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Macclesfield Town to relaunch as Macclesfield FC, Robbie Savage named head of football

Macclesfield Town to relaunch as Macclesfield FC, Robbie Savage named head of football
© C1 Photography
Robert Smethurst has acquired the assets of the wound-up Moss Rose club, which will be relaunched as Macclesfield FC.

Robbie Savage is part of a group led by local businessman Robert Smethurst who has acquired the assets of Macclesfield Town, with a new club being relaunched as Macclesfield FC.

Savage, the former Leicester, Birmingham, Blackburn and Wales midfielder turned broadcaster, is an associate of Smethurst and will be involved on the board, as well as in a head of football role.

The Silkmen were wound up in the High Court and expelled from the National League last month, following unpaid debts of more than £500,000.

Players and staff were made redundant in the wake of the ruling but Smethurst plans to rebuild a new club at Moss Rose after acquiring the assets of the old club.

Smethurst added that Danny Whitaker will remain as manager of Macclesfield FC, who aim to compete in the North West Counties Football League next season.

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to rebuild a historic football club for Macclesfield and the surrounding areas and I want to ensure that we bring the footballing heartbeat back to the local community,” said Smethurst in a statement.

“My vision over the months and years is to rebuild the club, pitch and stadium facilities and to re-invest the income generated from that back into creating a first team and into a club overall.

“I am passionate about building a secure business model and strong commercial foundation so the past issues the club has experienced will not happen again.”

As well as Smethurst and Savage, the club’s new executive board will also include Carlos Roca, founder of PRO Football Academy, former Macclesfield vice-chairman of Andy Scott, Jon Smart, who is the former Silkmen Supporters Trust chairman, and Lindsay Brown, an experienced commercial operations manager.

On his involvement as head of football, Savage said: “I was devastated to see what happened here at Macclesfield, a club steeped in history and worth more than any value in money to locals.

“I am privileged to be asked to take up a role and I was genuinely surprised to get the call. I live within a stones throw from the ground and have integral links with the club as a local grassroots coach and father who brings his kids here to spectate.”

Macclesfield Town
The new owners plan to rebuild the club and Moss Rose facilities (Clint Hughes/PA)

The National League announced its board had passed a resolution to expel Macclesfield with effect from October 12. The club was suspended from the league, with all scheduled fixtures before the expulsion date postponed.

On September 16 the Insolvency and Companies Court wound up the club over unpaid debts of more than £500,000.

Macclesfield were relegated from League Two when the EFL successfully appealed against a points deduction it said was too lenient in August.

The club had initially been docked two points and fined in relation to the non-payment of wages, but an independent arbitration panel added a further penalty, effectively relegating Macclesfield and handing a reprieve to Stevenage.

It was the third time the club had been punished for issues relating to salary payments and their failure to fulfil League Two fixtures against Plymouth and Crewe when players had gone on strike over non-payment of wages.

Meanwhile, the official receiver, Catherine Hudson, confirmed that the sale of the club had been completed.

“The expediated sale of Macclesfield Town FC will help preserve the future of the football club and I am grateful to Macclesfield Town FC’s workforce during this difficult time,” said Hudson in a statement.

“I am also appreciative to the various parties that have engaged with my officials throughout the sales process, who were understandably concerned about the future of their future club.”

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