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Stevenage could face a reprieve from relegation

Stevenage could face a reprieve from League Two relegation according to reports emerging from The Athletic on Saturday afternoon.

It is said that several League Two clubs are wanting the English Football League to appeal against a disciplinary commission’s decision.

That was to deduct only two points from Macclesfield Town for those late payment of wages as well as a misuse of an EFL loan.

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Because of this, it just about saved the Silkmen from relegation to the National League at the expense of Stevenage.

Carlisle United director, John Nixon who is the League Two representative was so annoyed by the decision to relegated Stevenage, that he considered resigning.

Another Chairman asked the EFL to appeal so they and several other owners can make submissions to the judge asking for a much more severe penalty.

The EFL is understood to be taking legal opinion on whether an appeal is worthwhile and the league has another week to decide.

Macclesfield found out that they had been charged by the EFL a month ago today, May the 27th, for failing to pay their players and staff the money they were owed for March.

This was despite receiving a loan worth nearly £85,000 from the league organisation to sort debts “in the first instance”.

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This had been a disappointing sixth time this season that the League Two side were late in giving their teams wages late with wages and the third time the EFL had taken them to an independent disciplinary panel.

The three-man panel, which was chaired by Murray Rosen QC, heard the case on June 12, three days after clubs in League One and League Two voted to settle the season on a points-per-game basis, and issued its 18-page verdict a week later.

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace says the club are not yet ready to give up their fight against “a forced, artificial” relegation from League Two.

Wallace told the club website: “It is what it is,” he said. “We will be looking closely at that with our legal advisors this coming week when we see the reasons and we will have to see where it goes from there. Is it over? No, it’s most definitely not.

“Looking at our own situation, it has been a horrendous season from just about every perspective with certain distractions to the season unforeseeable, but what has gone has gone.

“We know what went wrong, we know the mistakes made and from now on we only look forwards, with a determination never to be in this position again.

“However, out of all these negatives has come one good thing I didn’t foresee – Alex Revell. Rarely have I seen a young man grow and evolve before my eyes so quickly.

“With 20 years as a pro he obviously knows how the game works and he knows a lot of football people in key positions in the game, but I didn’t see the qualities less than a year ago that I am seeing in him now.

“But one aspect of managing that Alex couldn’t possibly have – experience – is obviously missing, so we were delighted to secure the services of Lennie Lawrence to join the Management Team and act as a mentor and adviser to Alex, whilst providing ‘seen it all before’ experience to our team day-to-day.

“Lennie not only has great contacts in the game having managed 12 clubs, but is one of a select group of 31 all-time managers recognised by the LMA with over 1,000 professional games under their belt.

“Driven by Revs, from now on everyone at the Club is determined to create a new approach, with new players and a new way of playing to excite and entertain Boro fans.

“But I have to be honest and admit we have a huge financial hurdle to overcome when we get back playing, no matter which league we are in. It will just be a much bigger hurdle with relegation.

“We will continue to fight, but if we are relegated by artificial means, then it won’t be for the want of trying to ensure fair play and sporting integrity.

“However, if relegation happens then we will take our place in the National League and focus on being an exemplary member of that League, whilst trying to regain our EFL status.

“I have lost all the sleep I am going to lose over a forced, artificial relegation and I am now focused on the fact that I had 10 good years in the Conference (now National League) so I have absolutely no problem embracing that again.

The crucial thing is that we get winning back in our Stevenage DNA again, whether that is in League Two or the National League and that we stay as one team – directors, management, players and fans.

“Our signings this season will have to be staggered as we have no idea when we will start playing again, but we have pencilled 1st August as our date to resume training for a 12th September start to the 2020/21 season.

“That move will be costly if we have to embrace the testing protocols and bring our players and staff back from furlough without income. To be frank, I am not sure we have the funds to survive for long if we are forced to play matches with no income.

“We will need all the help we can get from our fans and the Stevenage community to ensure our Club survives this crisis. We are OK for the moment, but the crunch time will come when furlough is no longer available, as that is our only source of income right now.”

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