RYAN Lowe, the former Bury manager, last season worked at the club amid a backdrop of financial carnage. Craig Hignett knows just what it’s all about.

While Hignett is now in charge of a financially stable Hartlepool United, the last time he was in charge it was very different.

The club’s former chairman Gary Coxall oversaw a dramatic downfall as he ran out of money, following his separation from his business partner who was funding the operation. Pools never ended up like Bury and effectively been put out of business, but they were on the road to ruin.

Pools players in 2016/17 were paid. It may have been late, the money may have come from third parties with the consequences to come later, but they did get paid. Pools were relegated from the Football League at the end of the season.

“I had players here before worried about their wages,’’ reflected Hignett, who tonight takes his Pools side to Barrow seeking a third consecutive National League victory. “You don’t act like a manager then, your human head comes on.

“I had players phone me about their wages here. Asking when they are getting paid because the bank was onto them about their mortgage payments.

“That’s when you stop being a manager and a human being.’’

An FA Cup humbling at Port Vale in December 2016 was played against a backdrop of chaos. There was an unplanned and most unwelcome dressing room visit from Coxall as the players awaited their delayed wages, three goals conceded in the opening 31 minutes, a post-match hour-long dressing room lock-in.

For Bury the gates to Gigg Lane are locked. Who knows what the future holds for the club.

Hignett said: “It’s disgusting. Promotion last season was all for nothing and it’s cost them. I know a few of their lads and they’ve lost their jobs, as have people who have worked there for years.

“It’s mismanagement on a massive scale. Where do they go from here? National League North? Phoenix club? To lose a club like that, it could be anyone.

“Owners like that have let it get to that point. I had it here last time. If you can’t afford it then admit it, but to let it on and cheat your way through it…. Steve Dale will walk away. He even said Bury didn’t have a club and then he’s allowed in charge – staggering.’’

Bury’s players are without a club, with no wage coming in and no hope of clawing back monies owed. The PFA have stepped in to help them financially, but Hignett said of owner Dale: “It’s alright someone saying they have had 50 per cent of their wages. They need 100 per cent which is what they signed up for.

“Players, footballers, live for their means. Whatever they earn goes on a hour, car, food, kids. If they are at Bury then that £150,000 house becomes a £5m house if they are a Premier League player.

“You get the cars, all that comes with it and now it’s gone for lads at Bury.’’

Pools’ victory at Torquay on Saturday made it seven points from nine and they travel across the A66 and beyond this evening in confident mode.

Striker Gime Toure has six goals and set up Peter Kioso for the winning goal at Plainmoor. Of the Frenchman, Hignett admitted: “Gime is loving everything about life – playing, where he lives, playing week in week out – and it shows in his performances. He offers us something we’ve not had in a while.

“Luke Molyneux has that talent and Gime has it, but it scoring goals as well.

“Gime can be frustrating and get frustrated with himself, but loves everything about everything right now!

“As long as he has people to talk to him and tell him it doesn’t matter when he makes a mistake or doesn’t get it right. When you get something special from him, then the sloppy bits of play don’t matter as much.

“The fans love him, he’s had as good a start here as can be expected and now we hope he carries it on.

“He scored scruffy goals as well as great ones. He got two headers and his second one was a really good one to guide home a ball without pace.

“He has a bit of everything – can go past people and shoot and score, headers go in, he has a lot about him to be able to play higher and it’s our job to allow him to play higher.’’