FIRST Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient, now it’s the turn of Bolton Wanderers and Bury.

Financial meltdown at Pools and Orient happened as both fell out of the Football League, Pools problems coming to a desperate head months later.

Against Wrexham, the fans of the town and the North-East turned out in support to raise the profile of their plight and bring in some desperately needed cash to help stave the administrators from the door.

Ironically, as Bury and Bolton stand on the brink, Pools take on Wrexham at Victoria Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

Both League One clubs have until Tuesday to sort their problems. Despite the life support machines still being on with time fast running out, the EFL still manages to close for the weekend.

The Shakers have been given until 5pm on Tuesday to secure their future, with current owner Steve Dale in talks with data analytics company C&N Sporting Risk over a potential takeover.

However, EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans has suggested that deadline could be extended if only "one per cent" of the deal remains to be completed, while at the same time reiterating her warning that the governing body will not allow any more games to be postponed.

The Shakers have yet to play this season. Current chairman and owner Steve Dale has been advised by Dave Jones, the ex-Pools boss who was in charge as the club crumbled apart.

Bury were promoted last season from League Two, but is now a shell of a club.

Hignett said: “Something needs to be done about it because clubs are getting so far down the line now. Not long ago it was us, Orient, now Bury, Bolton. Some clubs, if the owner pulls the plug then who comes in and picks it up when outgoings are too much?

“Has the Bury owner took too much on in the first place? Players haven’t been paid their wages by the club as owed and promised.’’

Hignett returned to Pools when Raj Singh and Jeff Stelling rescued the club from oblivion. As manager he had to contend with the endless financial problems behind the scenes under Gary Coxall.

He was then part of the rescue and can see what Singh and Stelling are trying to do with the club.

Returning to the Football League is what it’s all about, but the chairman won’t allow manager to go for broke.

Hignett added: “It’s not long since we were struggling, but Bury are a bit different – they went for it last year, got promoted and gambled. So they go up and then they can’t afford to be where they are. It’s pointless.

“Build a stable club with foundations and don’t expect it all now and instead build. Bury have been, and I don’t want to sound disrespectful, wrong in how they did it last season.

“But the ones who suffer are supporters and players. No-one is brought to account higher up – fit and proper persons test is a tick box exercise.

“We had to show we had the finances to see the club through the season, which is alright at this level, but then there’s a debate over higher up if they have to show the finances are there for longer, for three seasons.

“People push the boat out sometimes to get somewhere and make a go of it. I feel for Bury, the fans and the club – it’s a good club poorly ran and gambled with.

Bolton were thumped 5-0 on Saturday by Ipswich, the game coming days after boss Phil Parkinson quit the club.

Bolton, who have also been handed a 12-point penalty, could face the renewed threat of expulsion from the Football League if a sale does not go through by Tuesday afternoon.

Asked if that was a possibility, Jevons said: "What I am saying is the board will absolutely consider the situation, what it is when it is placed before it, and if the deal isn't done, the board will consider lifting the suspension of the withdrawal of their membership.

"Then in 14 days if nothing happened, yes, potentially Bolton would have its membership withdrawn."

Bolton called off their game in midweek citing worries about the young players who are forced into action.

Hignett added: “Bury never played a game yet, Bolton have played with kids. If Bury are sorted they can sort the season with a proper team.

“Bolton’s kids are suffering, the welfare of them has to be considered. When I was 18 I wasn’t physically ready, some lads are, some aren’t and it’s tough out there. They must have lads who aren’t ready yet who are playing. ‘’