stay.

“However, at this moment in time we are getting no information from the chairman, so if we don’t get paid then obviously I will have to look for a new football club.”

Bury Times: Chris Stokes opens up on Bury's pay problems Chris Stokes opens up on Bury's pay problems

Stokes says Bury’s players considered going on strike in April, emulating the unsavoury situation which unfolded at neighbouring Bolton Wanderers, but elected against it for the sake of pushing for a top three spot in League Two.

“We had lots and lots of meetings and when we went into training they ended up being three-hour meetings in the changing rooms,” he told The Sportsman. 

“It was emotional as well as obviously you’d go into training every morning and you’d see lads being unable to pay their bills. We also had meetings with the staff and some of them would break down crying.

“You feel responsible as we are the players who keep things going, so if it doesn’t go well then there’s no football club. So we all stuck together as a team, we went on the pitch and did the job and hopefully now, all that won’t be for nothing and the club can push forward and be a successful League One club.”

The former Coventry defender says he has received his wage for March but is still unpaid for April and May - with the PFA providing top-up loans to help pay bills.

With no manager in place, Stokes has called on Steve Dale to give the players some hope.

“We feel like supporters really because we don’t have any information, so we need the chairman to come out and give us something, otherwise we are going to lose the players,” he said.

For more from Stokes on Bury's plight click HERE