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Macclesfield Docked Six Points By EFL

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A group of Macclesfield Town players have said their "mental well-being" has been "deeply affected" by the club's failure to pay wages they are due.

Six players have taken over a winding-up petition filed against the Silkmen, which was adjourned until 14 August at the High Court on Wednesday.

Macclesfield have apologised for the delay, but expressed disappointment at the action taken against them.

The players said the club's response "showed little regard or sympathy".

They claim some of the group will be due three months' wages by the time the club returns to court and that the situation has had a "grave" effect on professionals who earn "moderate salaries".

"Not one player has asked for a single penny more than they are due and we have been extremely patient," said a statement from the players, who took over the petition after debts owed to Egerton Youth Club were settled.

"Some players have had to face eviction from their homes (including those with young children), late mortgage payments, unpaid credit card and telephone bills and being unable to even put food on the table and fuel in their cars.

"We urge the club to pay us, so that we can continue with our lives and the club can continue into the new season."

It is not known which six players have taken on the winding-up petition.

Macclesfield confirmed that some of the group have now moved on to other clubs, while others did not play at all during their time there.

The Silkmen added they were liaising regularly with both the English Football League and the Professional Footballers' Association, and that both bodies were fully aware of their efforts to resolve the matter.

Wednesday's appearance at the High Court was the club's third in three months, having settled a tax bill with HM Revenue & Customs last week.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48867463

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Another farce to add to the long list of clubs staring insolvency in the face.

The game just isn't sustainable and nobody who can affect it gives a damn because we as a football supporting collective are all busy mutually masturbating each other over what new swimwear sponsor #CR7 will have this year. Consume, you fuckers - consume. 

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Macclesfield Town players refuse to play Mansfield unless they are paid owed wages

Macclesfield Town's players have refused to train and say they will not play Saturday's League Two fixture against Mansfield if they are not paid by 18:00 GMT on Friday.

The English Football League charged the club with misconduct on Thursday after they failed to pay players on time.

Although Macclesfield reportedly began paying players and staff this week, BBC Sport understands just three were paid.

Players at the League Two club went on strike last week over unpaid salaries.

The Silkmen went on to field youth and loan players in their 4-0 FA Cup loss to seventh-tier Kingstonian on Sunday after first-team players refused to play.

Meanwhile, Cheshire Police said on Thursday they received a report in relation to a financial matter at the club, however, this is separate to the EFL's charge of misconduct.

The EFL had given Macclesfield until 16:00 GMT on Wednesday to provide information after investigating the situation over unpaid wages.

Macclesfield's Leasing.com Trophy tie against Shrewsbury went ahead as planned on Wednesday. Players had been advised not to train beforehand because of concerns over health insurance, however, the club has since paid the premiums.

Macclesfield has previously been taken to court by players over unpaid wages and, in May, under then-manager Sol Campbell, they considered boycotting the final match of last season for similar reasons.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50438021

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Macclesfield Town v Crewe Alexandra suspended by English Football League

Macclesfield's League Two game against Crewe on Saturday has been suspended by the English Football League.

The Silkmen's players had said they would not play in protest over unpaid wages and that their emotional and mental wellbeing was at "rock bottom".

The EFL met with players and representatives from the Professional Footballers' Association on Friday.

Macclesfield later informed the EFL they were unable to fulfil the fixture, leading it to be suspended.

The fixture will now be rearranged in addition to "potential future regulatory action" being taken by the EFL, with Macclesfield being "deemed to be guilty of misconduct" for being unable to complete Saturday's match.

FULL REPORT

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50861229

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Macclesfield Town have been docked six points by the English Football League after pleading guilty to charges over non-payment of wages and failing to fulfil their fixture with Crewe.

The League Two club have failed to pay their players on time on numerous occasions in recent months.

Their players refused to play against Crewe on 7 December citing concerns over their emotional wellbeing.

Macc have had a further four-point deduction suspended.

The club are now 22nd in League Two, three points above the relegation zone.

The club were forced to field a mixture of youth team players and loanees in their FA Cup first-round tie with non-league Kingstonian last month after the first team refused to play having not been paid on time. The league side lost 4-0 at home to the seventh-tier club.

Macc had a winding-up order over unpaid taxes adjourned for a ninth time on Wednesday after payment was made, and news of the points deduction comes as owner Amar Alkadhi continues to try to sell the club.

They are the second side to be deducted points over financial issues this season after Bolton Wanderers began the campaign on minus 12 after going into administration - they had a further five-point deduction suspended for 18 months after failing to fulfil fixtures against Brentford last season and Doncaster this term.

Bury - another team from Greater Manchester - were expelled from the EFL in August after a takeover fell through.

 

 

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Horrible to see clubs docked points but if you don’t pay your staff what do you expect? Feel for the fans too.

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Fears are growing that Macclesfield Town could become “the next Bury” as potential saviours of the beleaguered League Two club lose patience with owner Amar Alkadhi.

A hearing to wind up the club over unpaid tax and wages was adjourned for the 10th time a fortnight ago when a judge agreed to give the Iraqi-born businessman, now based in Ibiza, until March 25 to either settle his debts or sell the club.

Since then, however, there has been no progress in the takeover and the English Football League has hit the club with another charge for failing to fulfil a league fixture.

Macclesfield were docked six points a week before Christmas for failing to pay their players on time and having to cancel a game against Crewe Alexandra because those players went on strike.

A further four-point deduction was suspended by the disciplinary panel but is now likely to be activated because Macclesfield had to postpone another game, against Plymouth Argyle on December 21, when the council refused to grant a safety certificate for their Moss Rose home.

Macclesfield are currently in 22nd place in the table but losing those four points would cut their lead over last-placed Stevenage to two, plunging them into a three-way scrap with Morecambe to avoid relegation to the National League.

