Council plans £285k rescue deal for Silkmen

CHESHIRE East Council is preparing a rescue package for Macclesfield Town FC.

It said the deal will result in the club becoming the first in England to be community-owned without first going bust.

The council plans to acquire the freehold of the ground for £285,000 so that the Conference side can consolidate its debts.

The football club will remain at its current home until a new stadium is built in the future – part of the council’s masterplan for south Macclesfield.

The decision is subject to an extraordinary Cabinet meeting today.

Leader of Cheshire East Council Michael Jones said: “Macclesfield Town Football Club is part of our heritage and we should not – and cannot – lose it.

“We are incredibly proud of their achievements and it is unfortunate that they have succumbed to the financial pressures exacerbated by circumstances. But they are not the first football club to run into difficulties.

“It is in times like this that councils can and should play a part, after all the club is incredibly important to the town’s identity and adds to the visitor economy enormously, providing much-needed jobs and prosperity.

“We have a good relationship with the club and we wanted to do what is right for them, the fans and for the people of Macclesfield. We will ensure that the club has the option to buy back the asset in the future when they are in a position to do so as a community owned club.”

Macclesfield Town FC director Barrie Darcey said: “This arrangement gives the club the cash flow it needs at a difficult time but it also creates a club that will be genuinely owned by and anchored in Macclesfield.

“The council’s help in this process has been absolutely invaluable. Everyone at Cheshire East has been enormously helpful and we thank them for their support. We would encourage everyone to get involved in the new community venture. We now have a vehicle to take the club forward with confidence.”