News from 2019

25th December 2019

 

Dear all

 

I write to you as chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) to provide you with an update as to what we; the SST board have been doing as a means of trying to make sense of and trying to facilitate the most positive outcome possible for our beloved club at what is one of the darkest times in it’s illustrious history.

 

  • On Thursday evening, the SST were approached by the football club to see if we could provide any financial support towards safety testing that would ultimately lead to a safety certificate which would ensure that the crucial home games against Plymouth Argyle and Grimsby Town could go ahead, and prevent any further sanctions from the English Football League (EFL) that could potentially seriously jeopardise our future within the elite 92 clubs of the Football League. There was unanimous support for us supporting this initiative and as a consequence the SST provided £2000 towards the tests with immediate effect. Sadly, the game against Plymouth was postponed but we were delighted to note that it has been helpful in ensuring that we have received a safety certificate for the forthcoming home fixtures against Grimsby and Cambridge United to go ahead.

 

  • There have been discussions held with the Member of Parliament (MP) for Macclesfield David Rutley who is a regular attendee at the Moss Rose. David has been working hard behind the scenes, and has held regular dialogue with majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi, Cheshire East Council and the EFL to see if he can provide some positive support / influence on helping the Silkmen through these turbulent times. David and I have agreed to maintain regular contact over the next few difficult weeks as we search for a more brighter future for our football club. It is of further use to note that David advised me that staff from Cheshire East had even come in from their Christmas holidays on Monday to resolve all the issues surrounding the safety certificate and on behalf of Silkmen supporters everywhere, I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to them for their willingness to go the extra mile on behalf of our football club.

 

  • My colleagues from the SST board, John Abbott, Robert Wilson and I met with senior EFL representatives Mark Rowan and John Nagle at EFL headquarters in Preston several weeks ago where we raised a number of issues / concerns and John (Abbott) undertook a conference call on Monday 23rd December 2019 with Mark (Rowan) and John (Nagle) to provide them with a comprehensive update on the latest issues surrounding the football club. Jon Smart, who has proved to be an excellent spokesperson for the SST and Silkmen supporters in local and national media in recent weeks; is engaged in regular dialogue with Joe and Nicole Sealey who remain passionate about having the opportunity to play a part in a successful future for our club. I spoke at length to majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi on the afternoon of Friday 20th December 2019, with regards to issues relating to such matters as update on potential buyers of the club, the HMRC bill, ensuring prompt payment of players, points deduction and the recent safety certificate issue. Amar was coy with what he said, but I understand from the context of what he said that he is clearly ready to sell in the near future and move on as soon as practicable. Amar spoke of three interested parties (we all know one of them) and that he was very hopeful of paying staff on time (which would be aided by getting the games against Plymouth and Grimsby on) and that he was disappointed by the points deduction which he felt was harsh and was in the process of looking at appealing the decision. The HMRC tax issues remain an ongoing issue which Amar is committed to resolving.

 

  • The Hardship fund currently stands at £12,991 which is an incredible effort and those who have benefited from the fund are immensely grateful for the support given. We completely understand that the expensive Christmas period is upon us, but every penny matters and you can make a difference by accessing the hardship fund in the following ways:
  •  
  • Reference - Silkmen Hardship Fund
  • Bank Account Transfer
  • Coop Bank
  • Sort Code: 08-92-99
  • Account number: 65202513

However, for those who would prefer to use Crowdfunder please do so using the following the link below:

 

 

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/silkmen-hardship-fund

 

 

At the forthcoming Boxing Day encounter with Grimsby Town, we are hopeful of helping to raise money for the Hardship Fund by having buckets around the ground where people can donate. Every single penny we raise would be meticulously accounted for and added to the fund, which we are so grateful for and I offer my sincere thanks in advance of this.

 

  • The SST board have been delighted to support the team in a number of ways including providing short term high quality training facilities and post -training food. We have also contributed towards a recovery session following the Bradford City game which proved hugely beneficial, and have committed to two more of these over the course of the busy Christmas and New Year period. The SST does not have a bottomless pit of money, and as I am sure you can appreciate we have spent a not inconsiderable sum of money in recent weeks and months. You really can make a difference in a number of ways, whether this is by joining the SST itself, joining the Super Silk Lotto, the Silk Pledge or signing up to Easy Fundraising which costs nothing but actually helps to make money for the SST.

 

I will finish by taking this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year ?.

 

THIS IS OUR TOWN OUR CLUB

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

20th December 2019

 

2019 SST Minutes of the AGM

 

2019 SST AGM Minutes of the Open Meeting

 

Winners of the SST Christmas Raffle:

 

Steve Littler

Alan Boothby and Sheila Grant

Gail Faye

Terry Hunter

Veronica Gough

Neil Jackson

Sean Crowe

Bowlings Butchers

 

13th December 2019

 

Silkmen Supporters Trust Latest Update

 

Dear all.

Please forgive the delay in providing a contemporary Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) update but as I am sure you can appreciate we are involved in many things at the moment.

1) The current donations to the Hardship Fund as of today stands at £12,411 and we have had £1,364 this week including nearly £300 in cash that was provided by very generous donors at the SST AGM on Monday. The benefit of receiving money in the form of bank transfer, paypal, cheque and cash means that money is instantly available as and when needed.

2) There is obviously monies that have been transferred into accounts of playing and non-playing staff in the form of a flexible no interest pay-day loan, and the heartfelt gratitude we have had from those who have benefited has been both touching and heartwarming. We WILL NOT be publicising the names of those who have benefited or the amounts loaned to respective individuals as we believe these issues should remain confidential.

3) John Abbott, whose professional integrity is without question, is managing the account, and his accounts are so meticulous that anyone could view them anytime and would see that they are accounted for to the last penny.

4) A crowd funder is set up and ready to go although John and I have very limited experience / knowledge of. The downside of such an approach is the interest charges and that the money is not instantly available. However, we acknowledge that people would like to contribute in such a way, and as soon as it goes ‘live’ we will update everyone on the website.

5) We will look to provide a regular update (probably weekly) of the combined amounts in the respective parts of the hardship fund.

6) Thanks so much for all those who have contributed or intend to contribute as it really is making a massive difference to the lives of those who have and will make use of the hardship.

7) The minutes of the SST Annual General Meeting will be made available on the SST website, Star Lane End Facebook page and Wraggs to Riches as soon as they have been approved.

