Macclesfield Town players and staff say their mental health has been “disregarded”, as they await Friday’s independent hearing outcome.
The Silkmen, already docked 11 points this season, face EFL misconduct charges related to unpaid wages.
Should the punishment be three or more points, Macclesfield will be relegated from League Two instead of Stevenage.
“Our ultimate fate will be determined far away from the field of play,” their statement reads.
“Throughout the last two seasons, we have all seen the incredibly poignant messages surrounding mental health which have been championed by all clubs within the EFL.
“Yet it is an accurate reflection of our collective wellbeing to perceive that the notion of being “On Your Side” hasn’t really applied to us here at Macclesfield Town.
“We feel like our own mental health has been disregarded at every turn and this has manifested itself in respect of the fact that many of our players and staff have had to battle and continue to battle, with tangible and often debilitating symptoms of mental illness.”
Macclesfield have twice been deducted points during the 2019-20 campaign:
- May 2020: 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.
In a previous statement, the club pointed to the independent panel’s findings from their most recent hearing, which stated: “The commission should make it clear that it does not consider MTFC’s tardiness (yet again) to pay the players’ remuneration for March on time necessarily requires a further charge.
“Given its reasoning and conclusions as above, it would require strong persuasion to impose a yet further points deduction for any such breach.”
Silkmen players have already made clear their disappointment about the points per game calculations, which turned their existing 11 point penalties for non-payment of wages and failing to fulfil fixtures into a 13.67 point deduction.
The statement continued: “Fundamentally, the triggering of our mental wellbeing struggles has been down to the way we have been treated by the club in general – there is no getting away from that.
“Yet it is also accurate to state that this has been compounded by the actions of others, who are seemingly doing everything that they possibly can to remove us from the league.”
An EFL spokesperson said: “The EFL has partnered with the mental health charity, Mind, over the last two seasons and the collaboration has been vital for improving understanding of mental health in football and raising awareness with fans, all EFL clubs and the wider public.
“Through the partnership, all EFL clubs and Club Community Organisations (CCOs) have been provided with mental health awareness training and consultancy from Mind to help support club staff and players. The partnership also connects each club to their local Mind to continue support and create a legacy on a local level to continue to kick off conversations on the important topic of mental health.”
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.
Stevenage chairman chairman Phil Wallace said on Tuesday that there should be “consequences” for Macclesfield.
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.”