BURY AFC have confirmed their new football structure following the departure of chairman Chris Murray.

The phoenix club is a community benefit society run by an elected board who in turn select a team to manage day-to-day operations.

That had been headed by Murray, a driving force behind the club’s foundation following Bury FC’s expulsion from the EFL in August 2019, who announced he was stepping away from his role as chair on Monday for personal reasons.

AFC now say that Marcel de Matas, Casey Lynchey and Gareth Castick will take on Murray’s duties as part of a combined operation overseeing both men’s and women’s football, Andy Welsh’s side currently top of the North West Counties First Division North with the season suspended.

A link-up with Bury Women’s Vets had already been announced, which will see Lynchey and Tania Jackson join the existing board, with the club also looking to implement men’s veterans and walking football teams to go alongside those already run by their new partners.

“As we await news about the resumption of the current season we continue to plan for the future,” a statement read.

“We have already announced our intention to launch a full range of women’s teams, including an open age team, veterans and walking football for next season.

“We also hope to introduce men’s veterans and walking teams to the club. This will give us over 20 teams and hundreds of players to look after.

“We have started to reorganise the operational teams required to run the expanded club.

“This includes the creation of a new combined football club board which will represent both men’s and women’s elite teams.

“We are following the lead of a growing number of clubs who have taken a progressive approach to football by combining men’s and women’s football, and treating them as equal rather than separating the two.

“The new football club board consists of Adam Ingram, Jon Wiggans, Gareth Castick, Marcel de Matas, Casey Lynchey, Tania Jackson and Ian Coyle as club secretary. Chris Murray steps down as club chair and his duties will be taken on by Marcel de Matas, Casey Lynchey and Gareth Castick. We thank Chris for his contribution to date.

“Casey Lynchey and Tania Jackson will join the board to from the women’s football team and Tania will also become the club’s welfare officer.

“It is important to note that all members of this board have responsibilities across both men’s and women’s football, and are appointed by the Shakers Community board who are responsible for club governance.

“We expect to make more appointments as the club grows and changes over time.

“The men’s and women’s recreational teams, including veterans and walking football, will sit beneath the newly established Bury AFC Community Trust, once formal approval from The Charity Commission has been received and new trustees appointed.

“We will be asking for applications for the trustee positions in due course.”

In announcing his exit, Murray said: “After much deliberation over the last few weeks, I’ve decided to step down from my position as chairman of Bury AFC for personal reasons.

“I’d like to thank Andy, the backroom staff and the players for their approach and attitude during what has been a difficult time with the pandemic.

“To all the volunteers that I’ve worked with thank you for your support since I took on this role.

"I leave proud of what we’ve all created so far and wish the club every success moving forward.”