League Two reaction: EFL ‘trying their best’ to throw Macclesfield out

David Fitzpatrick is Macclesfield’s longest-serving player

Macclesfield Town players say the club have been unfairly treated by the EFL after League Two was ended on Tuesday.

The Silkmen are facing a disciplinary hearing over non-payment of wages and would be relegated should they be deducted three or more points.

The club has already been docked 11 points this season and are three points above bottom side Stevenage.

“We feel the EFL are trying their best to throw Macclesfield out of the league,” a player statement said.

The EFL have declined to comment on the statement.

The Silkmen’s longest-serving player, David Fitzpatrick, added: “Any shortcomings this season have been as a result of the things that are out of the players’ control, and with the current level of publicity and charges against the club, the players are now facing a very uncertain future.

“Not only are players’ careers at stake, but non-playing staff jobs and livelihoods are also on the line.”

On Tuesday, League Two clubs voted almost unanimously to end the season early, leaving Stevenage bottom, three points adrift and with a worse goal difference.

Following the vote, Football League chairman Rick Parry said that the threat of clubs going bust because of the financial impact of Covid-19 had not gone away, adding: “The aim is to make sure all the clubs survive and and we will be working 24 hours a day to make sure they do.”

Elite football in England has been suspended since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic, with only the Premier League and Championship so far committing to resuming their seasons later in June.

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said on Tuesday that there should be “consequences” for the Silkmen.

Macclesfield have twice had points deductions already this season. This is what has happened so far:

  • December 2019: 10-point deduction, with four suspended, for non-payment of salaries and failing to fulfil a fixture against Crewe.
  • March 2020: 10 points reduced to a seven-point penalty with three suspended after Macclesfield appealed.
  • May 2020: Received a seven-point deduction for failing to play a match against Plymouth and non-payment of wages, including the suspended three points from the first case being applied to the second punishment.

The player statement added: “We are a small club, who are always fighting against the odds, but that’s what makes us such a great story.

“The fans deserve happier days, so I hope that common sense will prevail at the EFL, in terms of the current ‘unfair’ PPG calculations.

“I also hope that any independent disciplinary panel will take into consideration the volume of previous sanctions already imposed, the current global climate and the amount of lives that will be affected.”

The statement came on the same day Macclesfield released 10 players. Only captain Fiacre Kelleher and defender Fraser Horsfall have deals for next season.

The club have offered new contracts to five players, including Fitzpatrick, while striker Arthur Gnahoua, midfielder Ben Stephens and winger Peter Vincenti are among those leaving Moss Rose.