Bury Town have been dealt a major blow in their squad rebuilding programme after losing centre-half Adam Tann to Suffolk rivals Leiston.
The experienced former Leyton Orient and Cambridge United defender agreed terms on a two-year contract with the east coast-based Ryman Premier side on Tuesday.
With Sam Nunn having opted to turn down non-contract terms and sign for Needham Market last month, it leaves the Blues with captain Tom Bullard as the only recognised central defender at the club.
Bury’s director of football Trevor Collins said: “That’s bitterly disappointing because we had made him a very good offer, but the sort of money Leiston offered is ludicrous and we would not put ourselves at risk to match them.”
The Blues were in discussion with three potential new signings as the Free Press went to print.
“It’s taken a little bit longer than we had hoped, but that is because of the quality of the players we are looking at,” said Collins.
Bury have already signed former Stevenage Borough midfielder Dave Bridges from Chelmsford City and left-back Seb Dunbar from Leiston this summer, but Sam Reed, Mark Coulson, Evan Key, Elliot Hunter, Nunn and Tann have all now departed.
Tann, 31, initially signed on loan from Chelmsford in December before joining Bury permanently on his release from the Clarets.
He went on to make 24 appearances for the Blues, but missed the Suffolk premier Cup final because he was taking part in an 850-mile charity cycle ride that Bury raised more than £1,000 towards.
n Bury’s pre-season fixtures will take in matches against Colchester United and Cambridge United.
League One club Colchester will send an under-21 side to Ram Meadow on Tuesday, July 21, while Conference Premier outfit Cambridge United visit on Monday, July 5.
There are also matches away to Thetford Town (July 12), Walsham-le-Willows (July 16) and Mildenhall Town (July 30) as well as a home clash with newly-promoted Southern Premier outfit King’s Lynn Town on August 3.
n The Blues moved a step closer to a new stadium on Moreton Hall as part of a proposed community football project in the town when St Edmundsbury Council agreed to loan Bury £200,000 towards the scheme.