Bury Town could not compete with Leiston financially after Tom Bullard switch

Russell Ward

Russell Ward

Bury Town chairman Russell Ward conceded the Blues could not match Leiston financially after watching Tom Bullard swap Ryman League Premier Division clubs.

The commanding defender brought to an end a long association with the Ram Meadow club when he signed a two-year deal with Steve Ball’s ambitious Victory Road outfit yesterday.

Bullard’s exit came hot on the heels of former manager Richard Wilkins’ – the former Colchester United player parting company last week with the west Suffolk club after 14 years in charge.

“Tom was a great servant to the club, as was Richard Wilkins, but nothing lasts forever,” said Ward.

“We had spoken over the last few weeks and Tom felt he was getting a bit stale and we were hoping that a new challenge might come with a new manager joining.

“But we can’t compete financially with Leiston at the moment and we wish Tom well.

“He has been brilliant for us and you never know what the future is going to hold.

“Things may not work out for him at Leiston and he may end up back here one day.”

Ward revealed the club and caretaker manager Ben Chenery are already looking ahead to next season and centre-back Nathan Clarke, who signed on dual registration from Walsham-le-Willows, is a target.

“Tom was one of the highest earners at the club, along with Richard (Wilkins) so that raises the budget a bit,” said the Bury chairman.

“We are going to be speaking to a number of players and hopefully, by next weekend, we will start to put a squad together.

“It might take a bit longer than some other clubs but at the end of the day, players will be waiting to see who is going to take over here.

“It could be Ben (Chenery) who takes over and I know he is well connected through his time at Chelmsford, or it could be someone else with different ideas.”

On the appointment of a new manager at Ram Meadow, Ward added: “Ben is still here and doing the job we want him to do, so we can bide our time to ensure we make the right appointments.

“Had Ben left with Richard, there may have been more urgency to appoint a new man.”

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