12th November 2019
I write to you in my role as Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters trust (SST) to provide you with an update that I sincerely hope that you will all find is of benefit to you. Over the course of the last several days, I have noted a number of posts on social media that I feel it is important to respond to and so here goes:
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Silkmen Supporters Trust
6 Park Avenue
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust
5th November 2019
I would like to take this opportunity to update you all that Amar and I spoke over the weekend where we discussed issues around the continued late payment of our brilliant playing and non playing staff and any update regarding any potential investment / takeovers. The line was not great; Amar’s voice was often muffled, and I continually had to clarify what he was saying, but here is the context of what he said as I understood it:
As I ended the discussion, I felt that the responses from Amar contained so many vagaries (particularly in relation to the bank problems / legal issues) that it left so many questions unanswered, and I feel sure many of my peers will feel the same. I also urge the interested party to make themselves more visible in terms of who they are, and of the credibility / genuineness of interest in our beloved football club. In the right hands, this wonderful little football club has so much potential to become a fantastic community football club which is integral to the fabric and future of our town.
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST)
Saturday 2nd November 2019
As I am sure you are aware, Macclesfield is a small market town in the East of Cheshire with a wonderful football club that bears its name and boasts a proud and illustrious history. This fantastic football club of ours has so often achieved way beyond what could be expected of it with it’s ‘against all odds’ mantra; aided and abetted by a small but intensely passionate and loyal fan-base who follow their club through thick and thin when so many more glamourous teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool are literally only a short distance away. With this in mind I ask that you read what is written below carefully, and provide me with a detailed and timely response.
Within the body of the email below, you responded to me three weeks ago with the assurance that a ‘comprehensive update’ would be received within the next few days. Over three weeks have now passed and I am very disappointed to note that no such update has been provided. Instead all we as Silkmen supporters see, is more distressing news about players taking legal advice / looking to cancel playing contracts with us in respect of the continued late payment of wages, and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) requesting that the English Football League (EFL) implement sanctions against our beloved club!!
In view of the information above, I write to you request that you provide an immediate and comprehensive update as to what your plans are going forward with regards to Macclesfield Town Football Club because in the eyes of the huge majority of Silkmen faithful we are hurtling towards the same fate that befell our friends and neighbours Bury F.C.
I therefore implore you to provide pertinent information about any imminent additional investment / takeover that could help to provide some crumbs of comfort to Silkmen players, non playing staff and of course the Silkmen fans, as to how this recent dreadful cycle of events can be reversed.
I would be more than happy to speak with you about this matter over the telephone and am available from 2.30 p.m. tomorrow should you wish to speak with me in this manner. I look forward to a prompt and detailed response.
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST)
In the early hours of Friday morning (1st November 2019), the above email was sent to Macclesfield Town Football Club’s majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi, where in my role as Chairman of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST), I requested a contemporary update as to strategies that our majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi was looking to implement as a means of reversing this distressing pattern of late payment of our fabulous playing and non-playing staff at Macclesfield Town Football Club. This email has also been forwarded to Supporters Direct. It does not take a genius to work out that consistent late payments to employees of any business is likely to have a detrimental impact upon them. Just like you and me, the playing and non-playing staff will have mortgages, rents and childcare payments to make. They will need to put food and drink on the table for their utility bills and petrol in their car to get to and from work. These consistently late payments will undoubtedly affect credit rating and would most certainly negatively affect their health and wellbeing.
This is JUST NOT RIGHT!! The current management team and players (ably assisted by the brilliant non-playing staff) are doing an amazing job in emulating the ‘against all odds’ mantra that is so synonymous with our beloved club, and it appears to be the case that they are metaphorically slapped in the face for doing so. Sadly, I have received no response either verbally or via email from Amar and all I can currently visualise in my mind are that of Nero ‘fiddling while Rome burns.’ Putting aside the likely historical inaccuracies of such a statement, the context of occupying oneself with unimportant matters and neglecting priorities holds much kudos when considering the current climate surrounding our beloved club.
