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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 18:31 GMT
Silkmen will battle to save club
By Pete Oliver

Macclesfield's Moss Rose ground
Macclesfield Town chairman Rob Bickerton has pledged to win the fight to keep the League Two club alive.

Macclesfield's future has been thrown into doubt after they were told they must pay fines and compensation totalling more than 250,000 by the end of January.

The Silkmen were fined 62,000 by the Football Association, and instructed to repay the Football Foundation 195,000 following an inquiry into the funding of the Estate Road Stand under a previous administration.

Costs involved in the case have pushed the figure closer to 300,000 and the club could go out of business if it fails to pay on time.

"Any organisation, be it a football club, a business or a charity, has to pay the debts it has," Bickerton told BBC Sport.

"Macclesfield Town has just had put on it a debt we were not expecting and has to meet that debt.

"If an organisation does not meet their debts, its destiny could be decided in the hands of others."

However, following a meeting of supporters and shareholders on Wednesday, Bickerton believes Macclesfield can raise the necessary funds.

"It's a challenge, but it's one we will meet. I am confident we will do it," he said.

"It was the most amazing meeting I've ever been to, with the response we've had.

"The punishment that we have had for events that occurred in the past has brought everybody together. Now we need to turn this goodwill and energy into pound notes.

"We have had incredible number of people coming in and bringing money, or taking on projects to generate money.

"Everyone at the club is doing their bit at their level. We are fighting for a football club and people working here are fighting for their livelihoods."

Macclesfield have already launched a number of fund-raising initiatives, and will stage their first bucket collection at their Boxing Day derby with Stockport.

A separate bank account has been set up, boosted by a 30,000 donation from majority shareholders Amar and Bashar Alkadhi in their capacity as supporters.

If you have a mountain to climb and you manage to climb it, I think you find yourself to be stronger than before you did it
Rob Bickerton
However, Bickerton admitted that Macclesfield, whose average home crowd is just over 2,000, also need aid from supporters of other clubs.

"We are the smallest club in the league and we are asking the family of football to help us," he said.

Bickerton hopes that the club's financial worries will not impact on their playing fortunes, with Brian Horton's side putting together a seven-match unbeaten run to move away from the foot of the table and into the area semi-finals of the LDV Vans Trophy.

There will not be a fire sale of assets in the January transfer window, although striker Jon Parkin is almost certain to attract bids.

"Every player at every club in League Two is for sale if the price is right," Bickerton admitted.

"What determines that price is the financial circumstances a club is in. We have got a problem, but are not in panic mode."

And the club chairman believes Macclesfield can come through their crisis as a rejuvenated force.

"If you have a mountain to climb and you manage to climb it, I think you find yourself to be stronger than before you did it," he said.


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