A FINAL decision will be made on whether football will return to Gigg Lane next season at a special ‘ratification’ vote tomorrow evening.

It comes after members of Bury FC Supporters Society (BFCSS) and Bury AFC’s Shaker’s Community Society voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging together earlier this month.

The two societies will now vote again to finalise plans to return football to the home of Bury.

Should that get the go ahead, an interim board will then have to make an application to the FA for a name change - reverting back to Bury FC from Bury AFC - which will be reviewed across FA committees during the off-season.

Either way, Bury will be playing in a newly-expanded 24-team North West Counties League Premier Division which will include three local derbies.

The league announced its club allocation for the 2023/24 season with the NWCL top flight including Prestwich Heys, Bury and Ramsbottom United who were relegated from NPL West.

Gary Langley from NWCL said: “The league will look quite different next season, although we will have a number of familiar friends returning.

“In the Premier Division we will be running with a 24 team division. Congleton Town, Winsford United and Northwich Victoria have all been laterally moved to the Midlands League.

“With a good points-per-game ratio from the 2022-23 season, Burscough have gained a reprieve from relegation and will remain at Step 5 in the Premier Division for the new season.

“They will be joined by Skelmersdale United, Colne FC, Glossop North End and Ramsbottom United, all former members who have been relegated to Step 5, but all familiar clubs to the NWCFL.

“Ramsbottom United and Colne finished 20th and 19th respectively last season and were automatically relegated and it has been over a decade since Rammy’ were last with us.

“Football historians will remember the Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley side that won the league at that time, securing many records and starting their journey. Colne left us more recently, winning the Premier Division with equal aplomb in the 2015-16 season.”

* NWCL Premier Division 2023/24: AFC Liverpool, Barnoldswick Town, Burscough (reprieved from relegation), Bury FC, Charnock Richard, Chadderton (promoted from Division One North), Cheadle Town (promoted from Division one South), Colne (relegated from NPL West), FC Isle of Man, Glossop North End (relegated from Northern Premier Division One West), Irlam, Kendal Town, Litherland REMYCA, Longridge Town, Lower Breck, Padiham, Pilkington (promoted from Division One North), Prestwich Heys, Ramsbottom United (relegated from NPL West), Skelmersdale United (relegated from NPL West), Squires Gate, West Didsbury & Chorlton, Wythenshawe AFC (promoted from Division one South), Wythenshawe Town.