8) John Abbott, Robert Wilson & I met with senior officials from the English Football League (EFL) on Thursday with the support of Deborah Dilworth from Supporters Direct. The meeting proved useful in clarifying a number of issues and we will provide you with an update from that meeting as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely

Andy Worth

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

26th November 2019

 

 

Registered Office:             

 

Macclesfield Town FC

125 London Rd

Macclesfield

SK11 7SW

 

 

26th November 2019

 

 

 

The Silkmen Supporters Society Ltd

Annual General Meeting

 

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Silkmen Supporters Society Ltd will be held at 19:45 on Monday 9th December 2019 at  

McIlroy Suite, MTFC, Moss Lane, Macclesfield.

 

The agenda for the meeting is given below.

 

All Members and supporters are invited to attend but only Society Members are entitled to vote. The Annual Report and Associated Financial Statements (item 2) are available through the Society website (www.sstrust.uk ).

 

Agenda

 

  1. To hear the notice convening the meeting.
  2. To receive and adopt the Financial Statements (including Statement of Financial Activities, Balance Sheet and related Report) (Resolution 1) for the 12 month period ending 30th June 2019.
  3. To note the outcome of the invitation to Members to consider nomination to the Board of the Society and to introduce the new Board.

 

Resolutions

 

In order to progress the business of the meeting, the following resolution will be proposed for adoption:

 

RESOLUTION 1

The Members of the Silkmen Supporters Society Ltd present at the General Meeting held on 9th December 2019 receive and adopt the financial statements prepared by the Society’s Independent Examiner and the Report of the Board for the year ended 30 June 2019.

 

Click here for the SST Annual Report for 2019

 

23rd November 2019

 

As many of you know, the SST set up a ‘hardship fund’ last week for MTFC players and non-playing staff  struggling financially, as a result of continued late payment of wages. We wanted to provide some temporary support, if required,  to help in whatever way we can until the contracted amounts are fully paid. This is an intolerable situation which has gone on for far too many months at our club  and it’s not fair.

 

We initially set aside £3000 of our own funds for this purpose and left it open for others who might also want to contribute.  We have been overwhelmed by generosity of supporters who want to help . The fund now stands at a tremendous £10,650.

 

We have already been approached to help by certain staff and this has been done. On final receipt of October wages from the club in the last few days, some money lent has either been repaid or in the process of being so.

 

Others may still be struggling now or sadly may do so in the coming days and weeks and we would ask that they contact

 

Andy Worth (gmacworth@aol.com)  or

 

John Abbott (jamsol@btinternet.com )

 

or any other SST Board member , if they need any help at all. All requests will be dealt with in confidence,  properly , and sensitively.

We will keep the Fund open for long as necessary or until we, thankfully, have a satisfactory end to this financial and ownership turmoil at our beloved club. We will then either repay the donations, as much as we can, or if individuals donating prefer , retain the money in the SST for future appropriate projects.

If anyone still wants to contribute you can do so by -

 

Bank Transfer -  Co-operative Bank – Silkmen Supporters Trust – Sort Code 089299 Account Number 65202513 – Reference ‘Hardship Fund’

 

Paypal – Finance@sstrust.uk  – ‘Hardship Fund’

 

By cheque – post to John Abbott , SST, 6 Park Avenue, Poynton, SK12 1QY. Cheques payable to Silkmen Supporters Trust ( please write ‘Hardship’ on the back of the cheque)

 

By cash to any SST Board Member.

 

It would be helpful if you could please provide contact details for our records.

 

12th November 2019

 

Dear all.

 

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:

 

  1. The SST are setting up a hardship fund on behalf of our fabulous playing and non-playing staff, and this will be will be managed via their account. The rationale for such an approach is that it will negate any percentage loss that an approach such as a crowd funder utilises, and will ensure that EVERY PENNY goes to where it should go to. The SST will be providing £3000 towards this fund (which we have referenced as the Silkmen Hardship Fund) and I sincerely hope that Silkmen fans everywhere will support this initiative. I can assure you that they will be meticulously managed by SST board member John Abbott. The account details are as follows:

 

  • Reference - Silkmen Hardship Fund
  • Bank Account Transfer
  • Coop Bank
  • Sort Code 08-92-99
  • Account number 65202513

 

You could also send donations by post to:

 

       John Abbott

       Silkmen Supporters Trust

       6 Park Avenue

       Poynton

       SK12 1QY

 

  1. The SST board have been in regular contact with Supporters Direct, and in our last email from them, we were advised that they would be looking to facilitate a meeting between the English Football League (EFL) and several SST board representatives to discuss our concerns regarding the current issues surrounding our club. I will of course keep everyone fully updated.

 

  1. I spoke with our former MP (and current Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party) David Rutley on Friday 8th November 2019 where I provided him with a detailed overview of the latest issues. David is a keen supporter of the Silkmen and regularly attends games at the Moss Rose, and he advised me that he had already written to the EFL regarding the recent matters surrounding the club and has requested that I provide him with regular updates which I have agreed to do. David made it clear that he would do all in his power to help, and clearly recognised the importance of a vibrant football club to the local community.

 

  1. Discussions have been held with individuals with a significant shareholding in the club to see if they can help to facilitate an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of shareholders, and the outcome of the discussions have been promising.

 

  1. Several SST board members have been in discussion with Joe Sealey, and were very impressed with his desire to buy the club, and his vision for the future of our beloved Silkmen.

 

  1. The more members that we have the more powerful that we can be, and I echo the comments of Black_Knight on Wragg’s to Riches earlier today at 15:54 to join the SST and make us stronger and more powerful as we try to navigate the difficult few weeks that lie ahead.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Andy Worth

 

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:

 

  • Amar spoke of how he had sent money into accounts to be able to pay the staff but that there are issues with the banks which have led to money not being successfully transferred into the account from which players are paid. Amar also spoke of how he is working hard to resolve this matter this week, and that he fully recognised and empathised with the negative impact that these issues were having upon playing and non playing staff. Amar also spoke of ‘ongoing legal matters’ that precluded him from giving much more detailed information and that the English Football League (EFL) had assisted in the provision of a solicitor to help to move things forward as quickly and amicably as possible.

 

  • Amar acknowledged that there had been an expression of interest in buying the football club but that he was not interested in what he described as ‘window shoppers’. When I enquired as to what he meant by this term, Amar indicated that he had requested the interested party to demonstrate proof of funds, and that this had not yet been forthcoming. I asked if Amar had named his price to the interested party, and was informed that the discussions had not yet reached the stage where such matters could be highlighted!

 

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.

