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Macclesfield Town Continue EFL Fight

Macclesfield Town have announced plans to appeal against their relegation from the EFL. Town have been scouring the rulebook and believe they have a case.

Macclesfield Town to Appeal Relegation

Macclesfield Relegated

Last week, Town suffered a four-point deduction. The points loss propelled them to the bottom of the EFL. The placing carries automatic relegation to the National League.

Usually, the EFL relegate League Two’s bottom two teams. However, Bury FC’s expulsion from the EFL meant that just one other club would leave the EFL this summer. Prior to last week’s decision, it was going to be Stevenage.

Now, Macclesfield are to challenge their relegation via an appeal to the EFL. Ironically, an appeal by the EFL against Macclesfield caused Town’s relegation.

Macclesfield Deducted Points

Arguably, the 2019/20 season will be most remembered for the season when football stopped. In March 2020, the EFL suspended the season due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Numerous arguments followed, over how the season should conclude. Eventually, the League One and League Two seasons concluded on a points-per-game (PPG) basis. This determined the promotion, relegation and play-offs spots.

On 19th June 2020, Macclesfield were deducted two points with a suspended four-point penalty. Using PPG, it left Stevenage as the club relegated from the EFL. However, the EFL appealed against the penalty, which was imposed by independent arbitration panel.

Last week, an independent arbitration panel agreed with EFL and immediately imposed the additional four-point penalty. Now, Stevenage’s final points total – under PPG – was greater than Macclesfield’s tally. Hence, Stevenage’s relegation reprieve.

During the 2019/20 season, Macclesfield have been deducted a total of 17 points for EFL rule breaches.

Using the EFL Rule Book

However, the Cheshire club are trying to overturn their relegation using the same rulebook that they have fallen victim to.

They think they have a strong case.

Rule 7.7A – The Board shall have the power, exercisable at any time, to reprieve the one Club that would otherwise cease to be a member of the League and join the National League at the end of Season 2019/20 where the National League is unable to guarantee to the Board’s satisfaction that competitive fixtures in the National League National Division will commence within a reasonable period of time. In determining whether to exercise that power, the Board will take into account the decisions the League has taken to that date in relation to commencement of League Two fixtures in Season 2020/21.

Town’s argument is that the National League have yet to set a definite date for their 2020/21 season. According to reports, the National League intend starting the 2020/21 season on 3rd October.  Meanwhile, EFL clubs are preparing for a definite 12th September start. The EFL fixtures are released on 21st August.

Should Macclesfield win their appeal, it will effectively lead to a division of 25 clubs for next season’s League Two. Stevenage could not suffer relegation instead, since they are would also be a victim of Rule 7.7A.

Meanwhile, promoted National League clubs Barrow and Harrogate Town are preparing for the new 2020/21 EFL season.

Macclesfield are also citing other EFL rules in the battle against relegation. The EFL are expected to respond shortly.


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