BALANCING the books was Bury’s primary concern in the summer of 1992 – which led to the club accepting an offer of just £37,500 from Reading for highly-rated midfielder Phil Parkinson.

Parkinson was one of the top three wage earners on the books in Mike Walsh’s squad, which had been relegated to the fourth tier – confusingly, now called the new Division Three – the season prior.

And with his contract ticking down, chairman Terry Robinson claimed the club had no choice but to accept the Royals’ bid, rather than risk a tribunal.

“We would have liked him to stay but the players have freedom of contract and we had not been able to meet his terms,” he said.

“Somebody has been willing to pay a lot more money than we were able to afford.”

The club had been forced into selling defender Colin Greenall to Preston a few months earlier to satisfy bank demands and were also having to pay a hefty chunk of the redevelopment costs for the old Main Stand at Gigg Lane.

Walsh would start looking towards the non-league for signings that summer, with the likes of Nicky Daws, Andy Reid, Derek Ward, Darren Lyons and Andy Kilner snapped up at Gigg.

Flashback photo

The Bolton News:

Ian Stevens arrived at Gigg Lane on this week in 1991 from local rivals Bolton Wanderers. Signed on a free transfer by Mike Walsh on the same day as full-back Paul Robertson, the 24-year-old rebuilt his career at Gigg Lane, making 119 appearances and scoring 38 goals before moving on to Shrewsbury Town three years later.

This week in Shakers history

1959: Chairman GB Horridge was confident Bury could fight their way back into the Second Division after the club’s books showed a profit of £2,519 on the previous year.

1963: Outside-right Warren Bradley slipped through the net at Gigg Lane after a contract mix-up with the Football Association. The former England international, who also worked as a schoolmaster, was meant to play part-time but the FA refused to sanction his deal.

1978: Dave Hatton said there would be no more signings at Gigg Lane after completing a £15,000 deal to sign Crewe’s midfielder Ray Lugg and teenage utility player Ronnie Evans, who had been on the books at Manchester City.

1989: Bury completed the signing of Chris Withe from Notts County – whose manager, Neil Warnock, claimed had cost £100,000. “That’s ridiculous,” countered Sam Ellis. The club also signed Gareth Price from Mansfield but were desperate to fend off Ipswich’s interest in Jamie Hoyland.