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST)

 

Saturday 2nd November 2019

 

Dear Amar

 

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.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Andy Worth

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:

  1. Please see the below regarding the email sent to majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi on 11th September 2019 at 11.16p.m. in light of the concerns of many Silkmen fans regarding the latest saga relating to winding up orders issued by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

Dear Amar.

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.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Andy Worth

 

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!

  1. One of the fundamental objectives of the SST is improving the matchday experience of supporters, and nowhere is this issue more prevalent than with London Road where many of our long standing supporters situated within this part of the ground and loyal supporters have had to endure more than their fair share of change; much of it having been seen as detrimental in it’s effect. With this is mind, the SST are committed both fundamentally and financially towards a Butch’s Bar that not only provides a suitable watering hole for those supporters housed in London Road and Star Lane End, but also ensures that there is a lasting and appropriate legacy to the memory of ‘our 21’ Richard Butcher. Further updates will be available in the near future, but please suffice it to say that we, the SST are working very hard in partnership with the football club and external sources to secure a short and long term solution to this issue.
  2. During the course of the pre-season, and into the early weeks of the close season, the SST have been providing valuable funds to the club to provide the necessary requirements to maintain / improve the condition of the pitch, a laptop to enable effective functioning of our excellent new scoreboard (kindly sponsored by local company Proseal) and radio equipment to facilitate optimum quality of delivery to the Silkmen faithful from the hugely popular media man at the club; Rob Trafford. More detailed information about this will soon be available on the official website and the SST website in the near future, and I can assure the SST membership that we are committed to receipt of shares to the value of every pound that we donate to the football club!
  3. The Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) are proud to provide a significant supporting role to the Super Silk Lotto which has provided significant funds to the Silkmen cause since it’s inception and were absolutely delighted to have provided the sum of £500 to our charity partner for 2018/19 which was the SilkLife Food Bank which provides emergency food supplies to families in crisis in Macclesfield. The fact that there are over 100 new referrals every month pays testament to the demand for this crucial service which depends entirely upon voluntary financial and food contributions. For more information please telephone 01625 611121 or visit their website at www.silklife.co.uk
  4. The Super Silk Lotto are pleased to announce that our charity partner for 2019/20 is in collaboration with Canalside Community Radio whose registered charity Phase One Training (charity number 1153671) is committed to providing high quality media focused training for young people between 11-25 years in and around North East Cheshire. The focus on radio facilitates opportunities for young people to attain a range of both academic and practical skills that will improve educational / employment opportunities and is particularly helpful to those young people who experience social exclusion, require rehabilitation into the local community and in need of work experience which is particularly relevant to those from local schools and youth organisations such as the i-macc youth club. More details on this are available by ringing 01625 557668 or via the website at www.phaseonetraining.org.uk. Please keep a look out for information about a forthcoming radio interview on Canalside involving members of the SST board.
  5. In recent programme notes for the Crawley game I spoke on the SST page as to how there is currently around 10% of the Silkmen faithful who are members of the SST. It is without a shadow of a doubt that we are unlikely to have anywhere near the level of influence that we would like to have with majority shareholder Amar AlKadhi until that this percentage is somewhere in the region of 50% and that is a minimum IMHO. The SST has had it’s share of criticisms, some of which are fair and some of which are not, and I can completely empathise with the views of some Silkmen supporters that a number of the SST board members are also volunteers at the club, and there are concerns that this could impact upon how critically challenging we are as a group. As recently, last week this issue was raised during a podcast hosted by Jonny Barton that also included ex SST board member Ryan Cawley and Silkmen fan Jen Kelly.

 

  1. The renowned American political commentator Mark Shields spoke of how ‘There is strength in numbers. The more individuals or organisations you can rally to your cause, the better’ and so the real challenge is to develop a supporters group that is able to attract a more substantial and diverse element of the fanbase that provides us the influence that is so crucial for the small but fabulous fanbase here at Macclesfield Town Football Club. Going forward, the SST may ultimately not be the medium which will help to secure this vision, and so I would urge the facilitation of an open meeting (ideally hosted by someone who can be considered neutral) in the very near future where we can then identify some constructive ideas as to how we can develop an effective and challenging supporters group of our beloved club whether this is in the guise of the SST or within a different format that ultimately achieves the goal of a vibrant and challenging supporters group.

 

  1. In relation to the comments above, I would genuinely urge us not to become divisive as fans, because any infighting between supporters provides individuals who wish to maintain or hold power at our club, the opportunity to utilise a strategy of divide and conquer to achieve their objectives.

 

  1. We are ALL fans of our beloved club so please let us bang our collective heads together to identify what having strength in numbers and unity can really do for us.

 

  1. I am Silkmen till I die!

 

 Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

7th July 2019

 

SST Statement

 

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.

 

SST Board

 

18th June 2019

 

Notes From Meeting With Amar AlKadhi

 

Held on
12th JUNE 2019
PRESENT: Andy Worth (Chair)
Andy Mellor
Chrissie Thompson
Bernie Rickman
Myra Clark
Amar AlKadhi
Robert Trafford

Tobias Phoenix

Marie Grundy


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
March 2019?

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
being fined.

 

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
current dugouts.
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.

 

Andy Worth 

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust   

 

 

9th May 2019

 

Statement from the SST regarding the non payment of wages to players and staff of MTFC

 

The board of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) would like to place on record their significant angst and disappointment regarding the context of the statement that was released by Macclesfield Town players yesterday where it has highlighted that they had still not received their wages that were due to them on the 30th April 2019.

 

Within the body of the statement it would appear that it is not only the players but the backroom staff that have still not been paid their wages for April 2019.

 

The incredible efforts of the team with the dedicated support of the backroom staff having helped to preserve our precious English Football League (EFL) status (despite the off field issues relating to their wages) bears testimony to how lucky we are at Macclesfield Town Football Club to have had such a fantastic group of playing and non-playing staff.

 

Upon reading this statement, we as fans will feel even prouder of them than we were when the final whistle blew at the conclusion of the game with Cambridge United last Saturday afternoon.

 

The players and staff of this wonderful little club of ours do not deserve this appalling treatment and so we urge the hierarchy of Macclesfield Town Football Club to remedy this situation with immediate effect.

 

The SST board will of course be providing further open correspondence as to the next steps we intend to take in support of our players and staff over the course of the next few days, and intend to work tirelessly in doing as much as possible as representatives of our wonderful fan-base to help to ensure a viable future for our beloved club which means so much to us all.

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

       

 

28th April 2019

 

The Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) board would like to place on record how deeply saddened it was to hear of the physical and verbal abuse that was received by owner Amar Alkhadi and his wife at Stoke train station following the fabulous result against Port Vale on Saturday afternoon.

