Bury AFC, the phoenix club launched after the Shakers’ expulsion from the Football League, have been confirmed as one 11 clubs to apply for a spot in the North West Counties League.

On Friday, the NWCFL announced the clubs in line for promotion to Step 6, the ninth and 10th tier, providing they meet the entry ground grade H criteria by March 31.

It is understood the new Shakers have a - currently undisclosed - groundshare arrangement in place, that would meet these criteria. The clubs who have applied are Allscott, Ashville, Crewe, Egerton, Foley Meir, Ilkley Town, South Liverpool, Stockport Georgians, Wellington Amateurs, Bury AFC and FC Isle of Man.

Nine of those must finish in the top five of their respective Step 7 competitions, however, Bury AFC and FC Isle of Man, another new club, have been listed for inclusion to join the league.

The process now moves onto the Football Association who finalise the pyramid for next season.  

A message posted on Bury AFC's Twitter account read: "Bury AFC are listed below for inclusion (to the) North West Counties Football League for 2020/21.

"This confirms our belief that we are the only team currently with an application in to play football in Bury next season. BRING. IT. ON."

Steve Dale took over the debt-ridden club from Stewart Day for just £1 in December 2018, but after failing to satisfy the EFL he had the funds to take the Shakers forward they were kicked out of the league.

The phoenix club have always maintained they are a “last resort” with a local consortium looking to complete a takeover of the club.

The future of the 135-year-old institution was thrown into fresh doubt last week with news that Dale had defaulted on the company voluntary agreement set up to settle debts.

The two-time FA Cup winners are therefore under real threat of liquidation.

Another interested party, entrepreneur Robert Benwell, has previously said he is willing to invest £600,000 should the club be liquidated, with a new team playing at Gigg Lane.