By Guest Author
146-year old Community club Macclesfield Town FC is on the brink of being wound up over debts that exceed £500,000.
The high court ordered the club to wind up its operations after it became clear they would not meet their debt obligations. In a virtual hearing, judge Sebastian Prentis determined that the club was in no position to exist if it cannot pay its debts. He heard that the club owes almost £190,000 in taxes and another £170,000 to two different creditors. This debt is bad news for the club's fans as it means the literal extinction of the Cheshire-based English football club.
The National League Without Macclesfield
The National League is the fifth-highest league in the English football system. Therefore, it will be hard to ignore the impact that the death of Macclesfield will have. This is particularly important since the end of the Cheshire-based team is happening just before the 2020/21 season begins.
As it stands, the National League is set to start in October, you can choose a free bet from this list and begin the season with a nice win yourself! The unfortunate demise of Macclesfield comes right after the team failed to stop its relegation from their EFL status.
Team owner Amar Alkhadhi had stepped down as acting chairman barely two months ago. Alkhadhi's financial and operational decisions are to blame for the team's woes. As such, his successor was temporarily empowered to run the team, pending the decision of the high court.
The End Has Been a Long Time Coming
To anyone who has been following the team's woes, the end of Macclesfield Town FC is not a surprise. The team has been having financial difficulties as far back as 2018. Reports of the team's failure to pay its players for up to three months surfaced in early 2019.
John Askey, a supporter, and former manager of the club is among the team's highest creditors. His support for the team is seen as the greatest factor that helped it perform as it has done, and survived for so long.
Askey, popularly known as "Sir John" in Macclesfield, built his career playing for The Silkmen. He later coached and managed the team, helping the Moss Rose club earn a place in the Football League and winning the 2017/18 season National League.
The Unceremonious End to a Century and Half Legacy
The beginnings of the Macclesfield Football Club started with an Olympic Cricket team in 1873. When the 8th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers played their first football match, and just kept playing.
Since then, Macclesfield Town FC, nicknamed The Silkmen, has recorded numerous achievements, including:
- Won the FA Trophy twice (1969/70, 1995/96)
- Won the National League Champions thrice (1994/95, 1996/97, 2017/18)
- Won the National League Cup in 1993/94
- Won the Northern Premier League Championship thrice (1968/69, 1969/70, 1986/87)
- Won the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup and President's Cup in 1986/87
- Became the Six-time Cheshire County League Champions (1931/32, 1932/33, 1952/53, 1960/61, 1963/64, 1967/68)
- Won the Cheshire Senior Cup 21 times (1889-91, 1893/94, 1895/96, 1910/11, 1929/30, 1934/35, 1950–54, 1959/60, 1963/64, 1968–73, 1982/83, 1990–92, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2014/15)
- Became the Manchester League Champions twice (1908/09, 1910/11)
- Won the Staffordshire Senior Cup twice (1992/93, 1995/96)
Financial Woes and Relegation
A month ago, Macclesfield was relegated from the 4th tier of the football league for breaching league regulations. This blow came after the team was deducted points for failing to pay its players. The deduction was a big blow as it dropped it to the bottom of the league.
Judge Prentis, who decided the team can no longer bear its financial burdens, cited the many adjournments of the petition the team's barristers have requested.
"There is nothing that gives me any comfort that this club can pay its debts within a reasonable period," he said. "However, many adjournments of this petition that go as long ago as early 2019 show otherwise."
Yes, That is It for Macclesfield
Macclesfield, one of the oldest football clubs in the history of English football, has succumbed to mismanagement. This is a big blow, not only to Macclesfield Town but to the entire English football fraternity.
The winding-up of the team comes as a surprise, especially since there was the hope of its resuscitation just weeks ago.
Fans celebrated the stepping down of Amar Alkhadhi, hoping that EFC would be lenient on the struggling team.
However, the team had dropped out of the league twice in as many years due to financial difficulties. The judge's decision to dissolve the team may have been the only option for resolving its money problems.