A SHAKERS fan is forging ahead with plans to set up an independent supporters' group amid a bitter row with the Bury FC Supporters' Association.

Former committee member Lee Devenport was ousted from his post as media secretary in January, in what he claims was an illegal action under terms of the association, and its national supporters' federation.

Now the national group is to hold a hearing next month to investigate Mr Devenport's claims that Bury's official supporters' club is not being run properly.

In his fanzine, Bury Me in White, Mr Devenport, of Watling Street, Bury, says he was not invited to the deselection meeting, and described the current committee as "a shambles".

He claimed that many members were "dinosaurs", who in their support of Bury FC chairman Terry Robinson, were out of touch with the views of most fans. At the association's annual meeting in March, Mr Devenport tried to get back on the committee.

He invited 25 non-members to the meeting, who were told they could not join on the night, and would not be able to attend or vote, according to club rules.

Mr Devenport said: "The real reason was straightforward. The committee didn't want people coming in because they believed they were going to vote for me."

Association chairman Bob Cohen countered that this was not the case.

"This is actually in our constitution. It is what we normally do and what was done on the night," he said. "Anyone can apply for membership at any time but it is subject to approval by the committee. "

Mr Cohen declined to comment further on the complaints made by Mr Devenport about his deselection.

"If somebody wishes to say something like that in a fanzine, we have nothing to say about it, we're just going to move on.

"Myself and the committee are totally committed to taking the association forward, to support the club and be a voice for the fans. If Lee Devenport wishes to set up his own association, so be it."

Following a complaint to the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs from Mr Devenport, a hearing with representatives from other clubs will take place on May 12 in Blackpool.

Deputy chairman of the federation Alan Bloor said: "Member clubs have to be properly run as part of our constitution, and if somebody considers that they are not doing that, then we have to get involved."

"Ideally we would like there to be one supporters' association at every club, but because of politics and personalities that can't always happen."