 

The SST fully supports the right of ALL Silkmen supporters to air their grievances in a peaceful and appropriate manner, but totally deplores the use of any physical and verbal abuse that could negatively impact upon the physical and emotional wellbeing of  another individual.

 

We therefore implore ALL of our fellow Silkmen supporters behave in a non aggressive and socially appropriate manner regarding any grievances that they wish to highlight.

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

 

12th April 2019

 

On the 1st April 2019 the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) board wrote to the Silkmen hierarchy regarding concerns about the disastrous and completely unnecessary closure of London Road terrace for the home game against Stevenage Boro on Saturday 23rd March 2019 and another lack of / late payment of our amazing players and backroom staff. Within the context of the letter we made it clear that without a satisfactory response, we would consider initiating a request for ALL volunteers to withhold the labour that they currently freely provide to the club, and withdrawal of all financial support from the SST and Super Silk Lotto to the club until a prompt and successful resolution of these issues.

 

The SST board met on Monday 8th April 2019 for their monthly meeting where we discussed the subsequent responses from major shareholder Amar AlKadhi, and as a consequence the following was agreed:

  • It is NOT currently in the best interests of Macclesfield Town Football Club at such a crucial time in our season to encourage /  facilitate withdrawal of volunteer labour that could lead to cancellation of a forthcoming English Football League (EFL) game at the Moss Rose. This could also potentially lead to the possibility of fines and points deduction that could seriously jeopardise our future in the EFL, and also potentially contribute to further cash flow problems that could result in late / non payment of our fantastic players, management and backroom staff of this wonderful club of ours.
  • There will be an immediate suspension of the £500 per month contribution from the Super Silk Lotto and we will not currently respond to any requests to the SST and Lotto for financial support to the club. This suspension of financial support will remain in situ until the ludicrous situation surrounding London Road (which has caused unnecessary angst and upset for so many of our decent law abiding supporters) is resolved, and there are assurances from the Silkmen hierarchy that the late payment of the players, management and backroom staff will nor recur.
  • The SST board have provided their backing for a PEACEFUL protest march from Macclesfield Town Hall to the Moss Rose stadium prior to the home game against Newport County on Monday 22nd April 2019 (Easter Monday)  to facilitate the opportunity for Silkmen fans to highlight their anger and frustration regarding what occurred in the London Road side of the stadium on March 23rd 2019 and since this date.
  • The organisers of the march would love to see Silkmen fans of any age, sex or demographic to attend the march, and have provided assurances to the SST board that they been in contact with the police regards to the planned march. Close adherence to every aspect of information / guidance received by police and other agencies (as apposite) will be undertaken by the organisers of the march. This is a PEACEFUL march to help to visibly demonstrate the hurt and outrage that the closure of London Road has caused to so many decent and well behaved supporters within that side of the stadium. For any further information on the event please search in Facebook for ‘March on the Moss’.

 

ANDY WORTH

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

 

3rd April 2019

 

Feedback from discussion with Amar AlKadhi

 

Amar AlKadhi contacted me by telephone on the afternoon of the 1st April 2019 before the 5p.m. deadline where we held discussion about the situation regarding London Road and non payment of wages to players and staff. Here is a summary of the context of the conversation which I got Sean to listen in on to add as much objectivity as possible!!

 

LONDON ROAD UPDATE:

  • Amar spoke of how a statement had gone out yesterday highlighting the rationale as to why a decision was made to close sections of the London Road terrace which he reaffirmed was due to abusive language and intimidating behaviour from a number of people in London Road. I advised Amar that from what I had seen on the unofficial message boards that the response to this had been far from positive with a generic feeling that ‘a hammer to crack a nut’ approach had been taken with the subsequent effect that many people who have never been abusive or intimidatory have been unfairly treated. Amar acknowledged that some people had been unfairly adversely affected and offered assurances that the situation would be reviewed at the end of the season.
  • Amar stated that he himself had been the subject of a number of episodes of verbal abuse and that he had bore the brunt of racist comment as well which he said he was able to manage because he was ‘thick skinned’ regarding such matters.
  • Amar stated that after reflection of the events of the Stevenage game, it had been decided to open the central part of London Road terrace but only to season ticket holders at this time. Amar reaffirmed that the situation would be reviewed at the end of the season.
  • I stated that the lack of communication about the matter had led to all sorts of operational issues akin to chaos such as late entry into the football ground and difficulties in accessing the popular Butch’s Bar from both London Road and Star Lane End at half-time. Amar did not comment on this point and detracted away from it.
  • I asked Amar why could not a less draconian measure have been used such as an increased steward presence in that vicinity that could quickly identify those who were actually subjecting others to this intimidating behaviour / abusive language and undertake a suitable protocol that is reflected within the club’s behaviour policy that the use of threatening behaviour, foul and abusive behaviour, racial, homophobic and discriminatory abuse chanting and harassment can result in arrest and / or ejection from the ground. Amar stated that in view of the current climate surrounding racism in football, he wanted to reduce any risks that the club could be implicated in such a way if such events were potentially caught on camera. I subsequently indicated that the club has a history of employing Black, Asian and other non-white minority ethnic (BAME) managers in recent years as well as a number of BAME players, and that from a personal perspective, that despite the relatively low numbers of ethnic minorities in the town, that I had rarely witnessed racial overtones.
  • I advised Amar that Dean Holmes (who helps to run Butch’s Bar) had highlighted to me that bar takings for the Stevenage game were £550 less than that of the previous game which is a not insignificant amount of money when considering the club’s recently highlighted financial problems. This was not helped by people from Star Lane End (SLE) not been able to access Butch’s Bar. Amar stated that he has been in conversation with Bob Trafford regarding this matter and as a result, has tasked him with managing the logistics associated with the operational issues of this at future games.

