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8th July 2020

 

A letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the English Football League

 

                                                                                              SST Secretary

                                                                                              c/o 3 Lincoln Place

                                                                                              Macclesfield

                                                                                              Cheshire

                                                                                              SK10 3EW

 

Mr David Baldwin

Chief Executive Officer

English Football League

EFL House

10-12 West Cliff

Preston

PR1 8HU

 

Dear Mr Baldwin

 

Macclesfield Town Football Club (MTFC) are a small town football club within a hotbed of Premiership clubs in the North West, and one with a proud heritagedating back to 1874. The "against all odds" mentality that pervades our club has seen MTFC achieve promotion to the English Football League (EFL) on two occasions, and on much smaller budgets than many of its peers. 

It is further use to note that in this day and age where there is a great concern about the lack of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches and managers in English football within the game, Macclesfield has  appointed 3 BAME managers and a number of BAME coaches during their tenure in the ELF.

 

Please be assured that the overwhelming majority of Macclesfield Town Football Club (MTFC) Silkmen fans including the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) board, would be the first to admit that the stewardship of our beloved club by majority shareholder Mr. AlKadhi has been heartbreakingly horrendous. Silkmen fans everywhere despise his mismanagement of the  club and in addition to his contemptuous attitude towards the club’s playing and non-playing staff and of course our long suffering supporters. It is our view that the actions of Mr. AlKhadi have clearly angered the English Football League (EFL), and as a result of his actions MTFC have  been rightly docked points for this mismanagement., The recent re-involvement of former Silkmen chairman Mark Blower who played a major role in MTFC's defence at the recent independent panel hearing, had subsequently pointed to a more secure future for our beloved club both on and off the field with an inspiration of a fully operational board dedicated to effective governance of MTFC going forward.

 

The SST would like to place on record our frustration by the EFL's apparent inability and unwillingness to deal with the actions of appalling owners which have been manifest this season with the cases of Bury and now sadly Wigan. The SST have appealed for help on behalf of the fans, players and community, and have found the EFL to be unsympathetic and largely unresp;onsive. The lack of action on the appeals relating to staff mental healthhave been particularly galling.. 

 

The last disciplinary hearing held by an Independent Panel against MTFC made their decision after considering all the evidence and this should be respected. It must be pointed out that the decision was made considering the flawed way points per game (PPG) was calculated. MTFC were in effect deducted 16 points not 13, as recommended by the panel. A comparable analogy to this is a criminal sentenced to 18 months in prison who on arrival at the point of incarceration is told "forget what your sentence is, it is now 2 years" without rhythm nor reason. This is against English Law and legal advice appears to be on the side of MTFC.

 

It is our view that the EFL are inconsistent to say the least. Stevenage avoided a points deduction following an independent panel's decision, regarding a postponement of a fixture against Oldham Athletic where it was cited that three Stevenage players were identified for international call ups when only two were alleged to be eligible to be counted. Where was the EFL appeal? Southend another serial offender of paying wages late received a suspended point deduction. Again, where was the EFL appeal?   These follow the imposition of no points reduction to Bolton Wanderers for missing two games.

 

The last two weeks have seen a publicity orchestrated campaign by members of the EFL to get Macclesfield demoted, an action the EFL well knows would obliterate the club. The prime orchestrator has been Mr. Philip Wallace of Stevenage, along with others including Mr. Philip Day of Grimsby. We believe that it is disgraceful, that the EFL board representative for League Two, Mr. John Nixon who sits at the high table of the EFL hierarchy, and who should surely provide an unbiased approach to all League 2 clubs; highlighted on social media that such was his indignation at the recent independent panel's decision regarding MTFC, that he was considering resigning from his aforementioned role. Is this the way the EFL conducts its business? The SST  has seen no evidence of him demonstrating denial of his apparent ire since this time. The self-righteous indignation from Mr. Nixon was palpably silent following the decision on Stevenage, not to mention inrespect of the PPG calculationthat effectively saw the SIlkmen receive a further three point eduction.

