Bury Manager David Flitcroft believes that players don’t come to Bury for money, but to be at a club which has ambition.
The Football League Agent Fees list was released this week and one point it showed was the fact that the Shakers had paid nothing to agents, for signings including the likes of Joe Riley, Leon Clarke, Peter Clarke and Tom Pope.
This was even more impressive when taking into account that they were the highest team in the Football League structure to have managed this feat, especially as a team that has settled in brilliantly to their new League as a newly promoted side.
Bury Manager David Flitcroft has stated that he and Chairman Stewart Day will only sign players that believe in the project that they have at Bury, and players that want to play and improve themselves in an environment that puts emphasis on training.
Speaking to Shakers PlayerHD, David Flitcroft said: “I’m an honest hard-working manager, I’ve got an incredibly honest and hard-working staff, as well as a group of players that commit to everything we do here whether it’s a classroom session or out on the training field, and I’m proud of that.
“We put a lot of time and effort into trying to coach our team into improving, which makes players want to come here not because their agents are telling them too or because they are getting more money.
“Some of the amounts I’m seeing in this League are obscene, when you can figure out that the bottom five or six teams in our League are probably spending the same amount on their wage budget that Wigan Athletic do just on agents, that’s when you starting seeing real relevance to fact.
“As a football club you sign players because they want to come to the football club and because they have fallen in love with the project, and luckily that’s what I’ve been able to do. People want to come here for football reasons, and that’s very important to me.
“If there was a player that wanted to come here because of money, believe me when I say they would not sign for Stewart Day and they would not sign for David Flitcroft.”
Flitcroft believes that the amounts going to agents in the current footballing landscape is not sustainable, and means that money is going out of the game into people’s pockets instead of helping to improve the quality of grassroots football in England.
He explained: “It drives me absolutely insane that the grassroots of football, schools football and county football are on the decline. The quality of football out there and the facilities available are an absolute joke in this country, the whole system is a mess.
“I spent some of my summer out in Holland, where the facilities and 4G pitches are government backed, and it’s a country that has a better climate than ours. We’ve seen lately with the weather and where that’s at, it all boils in to one that these guys that are getting richer, buying yachts and big houses and retiring as millionaire, while we are trying to get our footballing nation back on track and we can’t even invest that money into grassroots.
“It’s a concern for me as I’m heavily involved in grassroots, so when I see the amount of games being called off in grassroots around the Bolton, Bury and Wigan areas and you see them agent figures come out, to me it’s about the bigger picture.”
Watch the full interview with David Flitcroft later today.