T is no laughing matter when a football club dies. As EFL bosses solemnly pulled the plug on the 124-year existence of Bury FC this week and kept Bolton Wanderers on the life support machine for another 14 days, it all brought back memories of the messy goings on at Rangers circa 2012 and the five-way agreement cobbled together by administrators, liquidators, and SFA and SPFL office bearers which sees the club still take to the field to this day.

A million different conspiracy theories instantly sprung up around that five-way agreement – it covers topics such as the potential stripping of titles in the wake of the club’s tax cases - but working out what to do with a basket case as big as Rangers back then was always likely to be an agonising, emotive decision for everyone involved.

Suddenly, the directors of every club a decision to make – directors who often found themselves dragged in contrasting directions by their fans and their bank managers.

As this week’s episode in England proves, the worst thing for the game’s guardians is dealing with a club in financial distress midway through a season, particularly if it is the kind of club whose financial pull affects everyone’s bottom line. Considering Rangers were one part of the match-up which commanded any genuine market value in this country, perhaps they always were too big to fail.

It was a swift, messy form of justice which Rangers were met with back then but unlike poor little Bury, buried a couple of games into the season with the league limping on with just 23 spots, they didn’t miss a beat. They were just forced to restart from Scotland’s bottom division with a largely different pool of players.

A lot of people made a lot of money out of Rangers back then. Plenty of people – including small business whose debt was never repaid – lost plenty too.

But as Steven Gerrard’s side attempt to go toe-to-toe on almost level footing with Celtic this Sunday in the first Old Firm match of the season, I’m not sure that the imperfect solution which the game’s administrators almost accidentally came up with to solve the Rangers problem was too far wide of the mark.

Many football fans lampooned the notion that some kind of imminent Armageddon would strike during Rangers’ wilderness years, but it is also true that Scottish football was a fairly barren place as they worked their way back to the big time. Sure, more trophies were shared out to clubs like Aberdeen, Ross County, St Mirren and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Hibs even won a Scottish Cup.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, admitting that Rangers’ exile from the top division was costing his club £15m a season, used their rivals predicament to enhance his club’s power base, blooding some excellent young players like Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor, and banking money for a rainy day. When Mark Warburton’s side hinted they may be on the way back by beating Celtic on penalties in that Scottish Cup semi-final, they had the wherewithal to splash the cash on the likes of Brendan Rodgers and Moussa Dembele. Missing out on the Champions League this season is untimely, but there should still be enough cash to bolster Neil Lennon’s squad further in face of the increased challenge from across the city.

But if the Bury and Bolton issues – and the Rangers one - show anything, it is that the imperative to run football clubs efficiently has never been greater. These, of course, should be halcyon days for EFL clubs, who can benefit from the drip down effect of the FA Premier League’s riches. Plenty of League One sides will blow Ladbrokes Premiership clubs out of the water before the window in the two leagues closes on September 2.

The ideal is something on the German model, where strict regulations are in place to balance commercial interests with the needs of the community they serve. But instead, a form of destination is abroad in the leagues south of the border, where clubs in the championship can routinely run with budgets of £25m to £35m a year to try to reach the promised land. It may be unfair to expect governing bodies with little in the way of manpower to perform exhaustive fit and proper person tests but governance and transparency in the way our clubs are being run has never been more important.