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Bury to apply for National League place, says local MP

Bury will apply for a place in next season’s National League as local MP James Frith stressed there are still “active and credible” bidders for the stricken club.

The Shakers were forced out of the Football League in August due to ongoing financial troubles, leaving League One with just 23 clubs, and they failed on Thursday with a bid to be readmitted in League Two next season.

A meeting of the Bury FC Rescue Board followed on Friday after which Frith, the Labour MP for Bury North, shared an update on Twitter.

He wrote: “It was agreed that we will enlist the support of the (Football Association) with national meetings with them in the next fortnight, and apply for National League football for the 2020-21 season.

“This effort builds on our success to agree new ownership with the current owner, our commitment to securing the ground and a club rebuild plan which we will present in the coming weeks.

“The active credible bidders remain active and credible and we’ve still all we need to get this done.”

The club’s long-standing financial issues saw the club sold by former owner Stewart Day in December for £1.

New owner Steve Dale failed to clear their debts and players and staff went unpaid, with the club served a winding-up petition by HMRC before agreeing a company voluntary arrangement.

“The winding-up order is for the current owner to address but none of the above is prohibited by this,” Frith wrote.

“Whilst there are no guarantees (liquidation remains a possible threat as it always has) there is faith in the process involving the FA.”

Frith dismissed any immediate prospect of taking legal action to secure a return to the league, forming a “phoenix” club or the local council buying the debt on the club’s Gigg Lane ground, despite Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham’s support.

He added: “We can confirm, though, that the ground is protected as an asset of community value and that the mayor of Greater Manchester today passed an emergency motion to support all of the above.

“Bury FC only dies if we walk away and we’re not walking away.”