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Macclesfield relegated after EFL win points deduction appeal as Stevenage stay up despite winning THREE games

MACCLESFIELD were left shocked after being booted back into non-league football as the EFL won their appeal against the Silkmen’s suspended points deduction.

In a stunning move, an independent arbitration panel backed the EFL who argued the four-point penalty imposed and suspended in June should apply immediately.

With the decision “final and binding”, the Cheshire club were plunged to the foot of the League Two table and sent through the trapdoor back into the National League for the second time in their history.

And it meant a dramatic reprieve for Stevenage, after the Hertfordshire side finished bottom of the pile after picking up just 22 points from their 36 games before the shutdown.

Instead, Macclesfield paid the ultimate price for a series of financial problems which left players unpaid, fixtures postponed and the deduction of a total of 17 points over the campaign.

Macclesfield had seven points deducted – with a further three point loss suspended – for failing to fulfil their local derby at Crewe in December.

In May, they lost those three points, plus four more – with an extra two suspended – when their home game with Plymouth was postponed because of no safety certificate.

And in June they appeared to have survived when the independent commission docked them just two points for failing to pay March wages and not acting in good faith, with another four point loss again suspended into next season.

With League Two positions determined on a points per game basis, Macclesfield remained above Stevenage but the EFL announced last month it was appealing.

That appeal verdict, meaning the Silkmen’s 19 points from 37 games takes them below Stevenage, was announced last night.

Macclesfield’s official website merely reported the EFL’s statement, ending briefly: “The club will be providing further comment in due course.”

But fans accused the EFL of orchestrating a “farce”, accusing League chiefs of “corruption at its finest” although one added: “Fans have a right to be angry – let down by their club and poor ownership and management.”

Stevenage, who had been incandescent at the initial punishment, offered a muted official response.

The club’s Twitter feed reported: “The outcome of today’s EFL hearing means that StevenageFC will remain in SkyBet League Two next season.”

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