The SST have received information from a very reliable source that there is bone fide interest in buying the football club, and all indications are that this interested party would be able to provide evidence that they have funds in place to meet any due diligence requirements of the English Football League (EFL). It is heart-breaking to see our wonderful little club consistently having it’s name dragged through the mud, and IT NEEDS TO STOP!! I therefore urge you Amar to tell us your plans to rectify the disgraceful treatment of playing and non-playing staff; ‘come clean’ about any potential takeovers, and help to prevent another Bury Football Club. We as fans must also do our part in protecting our club from becoming another Bury. With this in mind, I implore that you contact the EFL and make your concerns known to your Member of Parliament (MP) David Rutley; write to the Macclesfield Express and liaise with Silk FM and Canalside Radio. Let the wider community know that we care about our wonderful football club that is an integral part of our community. If we don’t, then we are just as culpable in not safeguarding our club from ignominy. On Saturday afternoon of 2nd November 2019, I will be at Brunton Park, the home of Carlisle United Football Club, roaring on those fantastic lads playing for my beloved blues (NOT AMAR ALKADHI) and with this in mind, I say #THISISOURTOWNOURCLUB!
10th October 2019
Andy Worth as Chairperson of the Danny Whitaker Testimonial Committee would like to advise you that he is absolutely
delighted to be able to tell all supporters that a limited edition testimonial programme will be on sale as from Saturday 14th October 2019 at the Port Vale home game.
This is a 56 page programme that charts Danny’s career and has lots of great articles from family, peers, supporters and of course the great man himself, and also lots of fantastic images from his playing career and from events during Danny’s testimonial year.
The programme is priced at £5, and can be purchased in the McIlroy Suite after the game where Danny will be available to personally sign the programmes. You can also obtain the programme from sellers around the ground during the half time interval. All the proceeds from the programme will go to Danny, and we will shortly be providing details of how the programmes can be purchased online. and particularly on the SST website.
24th September 2019
It has been a while since I last provided an update with regards to the work of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) so here is some information which I hope that you find helpful:
I hope that you are well, and sincerely hope that you can recall that you have said to me on a number of occasions that if I had any questions that I could contact you, and you would be happy to provide me with an appropriate response. As a consequence, I am writing to you to in my capacity as Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) to politely request that you provide me with a response to this email which has two elements.
· In an email conversation dated 23rd July 2019 you indicated that you would be in touch within a few days about your availability to attend an SST open meeting where the new management structure would be discussed. I fully appreciate how busy you are, but would be grateful if you could advise me of dates of availability of yourself to attend an SST open meeting in the near future in your role as acting chairman / CEO.
· I am sure you can understand the angst of a number of our supporters around the news that the club have once again to appear in the High Court on the 23rd October 2019 regarding the proposed winding up petition by HMRC. In an article entitled ‘CLUB STATEMENT: TODAY’S HIGH COURT HEARING’ dated 14th August 2019 on the Macclesfield Town FC official website relating to the court hearing next planned for 11th September 2019, it was stated that ‘we would like to reassure fans that sufficient funds to clear this in full are available and the matter will be resolved before the hearing.’
Based upon today’s news this does not appear to be the case and I would be most grateful for your comments on this matter as soon as possible.
I look forward to your prompt response.
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust
The initial response from Amar (received later that day) advised me to ‘enjoy the lovely football team we have this year’ after which I emailed Amar again to request further detail regarding the context of the original question, and Amar responded on the 12th September 2019 to inform me that he would look to facilitate a meeting the next time he is up in Macclesfield for a game, and would provide 48 hours notice. I leave you to make your own judgments on the responses received!
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust
7th July 2019
The Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) board members would like to give an update in response to recent events.
As a board we regularly meet to discuss issues that are on the minds of both the SST members and fans alike.We have most recently been seeking advice from an independent organisation, Supporters Direct, to assist us with raising such issues with the club. As per our last update we sought a meeting with the club’s majority shareholder, Amar Alkadhi, to question many of such issues. We used advice from supporters direct in the way in which to approach the meeting in which ultimately as a trust we wanted to be part of the solution to help resolve matters.
Nevertheless, whilst nice words and promises are all good to hear ultimately we can only hold the club accountable for their actions.
Since January 2019 it is has been evident that the club has experienced financial difficulties with the widely publicised late payment of staff (both playing and non-playing). We have also seen the club taken to the high court over the non-payment of HMRC (Tax) and Egerton (Training facility).
A group of players have now cited non-payment of two months’ salary (May and June) and subsequently added to the high court writ which the club response included the following line:
“Despite this we were disappointed by the actions taken against us by this group, due to the fact that some of the players involved have now moved on to other clubs, whilst others did not appear for the club once during their time with us”.
