Bury Football Club – R.I.P.

The defenestration of Bury is a calamity for the club’s supporters and a note of loss for everyone who cares about English football. But it is all of these things within the rules as they stand and entirely in keeping with the broader culture. Bury failed because nothing within the current state of regulation could constrain the greed and ineptitude of their owners. And beyond that because the pyramid itself is on the verge of failing, something that is much more than simply a social concern.

Guardian 2019

It remains to be seen whether the temporary abolition of democracy or the closure of a famous football club has the greater impact on British culture and society.

On the subject of politics I have nothing to contribute. I just go to work.

On the subject of greedy financiers and ignorant entrepreneurs running a business into the ground – I can offer plenty from my last 50 years of full-time work.

Michael Gerber defined the three classes of business ownership in his classic “The E-Myth Revisited”;

  • Technicians – who make the things that make the money;
  • Managers – who create and supervise the systems that organise the technicians who make the things that make the money;
  • Entrepreneurs – who recruit and mentor the managers who create and supervise the systems that organise the technicians who make the things that make the money.

In a successful business, the entrepreneur intuitively or experientially understands what it’s like to be a manager and a technician – they have simply chosen to use their time and money in an more effective way.

It goes wrong when the entrepreneur doesn’t know “Jack Sh*t” about how to be a manager or a technician – and/or hires managers who don’t know how to be technicians.

It gets even worse when the entrepreneur persuades financiers that there is a killing to be made and they invest in the speculation.

When it goes wrong (as it always does):

  • The financiers tell their investors that it’s tough luck – to stop moaning because 1 in 6 gambles pay off and that’s what they signed up for – then they erase the debt from their balance sheet and move on;
  • The entrepreneur blames everyone else and moves on to their next big project, a little poorer (but not much) because the financier’s investors took the hit:
  • The managers have to find new jobs;
  • The technicians make the things that make the money somewhere else.

Bottom of the pile – the patients – oops, sorry, supporters and the community.

God forbid that anything like that would happen in UK dentistry.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.