After Bolton Wanderers, the other EFL club that nearly went out of business last summer, avoided a points penalty for cancelling a game this season, Macclesfield lodged an appeal against their initial punishment. Macclesfield fans will take comfort from the fact that both the original disciplinary panel and the appeal judge in the Bolton case decided the League One side had been punished enough with a 12-point penalty for going into administration but the deciding factor was the EFL’s failure to act sooner against the Lancashire club.

That is not the case this time, however. In fact, it is because the EFL was slow to challenge the worsening financial situations at Bolton and Bury last year that it has acted so quickly against Macclesfield this season — an irony that is lost on nobody at Moss Rose.

Macclesfield have been here before, of course, many times; most recently last season, when they were led to safety on the final day by Sol Campbell. The former England star is now pursing the club for £180,000 in unpaid wages through the courts.

The former Liverpool, Manchester City and Wolves winger Mark Kennedy is the new manager and the team came from behind to beat Forest Green Rovers 2-1 on Saturday. But the attendance was only 1,653, almost a third down on last season’s average as many fans continue to stay away in an attempt to force Alkadhi out.

All the talk before the game was of points deductions, why he will not sell and the threat of following Bury into oblivion but the mood was lifted, for the time being, by Arthur Gnahoua’s wonder-strike to win the match. The fact he was not even listed in the programme is just an indication of how perilous the whole club’s existence feels right now.

The owner was not there to see this morale-boosting win, though. He has not been to a game for over a year.

He and his brother Bashar first got involved in 2003 when they loaned the club £100,000 in one of its earlier cash crunches. The pair were based in London at the time and had interests in property and telecoms. The link to Macclesfield, a relatively prosperous town in Cheshire, was via Amar’s partner and they were welcomed by fans when they took charge in 2004.

But that changed when the money dried up. By 2013, the relationship between club and benefactor had completely reversed and the local council was forced to bail out the team by buying the freehold to the stadium for £285,000.

The following seven years have seen the club lead a hand-to-mouth existence punctuated by promotion from the National League in 2018, a minor miracle given the fact their budget would have been average for the sixth tier. That did not change the club’s finances, however — if anything, it made them worse as they now had to triple that budget just to compete for survival, a struggle for which Alkadhi has shown little appetite.

He issued a rare statement via the club website in early December to say “negotiations regarding the sale of a controlling stake were at an advanced stage with various third parties”. A month later, he provided a brief update, claiming “much progress has been made… and this is exemplified by the fact bids have now been accepted in principle”.

The 60-year-old, who has not responded to The Athletic’s requests for comment, said he could not give any further details because of non-disclosure agreements but “every effort is being made to conclude this process in a timely manner and I will work tirelessly with everyone concerned until the sale is complete”.

Joe Sealey, son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Les Sealey, is the only bidder to have made his interest public so far but The Athletic can reveal the identities of two other interested parties: the former Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite and a group led by Danish-based Pakistani investor Tahir Siddique.

Smurthwaite, however, told The Athletic “that ship has sailed”, a departure some fans will consider to be a lucky escape given his controversial reign at Vale Park. And Siddique is understood to be more interested in joining forces with Sealey, with a view to perhaps sponsoring the team in order to promote his PlayerMatch business, an app and website that links players with clubs.

Sealey deposited £250,000 in an escrow account nearly two months ago and has provided proof of funds to complete the takeover and finance the team going forward.  

Sources close to the club believe Sealey’s bid is the only credible offer on the table but fear the 36-year-old may also pull out because of Alkadhi’s refusal to share the club’s accounts with potential buyers. The Athletic understands Sealey has already been contacted by the owners of Northampton Town and Scunthorpe United, as they are also up for sale.

Alkadhi’s asking price is believed to be in the region of £1.2 million but that includes clearing the club’s substantial debts to the taxman, Campbell and another of the club’s former managers, John Askey, who is now in charge at Smurthwaite’s old club, Port Vale.

A club legend as a player and a coach, Askey, or “Sir John” as he is known in Macclesfield, is owed £200,000. Paying the taxman off will require £180,000 immediately, with another £200,000 soon after. There are likely to be plenty of other creditors, too.

Such is the level of concern about the club’s future that former director Mike Rance has volunteered to help broker the deal, despite falling out with Alkadhi in 2013. Several sources, however, believe the current owner will never hand over the club’s secrets, which means he is effectively asking any new owner to roll the dice.

“We are still waiting for the numbers,” Siddique told The Athletic. “Any buyer would need to know what the debt is and the annual income. There is no point paying a low price for something if it turns out you can only make losses.

“But the longer you wait for something, the more you wonder what has been hidden under the carpet.”

Sealey was raised in Essex but now lives in nearby Alderley Edge, where he owns a gym. That, however, is not the source of the money with which he hopes to transform Macclesfield’s fortunes, as he made a good profit on the 2013 sale of a sports management business he launched after his own dreams of a football career were ended by injury at 22. His wife Nicole also owns a successful recruitment firm that specialises in the railway industry.

The plan is simple: get the fans back, repair relations with almost 50 local sponsors who have walked away in the last two years and turn the club into a finishing school for players who are not quite good enough for nearby clubs Everton, Liverpool, Manchester’s City and United and Stoke City but can make a difference in League Two. It is a strategy that has served the likes of Burton Albion, Fleetwood Town and Rotherham United well.

This, however, will get much harder if Macclesfield are relegated and it is hardly surprising that bids have been made for two of their best players: captain Fiacre Kelleher and former Celtic youth star Theo Archibald.

So far, those offers have not been accepted but the window is still open and every Macclesfield fan knows what a sale of either would mean for the 146-year-old club’s hopes of survival.

Seems more and more likely that we'll see two EFL clubs go out of business within the same season.

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