THE Shakers’ phoenix club have been encouraged by the initial reaction to the launch of their membership scheme.

Bury AFC are hoping to take their place in the North West Counties League next season with the future of the town’s football club still very much up in the air.

A consortium’s takeover from Steve Dale fell through last month with the threat of liquidation looming over the 135-year-old two-time FA Cup winners after the owner defaulted on a company voluntary agreement designed to settle debts.

With the Shakers still in Dale’s hands after their expulsion from the Football League last August, Bury AFC are pressing on with their plans.

The new Shakers, a fan-owned Community Benefit Society, are now inviting supporters to join up to have a say in the club’s future.

For £5 every month or £60 per year, members will be able to vote on pivotal long-term decisions, influence things such as kit designs and be invited to be a board member or volunteer on one of the committees.

“The reaction has been good to the membership side of things,” said the club’s interim chair Chris Murray. “There was never really going to be a right time to launch it with the coronavirus and people being on furlough and things like that but we had this timeframe worked out in our heads.

“We’ve had a decent number of people sign up which has been brilliant.”

Given the town’s club still exists and has not been formally wound up despite several court hearings, the phoenix club has not been met with universal approval since its inception.

Those behind the movement though have always maintained their principal aim is to ensure there is definitely a club playing under the Bury name next season, in whatever form.

They have signed an undisclosed groundshare agreement and are waiting to hear from the NWCFL and the Football Association about where their league application stands after the seasons for clubs in steps three to seven of the non-league structure were declared null and void due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s still people who are not completely for it which we understand,” said Murray, one of those behind a Shakers legends game held at Radcliffe FC back in October.

“Some people who have been against it have got on side while others like the idea of it but haven’t fully committed.

“I think some are waiting for things like a manager, players, kits and then it has a bit more clarity for them.”

Anyone wanting to be on the first Shakers Community Board is asked to get their nominations in by May 3 with elections taking place on June 2.

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