 

NON PAYMENT OF WAGES TO PLAYING AND NON PLAYING STAFF AT MTFC:

  • Amar described a ‘fluid’ situation regarding the club’s finances and that he is guided by those involved in day to day dealings with the club as to how much he is expected to underwrite for the club and that this is reviewed monthly.
  • Amar spoke of how there had been significant recent investment to try to retain the club’s EFL status and clearly highlighted that this was in spite of the bookmakers effectively having us as relegated before Christmas.
  • Amar stated that the most recent problems with paying wages on time were linked to the postponement of the Exeter game that led to a £30,000 shortfall and ‘disappointing season ticket sales for this stage of the season’ that meant that the club were somewhere in the region of 40% down in terms of revenue in comparison to recent years.
  • Amar stated that until a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is appointed he would be acting in that role. Amar was unsure as to when the new CEO would be appointed.
  • I advised Amar that there was strong feeling amongst the Silkmen faithful that this was becoming an all too frequent occurrence which was bound to impact upon the morale of the Silkmen players and backroom staff at such a crucial time in the season when we are trying to retain our EFL status. Amar acknowledged this and stated that he would be doing all in his power to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION

The discussion with Amar provided more questions than answers. Based upon the responses, we as the Silkmen Supporters Trust will now consider initiating more proactive approaches such as those outlined in their previous letter to Amar (1st April 2019) to ensure a better matchday experience for our loyal and passionate fan base and timely payment of wages for our brilliant players and backroom staff.

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

 

1st April 2019

 

Before the Sky Bet League Two fixture with Stevenage, MTFC made the decision to close sections of the London Road Terrace as a result of intimidating behaviour and abusive language which a minority of supporters were subjecting everyone to.

This has no place at the Moss Rose and it was for the safety of everyone that this difficult decision was taken.

Equally, we could not risk the potential of this having a negative effect on the football being played - especially at such a critical part of the season.

Matchday tickets to the Weston Park Care Home Stand were also impacted by this, as MTFC were conscious that those who display anti-social behaviour at our games would move into the seated area and thus create a safety concern for all those who enjoy matches in that part of the ground.

Whilst MTFC are committed to eradicating every type of abuse from the Moss Rose, whether verbal or physical, it also recognises that there are many loyal supporters who have stood in the central part of the London Road terrace for a vast number of years and it represents a fundamental part of their matchday experience.

As a result, MTFC would like to advise that although the areas directly behind both home and away dugouts will remain closed, the central part of the terrace will be open to season ticket holders ahead of this Saturday's game against Morecambe.

In terms of the Weston Park Care Homes stand, this will also be open to season ticket holders as was the case during our previous home game.

Due to the reasons outlined above, there will be no matchday sales to both these areas of the ground for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.

MTFC wholeheartedly apologise to all those who are impacted by this and assure you that it is the safety of all our supporters which must take paramount importance.

Matchday tickets remain available for the Premier Estates Stand and the Big Brand Ideas Stand and the staff at the club offices will be more than happy to assist you in purchasing these.

In addition, if you have a season ticket in the London Road Terrace or the Weston Park Care Home Stand then MTFC are more than willing to exchange this for a ticket in another area of the ground in order for you to be able to watch our remaining games with non-season ticket holding family and friends.

Please contact Fan Liaison Manager Bob Trafford at press@mtfc.co.uk or pop into the club offices to arrange this.

 

 

1st April 2019

 

 

Amar Alkhadi/Mark Blower/ Accounts Department
℅ Macclesfield Town Football Club
Moss Rose Stadium
London Road
Macclesfield
SK11 7SP

1st April 2019

 

Dear Amar,

 

First of all I would like to place on record that you contacted me by text on Friday 29th March 2019 to request that I contact you but I was unable to speak with you at that time due to sorting out with issues with my mother who had recently been discharged from hospital. I then tried to contact you by telephone several hours later and left a voicemail message but to the time of this email I have not had any further contact with you, and request that you acknowledge and respond to the following.

 

Following the letter on behalf the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) dated 25/03/19  at 9.10am you responded on the 25/03/19 at 10. 32am to say that you would provide a detailed formal response within several days but this has sadly not been forthcoming to the time of this email.

 

The board of the SST were also very distressed regarding emerging news that players and staff have NOT been paid on time once again. As a consequence, we the SST have been inundated with messages from Silkmen fans wishing to relay to us (as official fans representatives) their outrage at the lack of response not only regarding the decision to close London Road but reports from the BBC that players and staff have not been paid on time again this month.

 

As a consequence I write to you on behalf of the SST board, to seek urgent clarification not only with regard to a contemporary update regarding the situation that occurred within the London Road side of the Moss Rose stadium, but also as to why the fantastic playing and non playing staff of our beloved club appear to be treated with utter contempt at a time when everything should be done to maximise their  input towards preserving our precious football league status.

 

The board of the SST are NOT willing / prepared to just sit back and allow this to happen. If a satisfactory response is not received by 5pm on Monday 1st April 2019, the SST board will undertake serious consideration as to not only initiating a request for ALL volunteers to withhold the labour that they currently freely provide to the club, but withdrawal of all monetary support from the SST and Super Silk Lotto to the club until a prompt and successful resolution of these issues.

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairman of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

 

25th March 2019

 

Amar Alkhadi/Mark Blower/ Kevin Green
℅ Macclesfield Town Football Club
Moss Rose Stadium
London Road
Macclesfield
SK11 7SP

25th March 2019

 

 

Dear Kevin, Mark & Amar.

 

The Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) has five key objectives, and within these objectives it involves working with the club to improve the matchday experience; providing a channel of communication between the fans and the club, and identifying supporters issues, assess them and where possible try to resolve them with the club.

 

I write to you o n behalf of the board of the SST to place on record our anger and distress with regards to the events that occurred during Macclesfield Town’s home game against Stevenage on Saturday 23rd March 2019 where many longstanding fans were removed from their usual place in front of the old main stand on London Road. This was nothing short of scandalous and subsequently made the matchday experience of a significant number of our supporters anything but enjoyable.

 

There was NO communication about this matter with key members of the matchday team including Robert Stirling & Dean Holmes from Butch’s Bar or myself in the role of Public Announcer. There was no information for me to be able to provide those from the London Road side of the ground with any information about what was going on.

 

Many fans were left queuing to get in until well into the first half of the game and fans were displaced from friends and family in both the old main stand and on the terraces. Butch’s Bar (which provides a significant income into the club coffers on matchdays) witnessed a significant dip in its matchday income and then at half-time many of the regulars from Star Lane End who regularly go for a half-time drink in Butch’s Bar were denied access by the plethora of stewards within the ground; again with NO rationale as to why this was the case.

 

We believe that the Silkmen fans who were so adversely affected by the events of 23rd March 2019 showed remarkable restraint despite what we believe to be intense provocation, and the official statement that came out following the game provided a some what confusing and ill conceived rationale for such action, as the very statement itself acknowledged that this section of the crowd houses a number of our most passionate, loyal and dedicated supporters. At a time when the club needs to look to forge an "against all odds" mentality with its small but fantastic fan-base; it scores a massive 'own goal’ by effectively alienating a large section of them with the completely over the top approach that was taken.