As the SST board, we would like to place on record both our wholehearted support of the players in seeking their outstanding wages and our condemnation of how poorly the club has handled the situation which has clearly provoked (and quite rightly) a reaction from many of members and fans alike. Ultimately people go to work to earn a wage to survive day to day and support their family, the club has broken its agreements with its employees and we can only encourage the club to do the right thing and settle the outstanding monies as soon as possible. We find the clubs handling of this situation unacceptable. We are also aware that on the 21st June 2019 (as per companies house) the club has taken out a loan of £180k. We would like to discuss with the club what the loan will be used for, as we hope the outstanding debts to the players and the ground improvements can be satisfied ahead of the new season.
We all want to see a thriving club that represents positivity on the local community, over the last season the club’s actions has alienated many former contributors to the club.
As the SST one of our next actions will be to seek a seat at the table to the management committee meetings the club advised us would be taking place this season. We would want more of a fans voice in directly being involved in the decision making process and ensuring fans concerns are heard. We have also discussed a couple of ideas on how as a trust we can interact more directly with fans, you will see a further statement on this matter in due course.
We have emailed the majority shareholder, Amar Alkadhi, to ask when the next management meeting is due to take place and whether we can have SST representation as part of the meeting so we can discuss directly these concerns. We hope by this point a chairman and/or CEO is in place to help manage the day-to-day running of the club as we were previously advised by the club they were seeking to fill these roles.
Finally, we share the frustrations that you all have and as a group of volunteers with the fans best interest at heart we can assure you we are working hard as we can.
18th June 2019
Notes From Meeting With Amar AlKadhi
12th JUNE 2019
PRESENT: Andy Worth (Chair)
Andy opened the meeting by thanking all for attending. Andy expressed the desire for
the SST was to be part of the solution and not be part of the problems at the club.
1. Why weren’t provisions in place over the last few months to ensure all playing and
non-playing staff were paid on time, and what provisions are being made for them to be
paid on time going forward into next season and beyond?
Amar explained that due to the position the club was in last season with a squad of 33
to pay and the number of players that were in accommodation, this put extreme
financial pressure on the club. It was also explained that there were issues of
contracted players who weren’t playing regularly not being moved on due to external
iinfluences which also put strains on the budget. It was explained that for the 2019/20
season the club are looking for a squad of 24 and would be looking at making better
use of the loan system.
Amar explained that the management structure of the club was being looked at. He had
always viewed MTFC as a community run club but this was no longer the case and the
club would now be run on a more businesslike format.
The budget was being looked at as each area of the workings of the club e.g. groundwork, office, catering etc were being asked for their anticipated budget for the coming season and the budgets would be set accordingly. This would give the responsible people their own budgets to work within, therefore making the budget more accountable.
2. How can we be expected to attract more quality players in view of recent publicity
surrounding consistent non-payment of wages?
Whilst we have signed around 4 new players and have other players already on
contract, the contracts being offered are changing. It was explained that players would
have financial rewards based on efforts put in at training Mon - Fri and match days. It is
hoped that this would encourage players to ‘fight’ for first team places on match days.
3. What plans are in place to deal with the issues surrounding the next court hearing on
26th June 2019 and what assurances can you give to fans that if they purchase a
season ticket that they will be honoured accordingly?
Amar explained that the situation around the proposed court hearing was in hand and
the money was available. It was pointed out that at least 12 - 15 other clubs at this level
were also in similar or worse situations to MTFC. It was felt that there were other
outside influences responsible for the negative press that MTFC have been receiving
from certain areas.
It was pointed out that the club would not be looking to signing new players if there was
any possibility of the club being given a winding up order.
4. What are the plans for London Road for next season when considering the changes
that first came into effect with the game against Stevenage F.C. on Saturday 23rd
We feel that this is a very important question to ask when considering that
we are aware through both social media and face to face discussions with fellow fans of
the negative impact that this has had on potential season ticket sales.
Amar informed the meeting that it was his decision not to publicise the closure of
London Road in advance. He expressed his regret for having to do this but that it was
no longer felt in the interest of the club to have visiting executives, players and players
families to be open to the level of abuse received. There had also been situations
where visiting officials had been physically abused, which could have led to the club
With regard to the opening of this terrace next season; this is being held in abeyance as
the club have to do various ground improvements before the beginning of the season.
A number of plans have been submitted to East Cheshire Planning Department around
the dugouts to make them bigger to meet EFL regulations. There are three options:-
1. To make the dugouts deeper, which would mean losing the area behind the
2. Making the dugouts wider similar to a ‘bus stop’ design which again would mean
losing some of this area.
