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Your club needs YOU

August 28, 2019

“THERE are fans in tears here at Gigg Lane. Voices of anger. Disbelief.”

The above is a Tweet, sent at 11.08pm on the evening of Tuesday, August 27 2019, by a journalist from BBC Radio Manchester.

Fifty minutes later, the same journalist Tweeted again. It was a picture of a solitary man at Bury FC’s home ground, crouching, deep in thought.

That man, and thousands of others, are crestfallen today. Their club – and it’s been their club whether they’ve been around for weeks or decades – has been kicked out of the English Football League.

And although it has not come to pass yet, the possibility exists that the punishment could end the club’s existence after 134 years.

The supporters and staff of Bury all need an arm round the shoulder today. They certainly have one from us at the Sons Supporters Trust.

It is a devastating situation, and utterly disgraceful that it has reached this stage. Those responsible must be held to account.

But all the arms round the shoulder in the world, and any punishment being inflicted on the people who brought about this sordid scenario, won’t give those supporters and staff what they now crave.

They wouldn’t care if their team never won another game. They wouldn’t care if it never repeated the scenes at what stands to be their last ever league fixture, at the end of last season when they celebrated promotion to League One.

They just want to have a club. They still do, as it stands. But the chances of its continuation may not be high, and even if the immediate obstacles were to be overcome, there would be several mountains to climb to reach the level that the club has grown used to.

There are groups of fans up and down the country who do still have a club competing in senior football. They of course include Dumbarton.

And if there is any time for supporters to show how much their club means to them, it is now.

This is the time for fans up and down the country to work to ensure THEIR club is absolutely watertight against Bury’s current scenario repeating itself far closer to home.

However many times you’ve come home on a Saturday afternoon having had the living daylights frustrated out of you, you have a club.

However many times you’ve seen six goals in your net before the schools have even returned from their summer holiday, you have a club.

However many times you’ve stood in the freezing cold, deluging rain, with your team 3-0 down and down to 10 men, you have a club.

You have the opportunity to enjoy the release from everyday life that football is meant to be.

You have the opportunity to go somewhere on a Saturday feeling that however bad it was last week, this time around might be different.

You have the opportunity to make friends who will celebrate the good times with you and commiserate during the bad ones, and to make memories which you will recount to your grandchildren decades down the line.

You have the opportunity of days like Saturday – fantastic weather, a victory, and simply a more positive ethos around the place. It’s hard to explain what made it more positive – it just was.

The supporters and staff of Bury have none of that in terms of competing in the EFL. It could well be that soon they won’t have any of that at all.

This is three months after they were promoted. That’s how quickly it can change.

So now is the time to show what YOUR club means to you. If you haven’t been to a game for some time, go. Buy a season ticket if that’s still possible although paying as you go will do.

Whether a regular or not, buy a programme when you’re through the turnstile. Buy some merchandise. Sign up for a supporters’ group like the trust whose website you are reading now.

Ask if there is any way you can become involved. Can you sell programmes, help to spruce up the stadium, help to promote the club and its fixtures to the community at large?

Here at Dumbarton, we have a working group of fans who are in constant contact on ways to help the club.

DFC is also governed by a board of directors, at full and associate level, who have one thing in common. Not only the survival, but the continued progress, of the club, is their number one priority.

We are pulling together off the pitch, but we ALWAYS welcome more input.

Whatever works for you as a supporter of your club, do it. You never know when you might not have the chance.

As they celebrated promotion, Bury certainly didn’t. We wish them well. We just wish we could do more than that.

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