FORMER Bury trialist Roger Johnson says staff bought food for the players with their own money as the club hurtled towards collapse over the summer.

The former Wycombe, Cardiff, Birmingham and Wolves defender spent pre-season with the Shakers and was in line to sign a contract should the club’s financial crisis be resolved.

The 36-year-old was with the club for around two months and saw first-hand what life was like at Gigg Lane as owner Steve Dale’s battle with the EFL ultimately saw the club kicked out of the Football League.

Johnson was full of praise for the dedicated Shakers staff who did what they could to keep the club afloat.

“Everyone worked so hard and they were working for nothing,” he told talkSPORT.

“With the food, the office ladies were going down to Costco and getting big lasagnes, bread and getting all the lads breakfast all out of their own pocket.

“So much went in to keep that club afloat.

“It’s hard for me to comment because I get so wound up with it. I had to step away from it to be honest.”

Johnson, last with National League Bromley in May and still without a club, insists the EFL should have done more well before the Shakers’ situation reached crisis point back in August, supporters now working on a phoenix club that they hope will emerge in non-league next season.

“There has to be something in place for people like Steve Dale to not be allowed to take over a football club,” he said.

“There was ample opportunity for him to just do what they asked for. Over and over again it happened.

“How was he allowed to keep doing that? How was he allowed to take over in the first place?”

The veteran’s initial move up to Bury came on the arrival of Dave Jones, as club consultant, and Paul Wilkinson, manager.

Johnson had worked under both at Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday and was offered what looked like the ideal project for him at the tail end of his playing career.

“The manager Paul Wilkinson was assistant when I was at Cardiff. Dave Jones was in there who was my manager at Cardiff and I was with them both at Sheffield Wednesday so they know what I’m about,” he said.

“They said ‘look, we want you up, you’re perfect for what we’re going to need’.

“I went up there, did all pre-season, week by week it was ‘yeah it’s going to be sorted, it’s going to be sorted’ and it just ended up never getting sorted.

“The contract was there for me to sign as soon as the situation was sorted. It was all good to go.

“I was going in as player and first-team coach so it was perfect for me.”