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Macclesfield set for further EFL sanctions after match with Plymouth called off

Macclesfield set for further EFL sanctions after match with Plymouth called off
© Reuters
Macclesfield failed to fulfil their fixture against Crewe earlier this month.

Macclesfield's League Two match with Plymouth has been postponed, despite the club insisting it can still go ahead.

The EFL confirmed late on Friday evening that the fixture was definitely off after Macclesfield failed to secure a safety certificate.

It means the Silkmen face further sanctions from the governing body, having been deducted six points by an independent disciplinary commission on Thursday, with a further four suspended.

They failed to fulfil the fixture against Crewe on December 7 and now Saturday's clash with Argyle has also fallen by the wayside after the club were issued with a zero capacity notice by the local Safety Advisory Group, meaning no supporters could attend.

— EFL (@EFL) December 20, 2019

Macclesfield could, in theory, have played the match behind closed doors but that is against EFL regulations.

An EFL statement read: "The notice was served by the SAG on Thursday and the club, with the assistance of the EFL, had spent the intervening 24 hours working on a solution in respect of the outstanding inspections and tests required at the Moss Rose Stadium that would ensure the capacity was reinstated.

"Despite making significant progress the SAG is not satisfied all its requirements have been met and have maintained the capacity of the stadium at zero, resulting in the club informing the League it would not be in a position to fulfil the fixture with supporters in attendance.

"The club did request to play behind closed doors, however on consideration, as per the provisions in regulation 33.1, the EFL did not agree to the request.

"The core principles behind EFL competitions are that all its fixtures are to be played in front of spectators and playing behind closed doors significantly increases the risks of crowds congregating in the vicinity of the stadium.

And will remain off.#pafc

— Plymouth Argyle FC (@Only1Argyle) December 20, 2019

"As a result of the game not going ahead, the club will be charged with misconduct for failing to fulfil its fixture obligations."

Plymouth announced on their website that the match was off but, bizarrely, Macclesfield said it was going ahead as planned.

A statement from owner Amar Alkadhi read: "I am aware of press releases which suggest that tomorrow's game against Plymouth Argyle has been postponed.

"I would like to state that we have never asked the EFL to play the game behind closed doors and, as far as I am concerned, the game will be played as scheduled."

However, it is understood the EFL had to take the decision due to there being no resolution late on Friday, and with supporters' travel plans having to be taken into consideration.

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General view of Macclesfield Town's Moss Rose from 2014
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