Posted: 13.10.20 at 14:26 by James Kelly
A local businessman has bought the assets of Macclesfield Town FC and secured the future of football at Moss Rose.
Macclesfield native, Robert Smethurst, bought the club nearly a month on from its winding-up order was issued due to £500,000 in unpaid debts.
Mr Smethurst said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity to rebuild a historic football club for Macclesfield and the surrounding areas and I want to ensure that we bring the footballing heartbeat back into the local community; combined with a firm financial business plan and with consideration for the fans.”
The Silkmen will retain their historic brand and logo but will go forward as Macclesfield FC.
“My vision over the coming months and years is to rebuild the club, pitch and stadium and re-invest the income generated from that back into creating a first team and into the club overall.”
Former premier league player and football pundit Robbie Savage has been chosen to sit on the board and will be the Head of Football at the club.
Mr Savage said: “I was devastated to see what happened here at Macclesfield. A club steeped in history and worth more than any value in money to locals. I am privileged to be asked by the new owner to take up the role as Head of Football from the first team to grassroots and was genuinely surprised to get a call as I had no idea Rob was looking to purchase the club.”
Among Mr Smethurst’s planned investments at Moss Rose are “changing the current 4G pitch”, adding a gym, creating classrooms for BTEC and other college courses and revamping the bars and hospitality conference suites.
Danny Whitaker has been appointed as the first team manager. He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity at Macclesfield FC. It is one of the proudest moments of my career to date and it is an absolute privilege.”
The new owner said his “vision” for football at the revived club is to move into the North West Counties Football League next season and “move up through the leagues” over the coming years.
Nick Bianchi, director of iconic local furniture store Arighi Bianchi, has been chosen as the new Club Ambassador.
Mr Smethurst also affirmed his commitment to work with fans through the Silkmen Supporters’ Trust. It follows a fraught relationship with previous owner Amar Alkadhi.
Jon Smart from the SST said: “I am privileged and honoured to have been asked by our new owner, Rob, to become involved in the renaissance of our football club and will do all I can to help us on our journey.”