THE key benefactor behind The Shakers revival deal has spoken of his ambitions to make Bury FC a sustainable club of which the borough can be proud, writes Peter Magill.

And Peter Alexander, a Californian-based businessman and lifelong Shakers fan, hopes the former Football League club can be reconciled with Bury AFC for the good of local football.

In an interview with the Bury Times, Mr Alexander told of how he watched the heartbreaking expulsion of Bury FC from the league two years ago and then became involved in discussions with Forever Bury and the Est 1885 group over backing a rescue mission.

And he stressed how he is eager to ensure, when a deal is finalised for the club, that it promotes a fan-owned ethos.

Peter said: “We have got to create a model where the club can live within its means. We have to acknowledge what our income streams are, whether that’s from ticket sales, and if we can make use of the ground during the week.”

He outlined how a model which works for a number of German clubs - where 51 per cent of the capital was held by fans and the remaining 49 per cent by benefactors - was one he favoured.

“We have got to make sure we have that discipline, of not taking on debt and not operating at a loss, so we can concentrate on playing football,” said Peter.

And he retains a degree of pragmatism over investing in a lower league club and what the financial consequences might be.

“If you want to make a killing then put your money in the stock market. If you want to be part of something, to create a legacy, then you can help to build something like this,” said Peter.

While he acknowledged there had been “bad blood” between Bury FC and Bury AFC supporters, he remains keen to hold out an olive branch to the phoenix club.

“This is something which I made clear in my discussions with the 1885 group and I respect what they have done with Bury AFC,” he added.

“If we can work something out between the two sides then it would be for the good of the clubs and for football in Bury.”

He told the Bury Times that he had made efforts at reconciliation between the two sides “one of his conditions” of getting involved with the deal.

Peter, 59, grew up with his mum and grandparents in Manchester but his family has always been Bury born and bred.

His earliest memories include being taken to Gigg Lane by his grandfather Arthur Ashworth. He also speaks of his pride that his descendants served with the Lancashire Fusiliers.

A Bradford University graduate, he moved to the United States in 1984, and is now chief marketing officer for the US-Israeli cyber security firm Check Point.

For the past few years he has watched The Shakers precarious existence from his Californian base, as first Stewart Day was in control at Gigg Lane, and then businessman Steve Dale.

Looking ahead now though, he is focused, with Forever Bury and Est 1885, in completing the purchase of Bury FC.

He acknowledges that a key plank of their masterplan looks like being securing government matched funding, under the community assets regime, to cement the future of Gigg Lane.

That piece of the puzzle being completed, the resurgent club can look forward to returning to league competition, at a still-to-be-resolved level, for the 2022-23 season and Peter hopes the fans and the people of Bury will be right behind them as they do so.