Tag Archives: National League

Return of the macc

Macclesfield Town FC are to relauch as Macclesfield FC following the takover from local businessman Robert Smethhurst.

The pre-existing club were wound up in September and expelled from the National League. Macclesfield Town FC were removed from the football pyramid with debts amounting to more than £500,000.

Former Premier League Midfielder Robbie Savage Involved

Former Leicester City, Birmingham, and Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage has been appointed as head of football operations at Moss Rose.

Savage, who also represented Wales on 39 occasions, finished his career at Town’s local rivals Stockport County will also be a board member at the Cheshire based side.

The 45-year-old took to Twitter to express his delight at his involvement in the phoenix club.

Familiar Feel To New Club

The manager at the time of the original club’s demise, Danny Whitaker, will remain in charge of the new club Macclesfield FC, who aims to compete in the North West Counties Football League in 2021/22.

On top of the retained manager, the new club will see the Silkmen retain their historic brand and logo.

Businessman With Local Roots

Smethurst, who hails from the local area released a statement on his takeover and the forming of the new look club: “Over the coming years, our main aim is to move up through the leagues.” 

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to rebuild a historic football club for Macclesfield and the surrounding areas.”

Positive News for Macclesfield After Turmoil

The club’s relaunch is the light at the end of the tunnel fans had been hoping for.

After months of turmoil over unpaid debts, wages, and bills that ultimately ended in the demise of a football club that had existed since 1874, this will come as music to the ears of Macclesfield football fans who will no doubt be looking forward to the new campaign to watch their beloved club once more, even in its new guise.

Wrexham afc: hollywood comes to north wales

Its not every day Hollywood films stars worth an estimated £56million, and fifth-tier football Wrexham AFC are mentioned in the same sentence. Well, just as 2020 couldn’t get much stranger, this week it happened.

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and Wrexham AFC will now become united after it emerged from the North Wales club the actor wants to invest in the National League team along with Rob McElhenney, an actor are best known for creating It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The duo are set to make the most unlikely of entrances into UK football.

Whilst its no longer uncommon that foreign investors and owners turn up in our beloved football pyramid, the randomness of the duo’s interest in the quiet market town famous for Mickey Thomas’ FA Cup Goal, is almost unparalleled.

The duo unsurprisingly have won approval from 98 per cent of club members to get to this stage and a takeover could see a reported £2million invested in the fan-owned club – not small fry for the level.

Wrexham unveiled the pair as potential new owners in a Tweet yesterday after the those fans involved in the current ownership voted on the likely investors. Director Spencer Harris has said he has spoken to the duo on a Zoom call last night – something I can’t imagine he had envisioned when he took the role.

Reynolds himself took to Twitter following the announcement and replied to a Tweet he received over eight years ago asking if he’d ever be seen in the North Wales town.

Reynolds replied to the question and his 16.5million followers with ‘Yep, you never know.’

A club in truth playing below themselves in the National League, in recent times they have been seen deep in cup competitions and in and around the playoffs of League One.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust Board members have already voted overwhelmingly in favour of the investors at a general meeting and will talk more with the potential new investors in coming weeks.

Both men, famous for their on screen exploits have numerous business interests, although its fair to say none are as random as Wrexham.

The club shop have already bought into the spirit of things by producing Dragons’ shirts with the names of their potential new owners printer on the back.

With the takeover now all but certain to go ahead, we will likely see the famous Hollywood duo at the old Racecourse Ground, and perhaps Wrexham in the Premier League, far sooner than we previously thought possible.

Crazy, crazy times!

Harrogate Town promoted to the Football League for the first time in their history

There must be something in the Yorkshire air this season. First Leeds United gain promotion to the Premier League and now Harrogate Town will be playing in the Football League next season.

What a success story for little Harrogate Town. They pushed National League Champions Barrow all the way all season, before eventually finishing second.

After defeating highly fancied Notts County in Sunday’s play-off final 3-1, it is a fairy tale story for a club living in the shadow of Leeds.

A town more famous for its tea rooms than its football club, will be playing amongst the likes of Bradford City, Forest Green Rovers, Port Vale and Oldham Athletic next season.

For the very first time in their history, Town are a Football League club. Harrogate itself attracts tourists from around the world to sample tea and cake in their famous tea rooms.

The club, who averaged around 1,400 in the National League has spent most of its existence in the Midland Football League, Northern Counties East League and Northern Premier League.

The success of Harrogate is down to the father and son team of the Weaver’s. Father Irving bought the club back in 2011. Two years earlier son Simon was appointed as Manager at the age of 31.

In his first season in charge the club finished bottom of the Conference North and were due to be relegated. However, Northwich Victoria were demoted due to financial problems and Town were reprieved.

During the 2017-18 campaign the club made the decision to turn full time. At the end of the season they won the National League North play-offs after beating Brackley Town, which earned them promotion to the National League.

