A CIVIL war has broken out among Bury FC supporters looking to establish a football club in the town for the 2020/21 season.

As the High Court delivered another 14-day adjournment to allow for paperwork to be processed yesterday, in-fighting has started among fans on what the next step should be.

With liquidation of the established club and the future of its home, Gigg Lane, still undecided, three possible scenarios could now play out.

Bury Football Club, as was, could continue as a viable business – although that would almost certainly hang on a new owner stepping forward and agreeing a deal with Capital Bridge, who own the first charge over the ground.

Supporters trust, Forever Bury, say their number one priority is to ensure a team continues to play at Gigg and claim they have had contact from parties interested in buying the club both in and out of liquidation – which should be decided when the hearing returns to court on December 18.

The trust has courted controversy, though, by taking a 10 per cent share in a new limited company, Bury AFC Limited, seemingly without a mandate from its members.

Bury AFC Ltd has a solitary director listed at Companies House, Robert Benwell, an entrepreneur with London offices who is also listed as the sole director at Gigg Lane Holdings Limited, among several other businesses.

Forever Bury say they cannot legally discuss details of the deals being proposed but say their decisions are “common practice for the circumstances that we find ourselves in”.

A statement added: “We are hopeful that the pre-liquidation option is successful meaning that the ground, history and club name are saved and this option has our full support.

“In the event of that option being unsuccessful then the club would potentially be liquidated.

“The thought of the club being liquidated and the name, history and ground being lost is something that no fan wants but we all need to be realistic that could very well happen. We have been approached by one party who wishes to buy the ground out of liquidation. Should that happen, this would mean a new club, not the Bury FC as we’ve all known it. This is an option that we are exploring should the club be liquidated in order to save Gigg Lane to avoid it going to rack and ruin if left unoccupied for a number of years.”

Bury Phoenix, the organisation looking to establish a new club completely independent of the old one, have distanced themselves from Forever Bury, however, amid concerns that the trust’s name has been misused and that members were not correctly consulted.

The group have said they would step aside if a buyer could be found to preserve the club and Gigg Lane – but are concerned by the “motives” of setting up a new company to buy assets in liquidation.

“Ultimately, anyone is entitled to purchase assets in liquidation and run whatever business model they wish.

“However, we do not believe it is acceptable to act in a way which undermines the ethos of a supporters’ trust. One which should value inclusivity and supporter rights over all else. Forever Bury’s name has been misused. We know that Forever Bury did not consult with or advise its members about this decision. No vote was taken.

“We also understand that members of the Forever Bury board were not involved or advised about the negotiation of 10 per cent equity, the formation of the company or given any of the relevant information a board member could expected to have seen in advance of such a crucial decision.”