Bury back from the dead as Shakers formally apply to play in non-league next season and plot EFL return | The Sun

BURY could finally be back up and running next season after the expelled EFL club yesterday formally submitted an application to play non-league.

The Shakers — who were formed in 1885 — have submitted a business plan to the FA setting a target of returning to the EFL by 2031 and are likely to be placed in the North West Counties League.

Club sources have revealed to SunSport that they already have experienced and successful non-league managers who have applied to build a team with a friendly at Gigg Lane against either a Premier League or EFL club pencilled in for July 1.

Bury have not kicked a ball at their spiritual home since 2019 when the then League One team were controversially booted out after previous owner Steve Dale failed to show proof of funds and a subsequent takeover bid collapsed — ending their proud 125-year EFL membership.

But in October 2021 the Bury Football Club Supporters Society successfully purchased the Bury FC name, intellectual property, history, memorabilia and, crucially, their Gigg Lane stadium from the club’s administrators.

In that time since, the stadium, which suffered vandalism and decay while it sat dormant, has been slowly but surely spruced up, mostly thanks to the help of volunteers and local businesses offering their services, hardware and equipment for free. As well as benefactors donating funds to the project.


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SunSport has seen the impressive 230-page application that has left virtually no stone unturned as the club detail how they plan to grow steadily from a non-league team to eventually restoring their EFL status.

The North West Counties League are tiers nine and 10 of English football’s pyramid so the club would need to win a minimum of five promotions to return to the EFL.

Already the club are renting space inside the stadium with plans in place to install more office space to hire out.

The ground has been opened up for community use and already 39,000 people have passed through the doors — whether it be playing football, using the community hub, watching legends games, local league cup finals and women’s football. The ground has also hosted kids’ soccer camps in the summer.

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Bury will be installing a new pitch in March and April before hoping to host local cup finals before final preparations are made for the new season.

The club is making its application under the name Bury Community United Football Club but are hopeful the FA will ratify its bid to be called Bury FC from the onset.

The club, however, will be able to rebrand itself to Bury FC in 18 months anyway.

Bury Football Club Supporters Society were handed a £1million government grant from its levelling-up fund to purchase Gigg Lane and develop the stadium for community use.

So far, despite no first-team fixtures, they have turned over £133,000 with £50,000 in the bank.

The community club will use the German model of being 51 per cent fan owned with 49 per cent made up of investors. This is to safeguard it from being taken over by rogue owners.

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