The club finished sixth in their first National League campaign and were rewarded with a play-off game against AFC Fylde. Unfortunately for the Yorkshire side they were beaten 3-1 and lost out on the chance to become a Football League club.

Fast forward a year and Harrogate and the Weaver’s have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication by securing a place in the English Football League Two.

When the season starts again, little Harrogate will no doubt be written off. But in Yorkshire folk are made of true grit and with the enthusiasm of both father and son this little football club could well climb up the Football League ladder and continue to make Yorkshire proud.

Woking Manager Alan Dowson stresses the ‘club can manage if matches have to played behind closed doors’   

The Woking Manager Alan Dawson believes that the club can cope with having to play their matches behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to 24/7 football, Dawson said:

“If it’s got to be played behind closed doors then surely supporters can pay the normal price and watch it at home, but at this minute nobody in football has got this nailed, but whatever happens we will be ready when the time comes.”

Dawson, however, while optimistic about Woking’s future remained pessimistic regarding fellow National League clubs, he added:

“If the League starts tomorrow, I’m not so sure how many clubs in the bottom ten of the football league and top ten of our league could actually survive the football league, we certainly could.

“ I bet we are the only club in the top ten in our league and the only club in the bottom ten of the football league who haven’t got loads of debts.”

The manager was subsequently quick to praise everybody at the club and what the team has achieved this season:

“I feel the players have been the most achieving in the world. We’ve got a great football club here, how about having a crack at the football league.

“We are planning now for the future every single day from the directors to everybody else in the club from the players, myself and management, because they know that whatever happens Woking will have a future, but I’m not so sure other clubs will”.

Woking FC have had to overcome the disappointment of the National League agreeing to end the season,  having seemingly been perfectly positioned for a late play-off charge.

Despite this disappointment, Dawson ultimately stressed it was the right thing to do as he  personally experienced the challenges of COVID-19 but has since made a full recovery.

“It was at the Dagenham game that I had a bit of a cough and I thought it would be a bit of flu, but it got worse and worse with a headache starting and the sweats starting and before I knew it I walked down the stairs and I was in an ambulance and was in St. Peters hospital for oxygen, but I’m all right now and ready to crack on.”

National League clubs vote to end regular season

Following The FA’s decision to conclude the 2019/20 season for Grassroots football, The National League Clubs (Steps 1 & 2) have voted to end their current season as it stands.

A National League statement added:

“In the knowledge that the ordinary resolution has passed, the League’s board has chosen to communicate the decision now and before the last few responses are received, which will not change the outcome, to enable clubs to make business decisions with greater clarity as soon as possible.

“The options concerning the sporting outcomes of the 2019-20 season remain under careful and timely consideration, and further updates will be given in due course.”

The promotion and relegation outcomes are now under “careful consideration” after the league’s board had urged clubs in its three divisions to vote in favour of ending the regular season without further games because of coronavirus.

The National League board will now meet on Friday (24/04/20) to discuss the next steps and whether it will be plausible to continue with the playoffs or not.

The idea of ending the current season as it is, as opposed to voiding it, leaves some clubs in a promising position and Barrow AFC boss Ian Evatt has said cancelling the league ‘is the right thing to for football’, and Barrow should rightfully be promoted to the Football League.

Barrow took a huge gamble being one of the clubs to vote for the league to be ended. For some in non-league though it is more than the standings they have to think about.

Evatt told talkSPORT:

“We understand that contracts are 44 weeks and we’re getting to that stage where players are out of contract at the end of April and clubs need to save that money, it’s that simple.”

With The Northern Premier League abandoned as a result of Grassroots football being concluded, some will be having a watchful eye on the National League developments, one being league leaders South Shields.

The Mariners were runaway leaders in the competition before it was considered null and void but should the National League find a way of deciding promotion and relegation it could see a way for South Shields gaining entry to the National League North (NLN) next season.

One way that is said to have been considered is by a points-per-game basis. If that was to be the case then York, who top the NLN, would miss out to Kings Lynn who, despite being second, are only two points behind playing two less games hence, a higher points-per-game ratio.

On the contrary, a club disappointed with this outcome is Notts County, who are playing in the National League for the first time in their 158-year history.

“We would like to place on record our disappointment that the season has been brought to a premature end,” said a statement from the Magpies’ board of directors.

“While we appreciate the views of other clubs and respect the overall outcome of this vote as a representation of opinion across the three divisions, our stance has always been that the National League should operate in tandem with the EFL due to the intrinsic link between the two leagues.” The full statement is on their website.

The National League will have to work with the English Football League (EFL) on the principle of two teams getting promoted. What’s more, there is still the task of balancing the books after Bury’s expulsion left League One with 23 teams.

Football in England is suspended indefinitely, with the Premier League and EFL still hoping to play seasons to a conclusion.