 

We therefore urge that immediate steps are taken to reverse what we believe to be a draconian and unfair action in London Road; offer an apology for the way in which this action was delivered, and ensure that for the rest of the season the section of the London Road that was closed is reopened for the remainder of our home games as we embark on the last leg of our survival fight to remain in the English Football League.

 

We also request an urgent fans forum BEFORE the end of this season with you all to allow supporters to air their issues of concern to you.

 

I look forward to your prompt and reasonable response.

 

Andy Worth

 

Chairperson of the Silkmen Supporters Trust

 

 

26th February 2019

 

DANNY WHITAKER'S RACE NIGHT

 

On Friday 1st March the McIlroy suite will be hosting a race night (to raise funds for Danny's testimonial season) which also includes a two course meal and a Q&A with the legend himself for just 20 pounds .

 

The event is from 7pm till late.

 

The event will be faciltated by the deadly trio of Dean Homes, Robert Stirling and Sean Worth who will be aided and abetted by our Chairman Andy Worth.

 

This is a real chance for the Silkmen hardcore to pay homage to a player who has been a fantastic ambassador for the club both on and off the pitch. The tickets have been going well but it would be great to see the McIlroy absolutely rammed and us making piles of cash for Danny.

If you can make it, then please do and help to make it another memorable night in Danny's testimonial year.

 

Tickets are available from any of the above people or from Marie Grundy

 

 

15th February 2019

 

SILKMEN SUPPORTERS TRUST


NOTES FROM THE MEETING HELD ON SATURDAY 9TH FEBRUARY 2019

 

PRESENT:-

ANDY WORTH - SST CHAIRPERSON
BERNIE RICKMAN - SST BOARD MEMBER
CHRISSIE THOMPSON - SST BOARD MEMBER
MARIE GRUNDY - SST BOARD MEMBER
AMAR ALKHADI - MAJOR SHAREHOLDER
MARK BLOWER - CHAIRPERSON MTFC
KEVIN GREEN - CEO MTFC


Andy thanked Amar, Mark and Kevin for meeting to take the opportunity to answer face
to face some of the questions raised in recent communications:-


FANS FORUMS - Mark pointed out there is a EFL requirement to hold 2 forums per
year, as pointed out a his meeting with the whistle blowers. Mark pointed out that this
season he has met with both the whistleblowers and the SST Board this year. Both
Mark and Amar indicated that they reply to all emails sent to them from fans etc. It was
indicated that a further fans forum was being looked at but that it was not felt suitable at
this moment as all efforts were being made improve the teams position in the league,
however this will be looked at when in a better.position. Kevin indicated that there are
some promotions being looked at, to attract an increased number of fans at the game
against Exeter and the highly important game against Morecambe later in the season.


Andy asked if there were plans for a ‘Meet the Manager’ now that Sol Campbell is in
post. Amar indicated that it was a timing issue as Sol is busy building a team and .
getting to know the area.


SPONSORSHIP FROM LOCAL BUSINESS - Mark indicated that whilst local
businesses who had previously supported MTFC had been given the opportunity to
continue sponsoring the club this was no longer the case. One of the reasons being
that now we are in a higher league the cost of sponsorships had increased and they did
not feel they wanted to invest the amounts indicated.

 

Mark did however indicated that more than 72 businesses in the local area are
displaying posters etc in their premises.


DEBENTURE - Andy asked the reason for the debenture. However, Amar indicated
that this was a standard business procedure and did not want to say anything further on
the issue.


FANS EXPERIENCE/INCREASE IN FUNDING - Andy asked what the club is doing to
increase the number of diners/supporters on match day. Mark indicated that James
Beckett is now the Commercial Manager and is making every effort to sell the club to
local people and corporate packages for the match day experience. Mark accepted that
this had been an issue at the beginning of the season and felt that this could have been
due to some negativity from employees that had left the club during last season but
indications are that this is improving. Both Nicky and Keith are making every effort in
selling the McIlroy as a venue to the general public.


It was felt that this is improving now that Sol is in post. Indeed Bernie indicated that the
away support has increased at recent games. It has also been commented by away
teams that their own crowds have increased when Macclesfield visit and this again is
felt to be due to Sol being the Manager.


BUTCH’S BAR - Andy questioned if there were any plans to improve/replace Butch’s
Bar with another facility. Kevin informed those present that he had already got the
figures for demolishing the current building if necessary and was due to have talks with
Portakabin this week to look at the cost of replacing this with a new building. However
nothing could be done this season.


Andy questioned if there was any support that the SST could provide to ensure that a
‘Butch’s Bar’ is going to be available to London Road supporters. Mark questioned if a
crowdfunder could be a possibility. It was agreed that a further meeting to discuss this
should be held in April when Mark and Amar had due to sit down to look at the budget
for the following season. Kevin to let the SST know when this is due to take place so
that another date can be agreed.


LOTTO - Amar apologised but indicated that he was not fully aware of the lotto or what
it did. Andy and Marie gave a brief summary of its inception and funds it provided to the
club on a monthly basis and the various projects it had supported.

 

It was stressed that the Lotto had over the last few months lost members and one of the
reasons could be due to the situation at the club since the beginning of the season. The
lotto committee felt that they had taken the lotto as far as they could but did feel that if
there was a definite project, such as a new Butch’s Bar, that could be identified that this
could possibly attract more members. Overtures had been made from an outside
company to help with the promotion of the lotto and questioned if the lotto committee
had thought of joining with other clubs. This however was not felt a suitable suggestion
as the original ethos of the lotto was to make it a local/community lotto which would
provide funds for the club/supporters and local community projects such as
Space4autism.


Andy then closed the meeting by thanking all for attending and felt that a lot of the
issues raised in the recent communications had now been discussed fully and look
forward to further discussions once the budgets were being set for next season

 

 

11th February 2019

 

A few members of the SST board met with  Mr Amar Alkhadi, Mr Mark Blower and Mr Kevin Green after the home match against Crewe on Saturday 9th February 2019 and had a very productive meeting on the main points of the SST open letter dated 14th January 2019.

 

We plan to publish the minutes of this meeting in the near future once the responses of the SST board and the management of MTFC have been taken into consideration.

