Silkmen deducted points but avoid relegation

Macclesfield Town will remain in the English Football League despite a two-point deduction for breaches of regulations over non-payment of wages.

A deduction of three points or more by an independent panel would have seen the Silkmen drop below Stevenage and be relegated into the National League.

The decision leaves Macclesfield 23rd in League Two after the application of the points-per-game formula agreed by clubs earlier this month.

The club has also been fined £20,000.

As well as being ordered to cover payment of the legal costs related to the latest hearing, the Silkmen have been given an additional four-point penalty, but that is suspended and carried forward to the 2020-21 season.

A Macclesfield statement said: “We would like to express our gratitude to the independent arbitration panel for their unquestionable diligence, in reaching what we deem to be a fair and unbiased conclusion.”

The latest punishment relates to late payment of wages for March and it is the third time Macclesfield have been deducted points during the 2019-20 campaign.

  • December 2019: A 10-point deduction, with four suspended, for non-payment of salaries and failing to fulfil a fixture against Crewe. In March, this was reduced to a seven-point penalty with three suspended after Macclesfield appealed. It meant the club were deducted four points with immediate effect.
  • May 2020: A seven-point for failing to play a match against Plymouth and non-payment of wages, including the suspended three points from the first case being applied to the second punishment. That took the total deduction for the season to 11 points. A further two-point deduction was suspended.
  • June 2020: That two-point deduction was activated by the latest ruling – taking the season’s total deduction to 13 points.

Stevenage’s only hope of a reprieve now is if the National League is unable to assure the EFL Board that their 2020-21 season is able to go ahead.

Discussions are ongoing to confirm that the relegated club from League Two has somewhere to play next season.

Macclesfield Town posted the following statement on its website:

“Macclesfield Town can confirm that an Independent Arbitration Panel has activated the suspended two point penalty which was levied against the Club during our previous hearing and as a result of further breaches of EFL regulations.

An additional four point penalty has also been imposed and suspended ahead of the 2020 / 2021 season – to be activated in the event of the Club being found to have committed any further breach of Regulation 63.7 by not paying it’s registered players on time during next season.

The Silkmen have also been ordered to deliver a professionally prepared business plan to the EFL, seeking to demonstrate sustainable financial resources and management to be put in place for next season and beyond by 31st July 2020.

Further to this, the Panel continued to adjudicate that the Club should pay a fine of £20,000 to the EFL by the aforementioned date – “subject to the EFL, in it’s absolute discretion, considering whether to waive, defer or repay the same in the light of the business plan required”.

The previously issued Sky Bet League Two standings are therefore unaffected by this, with The Silkmen concluding the 2019/20 campaign in 23rd place – albeit with an amended final total of 23 points.

We would like to express our gratitude to the Independent Arbitration Panel for their unquestionable diligence, in reaching what we deem to be a fair and unbiased conclusion.

Finally, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Mark Blower for his counsel and unwavering support throughout the duration of this matter.”

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