Nicky Adams: Bury salary issues were 'no excuse' to ease off promotion push, says midfielder

Nicky Adams has made 53 appearances for Bury since rejoining the club from Carlisle last summer
Nicky Adams has made 53 appearances for Bury since rejoining the club from Carlisle last summer

Bury midfielder Nicky Adams says the club's players did not want to use the fact they had not been paid as an excuse to sit back in their push for promotion from League Two.

Bury sealed a League One return despite a tumultuous season off the field.

Club director Matt McCarthy apologised last month for off-field problems, which led to salaries not being paid.

"No one will remember what happened off the field, they'll go 'oh you bottled it'," Adams told BBC Radio Manchester.

"It's easy to down tools and say 'if we don't go up, we can use it as an excuse'. We didn't want that.

"Mentally it's hard because on one side you wonder how you're going to pay your bills and feed the kids, but on the other side you've got a job to do on the pitch."

The Professional Footballers' Association stepped in to pay 50% of money owed for March and April to Bury's players who are members, but non-playing staff have not yet been paid April salaries.

Chairman Steve Dale completed a takeover of the club earlier this season but said that the Shakers' finances were "significantly worse" than previously believed in a statement issued in April.

He has also put Bury up for sale.

The club will appear in the High Court again on Wednesday over an unpaid tax bill, having been adjourned on 10 April.

"In Leagues One and Two, there's no millionaires in football, we've all got mortgages and bills to pay," Adams continued.

"Everyone will say 'you're footballers so you're well paid' but people live to their means whatever you do in life, whether you work at Tesco or you're a professional footballer."

Risking their careers for the club

Adams sustained a serious knee injury earlier in his career and says that this played on his mind when the playing staff were waiting for wages to come through late in the season.

"It's not fair. We had to go into games, credit to my team-mates and gaffer, because we were going in risking our careers," Adams said.

"We were told we weren't getting paid and we were playing for free, but that's the desire of what my team-mates had. If we got injured and for example, I did my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) again, who's going to take me next season? Where am I going to go?

"It's testament to the team-mates that we all stuck together as a group. We owed it to each other and the fans because they've supported us all the way."

The situation at Bury was described as "extremely concerning" at an English Football League meeting last month and the Shakers' game against Colchester on 13 April only went ahead after an agreement was made over unpaid wages.

However, Adams says he was always going to play and was never tempted to go on strike, as has happened with the players of neighbouring Bolton Wanderers.

"When it's all said and done, I can turn around at the end of the season whether we went up or not and look you all in the eye and say I gave you everything," he said.

"You look at that Colchester game and we went out there, playing for free, risking our career. I know first-hand it can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye.

"We went out and the performance and celebrations galvanised everyone. We went on a little run and won the important games and that saw us through."