FORGET Liverpool against Manchester City and Leyton Orient v Maldon & Tiptree, or even the ridiculous slugfest that was KSI v Logan Paul, it's arguable that the weekend’s most significant result was at Moss Rose.

League Two club Macclesfield Town exiting the FA Cup at the first-round stage is hardly earth-shattering news in itself.

But the result – a 4-0 thumping at home to Isthmian League Premier Division side Kingstonian – and the story surrounding it should make every fan of a lower league football club sit up and take notice.


The Silkmen are clearly a ragged mess at the moment and they’re in danger of completely unravelling.

Following the sad demise of Bury in August, we could soon be seeing another historic club sliding towards oblivion.

Sunday’s embarrassment was the culmination of a deepening crisis at Macclesfield that goes back several years to before they returned to the Football League as National League champions in 2018.

Sol Campbell somehow managed to keep an extremely limited side in League Two last season, despite him and his players not being paid for months on end.

Some of Campbell’s squad threatened to boycott the final game of the season in May when safety was secured with a 1-1 draw at home to Cambridge United.

Six players issued a winding-up order against the club, which was taken over by HM Revenue and Customs and has now been adjourned twice.

Amidst this turmoil, Macclesfield enjoyed a bright start to the new campaign and climbed as high as ninth in the table in early September under new manager Daryl McMahon.

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Campbell quit the club in August and results have tailed off in recent weeks as the off-field problems continue with the club appearing in court for the sixth time in six months.

October’s wages were unpaid and the squad issued the following statement: “We as players and staff at Macclesfield Town Football Club regret to inform that last season’s issues regarding payment of wages to ourselves and staff have reoccurred once again.

“Saddened by the news of Bury and Bolton’s staff and players we feel the need to release this statement before we find ourselves in a similar situation.

“We are now pleading with EFL to help Macclesfield Town as a football club to not end up in the same position as Bury.”

And things came to a head last week as the players went on strike, refusing to take part in the cup clash against Kingstonian.

No first-team players were included in their squad, although they did turn up to watch the game from the stands at the Moss Rose as a side consisting of youngsters and loanees was thrashed by the non-league minnows.

Fans also boycotted the clash and there were protests outside the ground against deeply unpopular owner Amar Alkadhi.

The latest twist to the tale is that the son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Les Sealey now wants to buy the club.

Joe Sealey says he is ready to buy the club and wipe out its debts to HM Revenue and Customs, reported to be £73,000 back in May

Sealey, who was also involved in an unsuccessful bid to buy doomed Bury, says he has got proof of funds and has already passed the fit and proper persons test.

The Macclesfield fans may be desperate to see the back of Alkadhi but, as Bury learned, a new owner is not always the answer.

Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt, never one to keep his own counsel where football finance is concerned, believes the EFL need to step in to help avoid another club being expelled from the competition.

“If there are sustainability regs, they clearly don’t work,” wrote Holt on Twitter.

“Those clubs trying to be sustainable are steamrollered by those blowing cash on a budget way above their means.

“When you add this to a potential loss in TV income in years to come, replaced by streaming, it obvious that problems are likely to get worse.

“Clubs already losing buckets of cash are likely to lose even more. Even those clubs sustainable now are likely to become increasingly unsustainable over time.

“If the Silkmen have passed the ‘profit and sustainability’ test, the regulator is failing.

“Now is the time to help the Silkmen by working with them to right their issues.”

Macclesfield’s plight is symptomatic of the problems facing so many clubs in the lower reaches of the EFL and it should be concerning for fans of all their rivals – including Newport County AFC.

Read more: Newport County star Padraig Amond aims to keep FA Cup love affair going