 

21st January 2019

 

Responses to the Open SST Letter (dated the 25th November 2018)

( Original question in itialics, Amar Alkhadi's response in black, SST response in blue)

 

14th January 2019


Amar Alkhadi/Mark Blower/ Kevin Green
℅ Macclesfield Town Football Club
Moss Rose Stadium
London Road
Macclesfield
SK11 7SP


Dear Amar, Mark and Kevin


I write to you on behalf of the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) Board may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy 2019 and hope as we all sincerely do that by the end of 2019 we are still plying our trade as a highly competitive member of the Football League “ family ”. You will see that I have addressed this letter to all of you. The reason for this is that following our initial response to Amar on 12th December 2018, Amar emailed me to advise that he cannot
always provide the conduit in terms of optimum effective dialogue between the club hierarchy, and the SST. Amar further indicated a willingness to intervene up to several times a season, and so I now move on to the most important aspects of this letter where we as the SST board wish to offer a detailed reply to the responses we received from you Amar. I would like to further clarify that this is an open letter and will be made available to the readership of the SST website and unofficial websites of the Start Lane End and Wraggs to Riches.


Question 1 -There is a strong feeling amongst Silkmen supporters that there is a significant disconnect between them and the majority shareholder Amar Alkadhi and
Chairman Mark Blower. Could you please advise on how you intend to positively
address this perception amongst the Silkmen faithful?

 

AK response - I don't think I have personally changed the way I connect with the silkmen supporters in the 16 years that I have been involved in the club. I have always liked to be a low-profile director and that hasn't changed. I think I have replied to messages and spoken to all fans who have approached me for a chat.

There have been a couple of instances over the last year where I have chosen not to reply to insults and threats from unhappy fans/ex-employees, but surely that is normal?

MB has made himself available whenever called upon and spoken openly and honestly about all matters, most recently with the SST board and before that with a number of supporters who asked to challenge him.

 

SST response - Information was provided by Stuart Joseph at the Whistleblowers
meeting held on 21st June 2018 that the Football League rules make it an obligation for Football League clubs under their control to provide several public forums in a season.  Could you please provide us with the dates of the next proposed meeting so that we can publish this on the various websites?

 

Question 2 -There is a perception that the Silkmen hierarchy is not trusted by a number of influential local businessman; some of which have previously been involved but

sadly no longer seem to be. Could you please advise on how well you are doing
at attracting the interest of local businesses, and reinvigorating relationships with
previous influential local businesses who have proactively supported the football
club in the past?

 

AK response - While the contribution of the local businessmen that I think you refer to was undeniably, mostly, positive while the club was in the National league, the football league requires a much higher financial sponsorship contribution (which is allowable to be used for the football playing budget), which the these businesses cannot absorb.

 

SST response -  Could you provide an indication of the context in which attempts were made to maintain a positive relationship with these local businesses as we have noted that many are not involved this season? This does not seem to make financial sense to even the least business minded person, when bearing in mind the increased ‘visibility’ of the club in the Football League.
We would also like to know of any indication as to whether more tailored sponsorship opportunities to suit their respective budgets were offered. As we are sure you are aware; many of these well-known local businesses/people are significant employers and held in very high regard by the local community.

 

Question 3 - There are concerns that as majority shareholder, Amar holds such an influential shareholding that it significantly inhibits the possibility for an Annual General

Meeting (AGM) of shareholders, to discuss important issues around the future of
our beloved club. Could you please advise if there are any plans for an AGM in
the foreseeable future which we feel sure would help to facilitate a feeling of
transparency and openness from the club?

 

AK response - Company law was changed a couple of years ago so that no AGM needs to be held. We publish our accounts and the parent company accounts publicly, and we speak on a regular basis to stakeholders and fans. So all financial data is publicly available.

Apart from private information (players wages and contracts), I welcome any questions that need answering. Indeed MB has held a few "meet the chairman" sessions where direct answers were given to direct questions.

 

SST response - Can you clarify the rationale for the recent charge on the clubs assets by AIB where a Debenture has been raised and will this impact significantly on the club in the future?

 

Question 4 - There are significant concerns about a perceived lack of investment in the

playing staff at the club which has contributed to the poor start to our season.
Could you please advise as to how the club intends to provide resources that
would ensure our survival in the EFL, and provide clarity as to the current
managerial situation because of the perceived ambiguity in official
communications thus far?

 

AK response - I am not sure that the fans are aware of the EFL has a salary cap mechanism in place lined to the revenue of the Club (Certainly Andy, you were not when we spoke) and we are using every penny that is allowed. We were utilising 97% of it by November (official figure from the EFL) but now we are at 100% because of additional signings (Nathan Cameron).

 

SST response - With the need to replenish our meagre resources, what strategies are in place to optimise income to the club via attracting new fans/increasing fans spend at the ground and emphasising the attractiveness and value of the McIlroy suite as a venue?
Could you please advise if there is an events manager to ensure that investment
opportunities are made best use of?

 

Question 5 - A number of supporters have expressed concern as to the apparent lack of

sponsorship for games since our return to the EFL which has inevitably attracted
increased crowds. Could you please advise as to why this appears to be the
case and what the club is doing to address this matter?

 

AK response - We feel that the Commercial Manager is doing a good job, but any help from SST or the local businesses that you mentioned, that used to sponsor last year but are not at the moment, will be very welcome.

 

 

SST Response - There have been a number of games where there has been NO
sponsorship whatsoever which must surely be impacting upon what is a very important fun ding stream to the club. Two high profile examples of this was our first game back in the Football League against Grimsby on 11.8.18 and more recently when we entertained local North West rivals Tranmere Rovers on New Year’s Day. Could you advise us as to what barriers seem to be affecting Match Day sponsorship? We have reviewed the sponsorship for the first 14 games of the season which can be seen below:

 

Out of 14 league games this season 2018/19
Season 18/19
Match Sponsor 7/14
Man of the Match 3/14
Match Ball 3/14
Programme 0/14


This demonstrates that out of 56 possible sponsorship packages available only 13 have been taken up which equates to 23%.


This would appear to indicate deficits in your advertising strategy which clearly needs to be addressed.


We would anticipate it would be the responsibility of the club to actively reach out to local businesses new and old to maximise sponsorship through MTFC highlighting the mutual benefits. As I am sure you are all aware, the SST has been and continues to be, a consistent financial supporter of the club and would like to draw your attention to the information below which highlights how the SST has made financial contributions over the past 12 months:

  • Insulation of the McIlroy Suite
  • Two vital new computers for the administration staff at MTFC
  • New radio equipment for the stewards
  • New glass washer in the McIlroy Suite
  • Copper piping for the main stand
  • New hand dryers in Star Lane Ladies and Gents toilets
  • Lawn mower for the groundsman
  • A thank you event for the fabulous Silkmen volunteers
  • Sponsorship for John Askey’s home kit and Mitch Hancock’s away kit
  • Payment for trophies for the Player of the Year Awards evening

 

Question 6 - The SST have been made aware of a number of concerns relating to fans
experience (particularly on London Road) that has created a perception of ‘them
and us’ between the London Road and Moss Lane areas of the ground. Dean
Holmes and Robert Stirling do a fantastic job at attempting to provide a positive
experience for fans in Butch’s Bar, but it is patently clear that the condition of
Butch’s Bar is extremely poor / not fit for purpose, and several of our members
have even indicated their concern about having witnessed rainwater seeping
through light fittings. Could you please advise as to how the club intends to
improve the fans experience in London Road as for example via such initiatives
as a new version of Butch’s Bar?

