Personal Statement from Chris Kirkland and David Flitcroft
Bury Football Club have, today, agreed to cancel the contract of first team player Chris Kirkland with immediate effect. It follows lengthy discussions, in which the 35 year old has indicated he requires some time away from the profession.
Explaining his decision Kirkland said; “I have asked Bury FC to cancel my contract with immediate effect and I am thankful to the Gaffer and the Chairman for the compassion and understanding they have shown.
“I know people will find it hard to understand why someone like myself, who has been lucky enough to have spent my professional life in football and enjoyed all the benefits that comes with that, needs some time and space away from the game; however, it's a decision I've taken putting my families future and well-being first. It's been the toughest decision I've ever had to make, but I know it's the right one.
“I hope, at the appropriate time, I might be able to, again, be involved and work within football, either as a player or in coaching or even work within the community. I believe that taking this break will allow me to come back refreshed, with a new perspective on the game that will be valuable to someone.
“Again, I'd like to place on record my thanks to the club, the players, the staff, management and the Chairman for showing what top class people they are in how they've managed this situation for me. I'll be supporting them all season long and wishing them well in the League One campaign. Above all, I wish great success to David Flitcroft, who's shown me that leadership of a football club carries with it many responsibilities and he excels at all of them; I will always be grateful for the support he has given me.”
David Flitcroft commented; "It's been a difficult situation to deal with for me as a manager. When someone like Chris Kirkland, who has so much to offer the game as a player and as a person comes into your building and says he doesn't want to and can't carry on you have to listen.
"One thing I pride myself on as a manager is that I'm always approachable to my players and staff and understand the pressures that sometimes can be experienced away from football. We work in a fantastic industry but the game and life has many pressures and can be very difficult at times.
"Chris needs time out away from the game he loves, but family is and will always be more important than football. Chris has chosen to devote all his time to his family and both the club and I support his difficult decision.
"He knows of the unconditional support he has and will always receive from me and the club. We wish Chris and his family well and I hope to see him return in some capacity to football when the time is right for him.”