 

It is of further use to note that on the 6th March 2020 Carlisle’s Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens spoke of how "on discussions and deliberations of [Macclesfield], penalties etc, [Mr. Nixon] does not participate, except to simply collect League Two views and pass them to the EFL."  The above statement from the Cumbrians Chief Executive appears to have fallen on deaf ears to Mr. Nixon, and the SST would politely request that the EFL provide us with an outline of Mr. Nixon’s role as the League 2 representative, and your explanations to how his recent actions can in any way be seen as reasonable and unbiased. 

 

 

The decision of the EFL to appeal against the independent decision now appears to be a witch hunt towards MTFC. Stevenage only managed to win three games in the 2019/20 season and were clearly the worst performing team in the division and deserved relegation. The independent panel made its decision and, as in the cases highlighted above, that decision should be accepted by the EFL

 

In order to understand what is happening could the EFL please answer the following questions:

  1. What date is the appeal to take place on?
  2. On what grounds are the EFL appealing? Has any undisclosed evidence come to light?
  3. ​Has the EFL been pressureised into the appeal by the owners of other League 2 clubs If so, by how many and who?
  4. Why has the EFL only appealed the MTFC decision?
  5. Does the EFL want to remove MTFC from League 2 because of the mismanagement of its owner?
  6. It is clear that the PPG has been rigged to remove MTFC from League 2. WIll the EFL produce the full minutes of the PPG meeting together with all the relevant comments from League 2 clubs to a Parliamentary committee?
  7. Why can't the EFL sanction miscreant owners rather than clubs? 
  8. The EFL were supplied with information from the SST and knew the problems that MTFC were having. In particular the SST highlighted the concern that the owner was taking money out of the club. Would it not have been more sensible to help the club and pay the wages directly?
  9. Could you provide the SST with an outline of the context of MR. Nixon's role as the League 2 representative and could you please provide a view as to whether Mr. Nixon's recent actions can in any way be seen as reasonable and unbiased?

  

I look forward to your prompt response.

 

 

Yours Faithfully

 

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson SST

 

Copy to:

 

Nigel Huddleston MP Minister of Sport

Damian Collins MP

Lisa Nandy MP

Davi Rutley MP

 

An SST Response to the Independent Arbitration Panel Decision

 

20th June 2020

 

Dear all

 
First of all I would like to say how overjoyed I am that the sporting integrity of the beautiful game has been maintained by the decision of the Independent Arbitration Panel.
 
The decision was a wonderful endorsement of the  fantastic efforts by the amazing playing and non-playing staff of Macclesfield Town Football Club in the face of incredibly adverse circumstances, and the unwavering support of our fans to them.
 
Sincere thanks must also be given to Mark Blower and our legal representative for their robust defence of our case where the ‘against all odds’ mantra that pervades this wonderful little club of ours.
 
Despite the understandable ecstasy surrounding the recent news, we also need to reflect that we have now reached a watershed moment in the history of our beloved club. There can surely be no more episodes of our football club lurching from one potentially disastrous issue to another.
 
This club needs stability. It requires operational and financial management that does not rely on the say so of Mr. AlKadhi but one that at the very least, nullifies his influence, and is reliant on an operational board which makes decisions based upon the best interests of Macclesfield Town Football Club as opposed to a majority shareholder who makes decisions that make sense only to the majority shareholder.
 
The last two years have been probably the most difficult that I have experienced in over fifty years of following my hometown club. However, you have my assurance that the Silkmen Supporters Trust board and I will do our utmost to engage proactively with ALL pertinent individuals who will need to be involved in steering this fantastic little club of ours through the undeniably choppy waters that lie ahead.
 
I therefore urge you; my Silkmen brethren to remain strong and united as we strive towards a future that witnesses a fan friendly community focused football club that is a credit to the town that bears its name.
 
#OURTOWNOURCLUB
 
Yours Sincerely
 
Andy Worth
 
Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

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