BURY owner Steve Dale says he has applied for a place in the National League next season and would be prepared to step aside as chairman to make it happen.

Since being expelled from the Football League last August - the EFL not satisfied Dale had the funds to take the 135-year-old club forwards – he has also defaulted on a Company Voluntary Agreement to help settle debts.

Dale now however insists he is confident that can be resolved and is eyeing a place in the top tiers of non-league for the two-time FA Cup winners, whether that be the National League or National League North, tiers five and six.

When contacted by the Bury Times, the FA said it was not their policy to confirm either way whether an application had been submitted.

Dale told The Sun: “We have lodged an application with the FA to be placed into a league for next season.

The Bolton News: Steve Dale, left, with former Bury boss Ryan LoweSteve Dale, left, with former Bury boss Ryan Lowe

“Due to being the chairman when the club was removed from the EFL, I might have to step down to satisfy the National League’s entry criteria and I’m prepared to do that.

“We were a League One club that had just won promotion so we now hope to be placed in the National League.”

With regards to the CVA Dale, who bought the debt-ridden club from Stewart Day for £1 back in December 2018, added: “The problem we’ve got is we won’t know the criteria of that until the FA tell us what league we can enter - but renegotiating the CVA won't be a problem.

“I just hope the FA do right by us and put us in the division our history, heritage and fans deserve.”

A consortium’s deal for a solvent takeover from Dale fell through last month, it now eight months since the Shakers became the first club since 1992 to be booted out of the league due to financial problems.

Phoenix club Bury AFC are in the early stages of their membership drive and are hoping to take their place in the North West Counties League next season, the ninth and 10th tiers of the pyramid.

The new outfit have an undisclosed groundshare in place but are waiting to hear on the next steps for the non-league pyramid after steps three to seven, including the NWCFL, were declared null and void with no promotion and relegation due to the coronavirus pandemic.