by The Boy Holty
(September 1, 2011)
This week has seen far more transfer activity than the entire close season. Ryan Lowe joined Sheffield Wednesday and Damien Mozika signed for Scunthorpe United for undisclosed fees. In the other direction we have taken Giles Coke on loan from Wednesday and Shane Byrne on loan from Leicester City whilst we signed Shaun Harrad from Northampton Town for an undisclosed fee. This deal represents the first time Bury have paid money for a player since we paid Shrewsbury £30,000 for Glynn Hurst in 2007.
In terms of the players departing, Ryan Lowe saw an opportunity with a couple of years left in his playing career to increase his wages and to play for a much bigger club, albeit in league one. We cant have any complaints at his decision to do that. His goals have brought us promotion and with seven from seven games this season, it looked like they would keep us in this division aswell so we wish him good luck in what Chairman Brian Fenton ruefully described as ‘his retirement at Sheffield Wednesday. Lowe was great for team spirit and his enthusiasm and dedication to the Shakers cause will be missed.
Damien Mozika is a different story. His agent has a lot to answer for and will have been gleefully counting the money he got from the deal without giving a toss about the player or either of the clubs involved. A move to Scunthorpe could never be described as an upwards step. The club is no bigger than Bury (and with zero history) and the team looks worse than ours. The deciding factor was undoubtedly the increase in salary plus the chance to work with Alan Knill again but in terms of developing as a player, he would have been much better off staying at Bury where he had been sensational this season. Brian Fenton said of Mozika that he had been unhappy for a number of weeks and that he had put in a transfer request. This being the case, and the team spirit at Bury being so vital to our success, he is probably better off being a disruptive and negative influence at another club rather than Bury.
The fees involved in these transfers have not been made public but if it was less than £400,000 for the pair of them then some people at the club need to take a very good look at themselves. Both players were under contract and Bury were under no obligation or pressure to sell apart from the players themselves. Yet I suspect that once again Bury would have been the lesser of the three parties at any discussions as bigger or wealthier clubs made all the moves and bullied us into selling for a low fee. I may be wrong and I hope I am but I doubt it.
One things for certain, no long term replacement has been found for Mozika. Harrad may well fill Lowes boots, but now the only fit central midfielders at the club apart from Peter Sweeney are short term loan players and that doesnt give us much in the way of stability.
All in all its been a horrific few days and I expect Richie Barker looks ten years older than he did last weekend, and probably even more so after an inevitable thumping at Sheffield United on Saturday.
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