Former and current Port Vale players defend their legal action against Macclesfield Town

A lawyer for six former Macclesfield Town players who took their club to court said “they just wanted what they were owed” after Town accused them of trying to “close down” the club.

Macclesfield Town appear to be in financial turmoil as manager Sol Campbell quit the club amid reports that players have not been paid for months. The club has had four visits to the law courts regarding its finances and faces another in September after a petition by HM Revenue and Customs.

Shamir Mullings, Elliott Durrell, Rhys Taylor, Jamie Grimes, Ryan Lloyd and Keith Lowe, all named in a club statement, took on a winding-up petition in July after failing to receive salary payments. Lloyd is a current Port Vale player while Lowe spent a loan spell with the Valiants.

The six, who applied to dismiss the petition once their money had been recovered, said it was a “last resort” and have now issued a statement confirming that their outstanding wages have been paid.

We are pleased to say that today we have been paid all outstanding salary payments owed to us by Macclesfield Town.

The last couple of months have been extremely tough, but we are glad that the matter has now been resolved and we can all look forward to our future careers.

We would like to thank our lawyers, Brandsmiths and in particular David Seligman and Imani Modahl who have worked tirelessly along with the PFA to ensure we are paid in full.

We would like to thank all Macclesfield fans for their support through the last few seasons and tough times. We wish you and the Club every success for the future.

Statement by the six players

However, Macclesfield Town issues a highly controversial statement accusing the players of trying to “close down” the club.

In this regard, it was disappointing that the aforementioned players did not progress their concerns through the normal channels (eg. the PFA) and instead decided to try and close down our 145-year-old club through the courts.

We would like to think that the players in question did not fully appreciate the severity of their actions, as there is no doubt that the repercussions from it could well have been devastating for everybody who loves Macclesfield Town Football Club.

By taking this course of action, payment was actually delayed further and created a situation which was detrimental to both parties.

Statement by Macclesfield Town

The statement has drawn criticism from fans and players including former striker Harry Smith who tweeted:

Seen it all now..🤨 I was not one of the 6 players but I completely back who has taken it further. Regardless if you have “moved on or not played a minute for the club” that’s IRRELEVANT.  No one works for free. What a disgusting and gutless statement #shambles

Former player Harry Smith on Twitter

The players’ lawyer told the BBC:

At no point did they want Macclesfield Town go out of existence, they just wanted what they were owed.

They aren’t Premier League footballers, they are earning very modest salaries, living month-to-month, paying rent, for food, for their children, and they couldn’t afford it.

They had basically exhausted all avenues, and they could not continue any more without being paid.

I’m sure Macclesfield Town fans can sympathise – they probably can’t go three months without pay.

David Seligman, the players’ lawyer

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