GARY Bowyer has accused the EFL of “ducking out” of their responsibilities over the crisis surrounding Bolton and Bury.

Both famous Lancashire clubs remain in financial turmoil – with the Shakers’ existence under threat as the authorities consider whether to pull the plug.

Bury’s first five League One games have all been cancelled and they were kicked out of the Carabao Cup. Bolton called off their midweek match because of welfare concerns over the youngsters they have been using to make up the numbers.

The City boss agrees with other managers who have voiced their concerns about the integrity of the competition.

And he believes the EFL should have acted sooner to prevent the current situation from escalating.

Bowyer said: “We had the conversation ourselves on the bus back from Stevenage the other night.

“Teams that have been playing Bolton now have been up against a younger age group of players.

“Then when the takeover gets done, they will sign players with experience. There is a disadvantage with that compared to the teams they’ve played already.

“I totally understand what Lincoln manager Danny Cowley and (Fleetwood’s) Joey Barton have said. In my opinion, the EFL should never have let it get to this.

“There has to be sanctions that can be put in place that don’t allow clubs to get to this stage. They are ducking out of it.”

Former Bantams boss Phil Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin quit Bolton on Thursday after more than three years at the helm.

Bowyer added: “I think it’s a credit to him that he’s lasted as long as he has with what he has to contend with.

“He’s done a brilliant job and both him and Steve have conducted themselves fantastically. In my opinion, it won’t be long before they are back in.

“Would I have stuck it out? You can’t say that about anybody until you’re actually there and have been through it yourself.

“I suppose you do have a level where you get to when you wake up and say, ‘that’s me, I can’t go on any more like this.’

“Obviously the pair of them have reached a situation where that’s as far as they can go with it.”

Bowyer is adamant the buck ultimately stops with the EFL – and the lack of financial scrutiny at senior level.

“You look at the league table and see the two teams at the bottom with minus whatever. It’s certainly tough.

“But they play in the EFL and the EFL should do more with their governance.

“The EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan to develop home-grown players) have to do an audit every so many months or years and you have to document and provide evidence.

“But clubs don’t have to do it at first-team level – it doesn’t make sense.”