A Bury football fans group has had an application to join the National League System rejected, board members have confirmed.

In a statement published on Thursday, Bury FC Supporters Society (BFCSS) said the club’s application to join the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) had been rejected.

BFCSS said the NWCFL gave the club a "brief" list of reasons why its application had been rejected including because it did not qualify for acceptance under "exceptional circumstances".

The fan-led group’s board members also said the league had expressed "concerns" over the club’s business case which included the proposed installation of a 3G pitch.

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The BFCSS board announced its application to re-join the league system earlier this month in the hopes of ensuring the return of men’s football to Gigg Lane for the 2023/24 season.

Its statement, published on the BFCSS website, said: “We received an email from the NWCFL chairman saying that they would not support our application.

“The email gave very brief reasons why it had been rejected.

"One of these was that we did not qualify under ‘exceptional circumstances’.

“We have since requested additional supporting evidence to find out why the application did not reach the threshold required for this.

“The application was also rejected over NWCGL’s concerns over the business case for the proposed installation of a 3G pitch due to the complexity of installation dates and costs.”

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NWCFL has been approached for a comment about the situation.

Speaking to SunSport, NWCFL vice-chairman Geoff Wilkinson said: “They have not met our criteria.”

“That’s all I’m going to give you." 

"I’m going on holiday tomorrow and that is more important than Bury FC to me.”

The BFCSS board said that due to the size of the club’s membership, it could struggle to join feeder leagues.

However, the board confirmed that it's next steps will be to apply to join the West Lancashire League, which is a feeder league to the NWCFL.

It said it will also appeal the NWCFL decision to reject the club's application. 

The statement confirmed continuing talks are taking place between BCFSS and Bury AFC’s Shakers’ Community Society around a second amalgamation vote.