Ahead of a mammoth week both on and off the pitch, Basingstoke Town Football Club have received a message of support from one of the country's most famous 'phoenix' clubs.

Bury AFC was formed at the end of the last year after their predecessor, Bury FC, was expelled from the English Football League after financial issues.

Now, on the eve of the start of the non-league season, the fans running the phoenix club have issued their support to Basingstoke Town fans.

The plight of Basingstoke Town FC has hit the national headlines in recent months, after the decades-old Camrose covenant was discovered by The Gazette.

It was meant to ensure that football is played in the historic stadium until 2053, and whilst there are doubts about whether it still legally applies, two planning applications on the historic ground are set to be decided next week.

The people behind Bury AFC have said that they stand by the fans of Basingstoke Town, as well as other crisis-stricken clubs including Macclesfield Town, Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic.

Macclesfield, who were relegated from League 2 last season after a points deduction, were wound-up earlier this week, with debts of £500,000.

In an open letter posted on their website, Bury address their "friends in football".

"We have friends across football and around the world and we are about to make a whole lot more and we look forward to building lasting relationships wherever we go," it read.

"Whilst we may be feeling positive about a new chapter for our club, we also want to say that our hearts are broken by the news at Macclesfield Town."

"Let it be known that we will offer whatever support we can to those fans who, through no fault of their own, are having to consider following our path.

"We also want to say to supporters of Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Basingstoke Town, to name but three, that we stand by you.

"In these trying times, our cultural institutions need support and we hope it will be forthcoming from decision-makers, who have our national game in their hands."

The Dragons' league season begins today with a trip to Gloucestershire-based Slimbridge.

Slimbridge were sat in 12th place last season before it was abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The last time these two sides faced each other, Slimbridge won 2-0.