Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Local businessman Joe Sealey has once again expressed his desire to purchase League Two side Macclesfield Town from their current owner Amar Al-Khadi.
In December 2019, it was reported that local businessman Joe Sealey had "agreed a deal in principle to purchase the club from current Macclesfield Town owner Amar Al-Khadi". In January 2020, Amar Al-Khadi left a statement on the Macclesfield Town official club website indicating that "much progress has been made" and "bids have now been accepted in principle".
Since that statement, six months have passed and the Macclesfield Town owner has yet to sell the club, despite on numerous occasions failing to pay his staff. This has resulted in the EFL deducting 13 points off the club already this season. Firstly, 6 points in December 2019 and then an additional 7 points in May 2020. The initial 6 point deduction was later reduced to 4 points. Without these point deductions, Macclesfield Town would be clear of relegation and would certainly be competing in League Two for the 2020/21 season. The Footy Gang previously created an article on Macclesfield Town midfielder Adam Dawson, who openly discussed his struggles with his mental health while at the club.
At the time of writing this article, Macclesfield Town's future within the Football League is currently up in the air with the EFL making a decision on Friday 12th June 2020 on whether it will be Macclesfield Town or Stevenage plying their trade in the National League next season. Joe Sealey has mentioned on his Instagram page that he is "not interested in purchasing the club if they are relegated" from the Football League.
Speaking on his podcast, A Husband and A Housewife, which Sealey hosts with his 'Housewife of Cheshire' wife Nicole, he mentions that he has currently signed a 'Non-Disclosure Agreement' with Amar Al-Khadi, which prevents him from talking in depth to the press regarding any latest takeover developments.
Sealey has stated on a regular basis on his personal Instagram page that he is still interested in buying the club, however for now, it is all in the hands of Macclesfield owner Amar Al-Khadi on whether he decides to sell.
Back in January 2020, The Athletic reported that Joe Sealey was one of three perspective buyers for the cash-strapped League Two side. Former Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite had declared an interest in purchasing the club, however his offer fell short of Amar Al-Khadi's valuation. The third buyer was Danish-based Pakistani investor Tahir Siddique. It was later revealed that Siddique was more interested in joining forces with Sealey, instead of purchasing the club himself. However, The Athletic reported there were reservations as Amar Al-Khadi "refused to share the club's accounts with potential buyers".
Photo credit - Manchester Evening News
Speaking on the Silkchat podcast, Sealey outlined his plans for the club, if he ends up becoming the new owner of Macclesfield Town.
Sealey has stated that he hopes to add "around 1,000 to 1,500" new fans into the club on match-days. Sealey believes that this target is "well attainable" and stated the only reason attendances have dropped over recent seasons is because "he (Amar Al-Khadi) is there". Sealey is interested in creating a "kid's ticket programme within local schools" to ensure that the club are "being present within the community and supporting local businesses within the area".
Sealey feels that the club has no "presence within the town" and this is something that he would be looking the generate and improve if he manages to purchase the club. To emphasise the drop in the 'community spirit', Sealey stated that "49 sponsors have left the club" over the recent years. Sealey has said that he has spoken to these sponsors personally and they have told him they would come back on board if Sealey were to become the new owner of the club.
Joe Sealey also mentioned that he would be looking to buy back the club's current ground: The Moss Rose Stadium which is currently owned by the council. It was emphasised that his number one priority was to ensure that 'Butch's Bar' was revamped. This is a bar within the Moss Rose stadium to commemorate the life of former player Richard Butcher who tragically passed away at the age of 29 back in 2011. Richard's mother, Gail Butcher is currently running a petition to "help remove the discretionary word". Once you have finished reading this article it would be much appreciated if you could go over to Gail Butcher's petition and sign up.
If you would like to listen to the full podcast with Joe Sealey and Jonathan Barton, please head over to The Silkchat - Episode 8. The podcast is 121 minutes long and goes into great depth regarding Joe Sealey's ambitions and ideas for Macclesfield Town football club.
Earlier today, Macclesfield Town released their 'retained list' with only two first team players under contract for next season. Those player's are club captain Fiarce Kelleher and former Huddersfield Town youngster Fraser Horsfall. Five other players have been offered a new deal, however the rest of the playing staff have been released. At the time of writing, it is unclear whether manager Mark Kennedy is still the man in the managerial hotseat. Kennedy's contract is expiring at the the end of the 2019/20 season. The club are yet to comment on his deal.
There are worries amongst Macclesfield Town fans that if the EFL decide to relegate Macclesfield into the National League, the club may even be rejected entry due to money issues. Andy Worth, who is the chairman of the 'Silkmen Supporters Trust' has revealed that he has already had "discussions with the trust board about how we (Macclesfield Town) would go about starting a Phoenix club".
With Macclesfield Town's future currently hanging in the balance, will Joe Sealey finally manage to purchase the club from Amar Al-Khadi? Will Macclesfield be relegated from the Football League? Will Macclesfield Town still be a club come the start of the 2020/21 season? Only time will tell but from everybody here at The Footy Gang, we strongly hope that the fans of Macclesfield will still have a club to support next season.
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EDIT: Since this article has been created, Joe Sealey had discussed his proposed takeover on the Silkchat Podcast with Jonathan Barton.