3. To move the dugouts to the other side of the ground which would mean losing
some of the seating in the Moss Lane Stand.
Until the East Cheshire Planning department have given their decision then it is not possible to indicate what the exact layout of the London Road will be.
5. Who is responsible for the operational management of MTFC and is there a five-year
plan for the club?
It was explained that plans were being made to interview for a new Chairman and CEO.
There is an intention to have a senior management committee of 5 people with a CEO
controlling the day to day running of the club. Amar pointed out that this would be the
structure for the foreseeable future.
6. Is there money available to pay for the necessary ground improvements to meet the
requirements of the English Football League?
Amar informed the meeting that the money was available for the improvements.
7. There have been a number of rumours that there have been bids for the club in the
past. Would the club be currently up for sale to an appropriate interested party that has
the interests of MTFC at heart, and could you please give an indication of the sort of
figure you would be willing to sell for?
Amar confirmed that there had been 2 bids last season for the club. Currently the club
is not up for sale but should interest be made for another minority shareholder to come
in then that would be acceptable.
8. What are the plans for Butch’s Bar and will there be a meeting including key
stakeholders such as Gail & Richard Butcher, Dean Holmes & Robert Stirling and the
Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) who are committed to supporting the development of a
Butch’s Bar which truly honours the memory of our 21?
Currently there are no plans to demolish Butch’s Bar. There will be an inspection by
East Cheshire as part of their inspection of the ground. Providing the outcome is
positive then there will be plans at looking at ways in which some cost effective
improvements could be carried out.
It was stressed by a member of the SST Board that this should be communicated to the
relevant people, e.g. Dean Holmes and Rob Stirling as they have done an excellent job
increasing the revenue and provided a much needed facility for London Road and Star
Lane fans. Communication to be made by a club representative with Dean and Rob
explaining the situation.
9. In view of the difficulties experienced by fans at a number of games with regards to
getting into the game on time, are there any proposed changes to the ticketing system
for next season, and if so, what are they?
Amar indicated that the club was aware of the difficulties with the current ticketing
system and this is being looked into. Further information being provided by the club
ahead of the new season .
This information was welcomed particularly by one of the people who volunteers in the
ticket office present at the meeting. The decision to close London Road had put extra
pressure on the home ticket office due to the fact that there was only one place on
match days that tickets could be purchased and some of the abuse that the people in
the ticket office had to take had been unacceptable. Amar asked for his apology to be
passed on to the ticket office staff and explained that he was not aware of the impact his
decision had on ticket office staff.
10. As you are aware, the SST have been withholding financial support in view of our
concerns about the issues relating to the closure of London Road terrace. If the SST
receive satisfactory responses to the questions that are asked and are willing to
reinstate financial contributions to the club; can you please confirm that the SST will be
guaranteed shares to the value of future contributions that are provided?
IIt was explained to Amar the reason for the decision to withhold the monthly
subscription to the club. It was further explained that whilst the monthly payment was
not being reinstated; money was available should guarantees be given that any money
provided would be converted into shares for the SST. Amar stressed that he had
always agreed to the transfer of shares for cash and would ensure that this continues to
be the case.
Andy thanked all for attending, and thanks were expressed to Amar for the opportunity
to meet and provide answers to the questions posed.
22nd May 2019
SST Statement regarding a face to face meeting with Amar AlKadhi
On Thursday 16th May 2019, contact was made by email with Macclesfield Town Football Club majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi to request a face to face meeting with him to discuss a number of concerns with regards to recent events at the football club including such examples as persistent late payment of the wages of playing and non playing staff and the recent court hearing; how we will pay for necessary ground improvements and the future of Butch’s Bar.
On Friday 17th May 2019 Amar responded by email to advise that the club are currently in the process of sorting out issues from last season; sorting out player contracts and undertaking an extensive overhaul / reorganisation of backroom staff and procedures. Amar advised he would make contact again in a few weeks time.
The SST has sought assistance from Supporters Direct who have proved invaluable in helping to establish over 200 supporters trusts in the United Kingdom and facilitating a meaningful role for supporters with their respective clubs. They have vast experience at supporting clubs facing very difficult circumstances, and further information will be forthcoming over the course of the next few days regarding the next steps following further dialogue with Supporters Direct.
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust
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