The English Football League’s appeal against Macclesfield’s two-point deduction will be heard on August 11.
In June an independent disciplinary commission handed the Silkmen the points penalty and a £20,000 fine after the club were charged with misconduct related to the payment of player wages in March 2020.
The EFL subsequently appealed, opening up the possibility of a further points deduction that would leave Macclesfield bottom of League Two and thus relegate them.
The standings as published on the EFL website currently show Macclesfield lying 23rd with 28.59 points on the points-per-game calculation used when the season was curtailed, while Stevenage are bottom and relegated on 28.11.
Both clubs released statements on Tuesday following a directions hearing, with Macclesfield confirming the appeal will be heard on August 11 and saying the “lateness…unquestionably compromises sporting integrity, as it paralyses the club in virtually all of our preparations ahead of the new campaign”.
Stevenage have been refused a request to make a representation when the appeal is heard.
Macclesfield’s statement read: “Club representatives have today met with those from the EFL, in order to conduct a directions hearing ahead of the appeal lodged back on July 3 2020.
“At the hearing, it was determined that the case will be heard once again on August 11 2020 and as a result, this will put even more pressure on the club to be ready to commence the 2020-21 Sky Bet League Two season on September 12.
“It is our staunch belief that the lateness of the appeal hearing unquestionably compromises sporting integrity, as it paralyses the club in virtually all of our preparations ahead of the new campaign.
“As well as logistical matters, it was also put to the presiding judge that representation be made by Stevenage FC when the appeal is heard.
“Although we were surprised and in many ways disappointed that this request was forwarded as part of the directions hearing, the judge rejected this in a decision which we believe to be fair and just. A further update will be provided in due course.”
Stevenage’s statement read: “The club requested their views be heard under Rule 96.1 but the (independent arbitration) panel chairman, after deliberation, ruled that would not be allowed and so the appeal case will be between the EFL and Macclesfield Town.”
Boro chairman Phil Wallace said: “I have no issue with the decision – the EFL remained neutral, as it should – and both ourselves and Macclesfield put our cases forward as to how Rule 96.1 should be interpreted.
“As far as we are concerned, we would have preferred standing to put our view to the panel, but we are happy to rely on the EFL to fight the appeal.”
Macclesfield had been hit by two previous points deductions in the 2019-20 season, and in June when the two-point penalty was activated, the commission also imposed a further four-point suspended penalty which would be activated if there were further failures to pay players on time in the 2020-21 season.
Wallace added: “We do not believe that the consequences of a points deduction should come into any decision about whether or not they are implemented. Panels should be consistent in their sanctions and allow the consequences of those sanctions to be what they are.
“Further, our view – and we believe the view of a majority of EFL clubs – is that if any club systematically breaches the rules whilst other clubs abide by them, then sanctions for those breaches should increase, not decrease, the more the rule is breached. This is not the case in the last Macclesfield case, where the chairman deducted points but suspended them so that the consequence of that – relegation for Macclesfield – did not take place.
“If that is the way it is supposed to work then what is the point of a points deduction at all?”
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