THE fate of Bury Football Club rests in the hands of their footballing fraternity.

Much has been said and written about the 134-year-old club’s demise and why the game’s rule-makers must ensure it never happens to anyone else, but we should not talk as if there is no chance of resolution. There is still time to protect one of their own.

In one week, representatives of the 71 remaining EFL clubs will be asked if they want to vote on readmitting the Shakers into League Two next season.

Before then, a rescue board comprised of Forever Bury members, local and national politicians and more will table a plan of action which proves, beyond doubt, that there is a workable solution.

Clubs up and down the land will have a week to think about their next move. Motivation will be different, some may feel solidarity, some animosity and some further up the pyramid may feel detached from the matter altogether.

What every single one of them should realise, however, is that no club is immune from financial problems. There are already a handful of clubs at risk – and with the current distribution of television funds now on the decline, the number is only likely to increase.

We have already seen the dissolution of the Shakers’ academy, which had produced 25 first-team players in the last five years, including George Miller, Ryan Cooney, Callum Styles and Jacob Bedeau, generating around £2.5million in profit. To get back to anything like that level could take a decade.

Businesses around the stadium, particularly shops and pubs, will be hit hard with the loss of matchday revenue, and that is not to mention the emotional toll taken on Bury’s fans, who have had to stand by and watch helplessly as their club was allowed to wither on the vine.

A number of would-be buyers are waiting in the wings to see if there is a club to buy, including Gustavo Ferriera, the Brazilian pastor whose interest was mysteriously passed over in the hours after C&N Sporting Risk’s collapsed bid last month. But their interest would seem to hang entirely on Bury being reinstated in League Two next season.

It would seem the EFL has pulled up the drawbridge on any conversations with staff at Bury, other than the owner of the limited company, Steve Dale, who bought the club for just £1 and never fulfilled the league’s criteria.

A skeletal staff including general manager Scott Johnson and first team manager Paul Wilkinson are holding things together in the hope a solution can be found.

Everyone associated with the club welcomes the idea of Bury’s case being studied and lessons being learned to improve football’s governance from here on in – but the message from a padlocked Gigg Lane is that this need not be the end of the line.