The Nisa Members Association, whose opposition was responsible for bringing down the merger, is now seeking election to the Nisa-Today's board on November 28.

The NMA has put four of its number up for election - treasurer Ian Hunt of Filco Supermarkets, Northern Irish retailer Rowan Black, Cardiff retailer Anjum Khan and Krishan Joshi from Derby.

These will be taking on existing board members Colin Graves, Leo Gillen, Andrew Bagot and Alan Symonds, who are all standing for re-election.

In a further complication, a new members' association, called the True Nisa Members (TNM), has also been established to influence the future direction of the company.

As C-Store went to press, TNM representatives Kishor Patel of Houghton Trading and Jim Amabile of PGMA declared their intention to stand. It was expected that two other members would also put their names forward this week.

In a prospectus for Nisa members, the NMA said that corporate governance standards had fallen and that increased scrutiny of Nisa executives was needed. If elected, the NMA would immediately seek to establish alliances to utilise existing spare capacity. It is widely thought that this would mean discussing potential collaboration with fellow buying group Landmark Wholesale.

Kishor Patel said that the NMA had not come up with any positive strategies for taking the company forward, which the TNM would. He explained: "Business as usual is no longer good enough. We have a number of members who can work with the board to bring a new dimension to the group."

Neil Turton, Nisa-Today's acting chief executive, said that it was "exciting" to have 12 people going for four positions.