Two borough groups committed to bringing Bury Football Club back to life have released plans to team up to create a "united organisation".

The club has not played a match at Gigg Lane since May 2019 and was expelled from the Football League later that year before going into adminstration into 2020.

Since then efforts have been made to bring football back to the town, working through heavy financial challenges.

Then in May, the club said on social media that "fans have bought Bury FC and Gigg Lane out of administration" and was "working on the comeback story of a lifetime".

At the time, a Bury FC Supporters' Society spokesman said: "Using the successful German model of 51:49 ownership, we (the Supporters’ Society) make up the 51 per cent majority while the benefactors, Bury fans themselves, are the 49 per cent."

Now, two groups, the Shakers Community Society Limited and the Bury Football Club Supporters Society Limited, are working together on an agreement to see both societies merge together.

Shakers Community Society Ltd is a community benefit society that established Bury AFC. 

This afternoon on the Bury FC Supporters’ Society website, a Gigg Lane Steering Group spokesman said: "When Bury Football Club was expelled from the EFL (English Football League) in 2019 there was no clear way of returning football to Gigg Lane in that name.

"It has taken decades for many other clubs in similar circumstances to rebuild and return to their own ground.

"In 2022, we now have the opportunity to bring elite football back to Gigg Lane under the name Bury Football Club, which is an extraordinary achievement in such a short space of time.

"In a reversal of recent history, this has been achieved by genuine football supporters, who through help, hard work and perseverance have acquired the Gigg Lane Stadium, created a successful and financially sustainable football team, and generated both the income and capital necessary to develop the club and ground for the benefit of future generations.

"This seemed impossible in 2019.

"That this has been achieved under ‘fan ownership’ has restored dignity and self-belief to a community stripped of it in the events culminating in the EFL expulsion.

"We have a shared long-term vision of restoring professional football to Bury.

"We know the club must be run in a financially responsible and sustainable way.

"We believe that the best way to achieve this is under the historic name of Bury Football Club, and by improving and enhancing Gigg Lane as the spiritual home of football in Bury.

"This paper, and the process which follows, sets out what we believe is the way to achieve this.

"What has become absolutely apparent from the work undertaken so far is that this vision is only possible by combining what we have today into a united organisation which can give us what we need going forward.

"Signed by the Gigg Lane Steering Group."

Bury Times: Gigg LaneGigg Lane

The Shakers Community Society Limited board and the Bury Football Club Supporters Society Limited are recommending member approval for a number of motions including adopting Gigg Lane as the choice of stadium.

Bury Football Club would be the preferred playing name subject to approval from the Football Association.

To allow both of these motions, a statutory amalgamation of Shakers Community Society Limited with Bury Football Club Supporters’ Society Limited would take place to see both societies fold and transfer their assets into a new community benefit society and maintain a majority vote on the board of The Bury Football Club Company Limited in both Bury Football Club (2019) Ltd trading as Bury AFC, the Gigg Lane Stadium, and the intellectual property rights purchased with the Gigg Lane Stadium (the merger).

The merger, the choice of name and the choice of stadium will not complete unless the members of both societies vote in favour of a merger.

The motion for the choice of name and the choice of stadium requires 51 per cent approval from both societies' members.

The motion for the merger requires approval from eligible voters from both societies.

To support the recommendation, identical information will be presented to members of both societies. This will be issued before the end of business on Friday, it has been reported.

There will be a consultation process from this date where questions can be asked by email during this period.

A Shakers Community Society Limited Board spokesman said: "Based on the information we have we are recommending to members that these motions are carried.

"We believe that the new structure gives members and elected board members almost unfettered discretion and authority over its decision making, in the same way as the club operates at present.

"The decision to change or continue with current processes and practices in future sits with the members and the elected board.

"All business plans contain strengths, weaknesses, risk, and unexpected opportunities.

"This is no different.

"In arriving at our conclusion, we could see that owning a stadium gives us greater long term opportunity to progress than a groundshare, something we have stated previously.

"In assessing the risks, we believe that this merger is a lower risk option than choosing not to merge."

A Bury Football Club Supporters Society Limited spokesman added: "We have worked together as a group to deliver the proposed structure with all the supporting facts and figures to enable our members to make a fully informed choice.

"We believe this proposal gives members a great opportunity to vote towards the future of football within the town.

"The proposal of the amalgamations enables the two societies and its volunteer groups to pool resources, while securing additional funding to ensure that Bury Football Club is built on rock-solid foundations.

"Together we have a great opportunity to build a successful future for football in Bury which will become a lasting legacy and protect the future of professional football in Bury for years to come.

"The proposed structure ensures that the members and their elected board have the authority to make and carry out decisions in the best interest of the supporters and the longevity of their community owned football club."