THE group behind a Shakers phoenix club are turning their attentions to matters on the field.

While waiting to hear if their application to the North West Counties League for next season has been successful, volunteers from the new Bury AFC are looking to up their football operation behind the scenes.

Work on the phoenix is continuing in a bid to ensure there is football in the town next season after expulsion from the Football League in August.

A consortium are still working on a deal to complete a solvent sale from Shakers owner Steve Dale while entrepreneur Robert Benwell, the subject of a heated town hall meeting last month, is also looking at buying Gigg Lane should the club enter liquidation.

The phoenix set-up, the third avenue for the club’s future, held a meeting with volunteers on Sunday and are encouraging more to come forward.

“We had the meeting with volunteers to bring people up to date really,” said interim chairman Chris Murray, who has always maintained their work is as a “last resort” for Shakers fans.

“One of the things we discussed was bringing together a team of people who will look at the appointment of a manager, assistant manager and just heading up the football operation, really.”

“We’ve also talked about having some community engagement volunteers who would go out into the public.”

The NWCFL have until the end of the month to hand the phoenix’s application over to the Football Association, something which is expected to be a formality.

The FA will then have the final say on the new club’s destination, a decision not likely to be made until May.

In the meantime, the phoenix are planning on holding elections for various roles including chairman and vice-chairman.

“We’ve always said we want things to be as democratic as possible,” Murray said.

“We needed to get some things done initially, so, for example, I was named chairman to that end so we could complete applications and things like that.

“People will be invited to stand for loads of different roles as we move to the next stage.”