Macclesfield Town v Crewe Alexandra suspended by English Football League

Macclesfield Town are 14th in League Two and nine points off the drop zone
Macclesfield Town are 14th in League Two and nine points off the drop zone

Macclesfield's League Two game against Crewe on Saturday has been suspended by the English Football League.

The Silkmen's players had said they would not play in protest over unpaid wages and that their emotional and mental wellbeing was at "rock bottom".

The EFL met with players and representatives from the Professional Footballers' Association on Friday.

Macclesfield later informed the EFL they were unable to fulfil the fixture, leading it to be suspended.

The fixture will now be rearranged in addition to "potential future regulatory action" being taken by the EFL, with Macclesfield being "deemed to be guilty of misconduct" for being unable to complete Saturday's match.

The EFL said it was "made clear" at Friday's meeting that the "health and wellbeing of both the players and staff had been adversely affected by the ongoing late payment of wages and, as a result, would be unable to focus on on-the-pitch matters".

Its statement added: "The EFL has considerable sympathy with the difficulties faced by all those affected at the club and is continuing to offer appropriate support to players via the PFA and to staff through our partnership with mental health charity Mind.

"The EFL will continue to work on assisting in attempting to secure an appropriate resolution to the overall challenge facing the club.

"It has been utilising central payments to ensure players and staff were paid whilst the owner has looked to find a sustainable longer term solution to the ongoing issues.

"It does remain the obligation of the club to find a way to deliver on the commitments it has made to its players, staff and other stakeholders, including the EFL and its member clubs."

In a statement, Macclesfield said they hoped they could rely on their supporters' "incredible support going forward" despite the "obvious disappointment" of Saturday's match being called off.

Meanwhile, Crewe said they understood the inconvenience that the suspension caused for their travelling support and would provide an update on ticketing "as soon as possible".

A strained season off the field

This week's statement is not the first time the playing squad has threatened strike action.

The home league game with Mansfield Town went ahead as scheduled on 15 November following a similar threat, as did the previous week's FA Cup tie against Kingstonian - albeit, in the latter case, with an inexperienced team.

Players first issued an ultimatum regarding the Crewe game to owner Amar Alkadhi earlier this week saying they would go on strike again if they were not paid the wages they are owed.

Macclesfield were charged with misconduct by the EFL and referred to a disciplinary commission last month after failing to pay their players on time.

The threat of a further strike for their League Two fixture against Mansfield was averted when the majority of players' outstanding salaries were understood to have been settled in full.

But the club's financial problems have continued, with former Macclesfield manager Sol Campbell most recently backing a winding-up petition issued against the club by HM Revenue & Customs, after the High Court was told he was owed £180,000 in unpaid wages.

The case was adjourned on Wednesday for two weeks, with the club due back in court on 18 December.

Top Stories