 

AK response - Agreed Butch's bar needs to be demolished, but we have invested significantly in others areas eg the Silkmen Cafe and a new heating system in the Mcllroy suite.

 

SST response - We have to be honest in highlighting our significant disquiet in the way in which the response about Butch’s Bar was worded, and are acutely aware of the  upset that it caused the Butcher family. There has been no indication that there is any intention to replace this facility on London Road and maintain the memory of Richard Butcher who is forever intrinsically linked within the Silkmen folklore as ‘our 21’. With regards to the heating system we would like to make it clear that it was the SST (in addition to the Super Silk Lotto and a grant) that paid for the insulation in the McIlroy Suite, so the club per se did not have to make any contribution.
 

Question 7 -.here is evidence that previous investment from the SST has been rewarded
with share provision but there is no evidence that this has been the case
recently. Is the club willing to consider the possibility that for every pound that
they invest into the club (which also includes the Super Silk Lotto investment)
that they will receive a share?

 

AK response - No reason why not but not for the lotto that's a completely independent fund raiser.

 

SST response - The SST Board are satisfied with the response provided and ensure that this will be actioned.

 

Question 8 - A number of our members are aware that 500 pounds a month from the money accrued via the Super Silk Lotto is paid into the club coffers. Could you please
provide an outline of how that money is utilised? It is considered that an
awareness of how the money raised is supporting the club may encourage
further membership.

 

AK response - Personally, I am not aware of these details, but apparently the SST only run it because they volunteered to because certain members wanted a more tangible role in the Club, as a L2 Club there are some professional lottery schemes that we can join which could be far more beneficial to the Club, but we welcome and appreciate the SST's involvement.  In terms of what we spend it on, every week/month there are items of equipment requiring repair / maintenance and this goes some small way towards that.

 

SST Response -The SST board would like to make you aware that they were very
dismayed by the context of the response to this question. The Super Silk Lotto
was developed (and continues to be) by Andy Worth, Marie Grundy (now both on
the SST board but also on the Lotto Committee) and Robert Stirling and we can
assure you that NOT ONE OF THEM HAS ANY INTEREST WHATSOEVER in having
any ‘tangible’ role in the club. They have continued to work as a Lotto
Committee with NO help whatsoever from the club other than promoting it on the
official website, and providing details of the winner. The Lotto Committee are
extremely grateful to the SST for allowing the use an account it holds for
collation of the monies and of the incredible supporting role of SST board
member John Abbott (who alongside other board members wants no ‘tangible’
role at the club either) in ensuring that there is a clear and transparent trail of
income and expenditure which we feel very confident would be verified by even
the most stringent of audits. It is worth pointing out that other ‘professional’ Lotto
schemes such as the Gold Bond Scheme previously adopted by the club were not
as successful as the current scheme and did not provide the current monthly
revenue (500 pounds per month) that the Super Silk Lotto does. It is also
important to note that the Super Silk Lotto has also provided monies to support a
number of initiatives including the insulation of the McIlroy suite and the
development/funding of Roary’s Den. The football club has not had to provide any
manpower / financial input to maintain the Lotto which has a ‘local community
feel’ to it and has also supported (and continues to support) a lot of local
charities including David Lewis and Space4Autism. The club had a great
opportunity to provide some information as to how the Lotto helped the club, but
instead appeared to belittle the efforts of those on the Lotto committee and the
SST which is very disappointing to say the least.

 

9. On a positive note to finish, I would be most grateful if you could make media
manager Bob Trafford aware of the excellent feedback from many of our
members with regards to quality of the official website content, quality of
programme and willingness to provide speedy responses to efforts within his role
of fans liaison officer on behalf of the club.

 

 

AK response - Bob Trafford is indeed doing a very good job.

 

We acknowledge that the club has appointed a Fan Liaison Officer and the feedback from our members has been very positive and we look forward to an excellent working relationship with Bob Trafford in the future.

 

We look forward to receiving your reply to the above points raised by 4th February 2019 and again remind you that this is an open letter and will be available to fans on the SST webssite and unofficial websites alongside the response that you provide.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Andy Worth
 

Chairman SST Board.

 

 

20th January 2019

 

AIMS & OBJECTIVES


The previous Strategic Plan has been superceded by a new set of aims
and objectives that the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) Board is committed
to delivering and which will be reviewed at the end of each season.

 

  • 1. Work with the Club to improve the matchday experience for Supporters.
  • 2Provide a channel of communication between the fans and the Club.
  • 3. Increase the membership of the SST by 25%
  • 4. Identify supporters issues, assess them and where appropriate, try to resolve them with the Club and the Fans Liaison Officer to invited to alternate meetings.
  • 5. To raise funds that will be used for the benefit of supporters, the community and the Club, encouraging supporter-led projects/initiative with financial, administrative and media support as required.

 

2nd January 2019

 

The Silkmen Supporter#s Trust would like to wish all its members and all the Macclesfield Town supporters a very happy new year and every success in 2019.

 

Andy Worth

 

SST Chairman

 

Join the SST

The S.S.T. would not exist without your support.  Please join us and help to  make a difference to your football club. You can find the forms that you need to join here.

Our Mission

The Silkmen Supporters’ Trust is committed to the improvement and development of Macclesfield Town FC by working in partnership with the Club, the fans and the community to the mutual benefit of all.

Tweets from Chrissie Thompson @SilkmenSupTrust
  • Super Silk Lotto update, the winner today is number 321 Roger Whitaker! Well done Roger and thank you for supporting the Lotto!

  • Super Silk Lotto update, the winner today is number 102 Ron Short! Well done Ron and thank you for supporting the Lotto!

  • Super Silk Lotto update, the winner today is number 184 Eric Newboult! Well done Eric and thank you for supporting the Lotto!

Our Postal Address

Silkmen Supporters' Trust

c/o SST Secretary

3 Lincoln Place

Macclesfield

Cheshire

SK10 3EW

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