Macclesfield Town: Losing club is ‘like a death in the family’ says Danny Whitaker

Danny Whitaker
Danny Whitaker made almost 400 appearances for Macclesfield in two spells spanning over 12 years.

Macclesfield Town’s Danny Whitaker says the demise of the club has been “like a death in the family”.

Midfielder Whitaker, 39, played almost 400 games in two spells for the Silkmen spanning 12 years.

Macclesfield were expelled from the National League on Tuesday, 13 days after they were wound up by the High Court because of debts totalling more than £500,000.

“I never thought it would come to this in a million, trillion years,” he said.

“It’s really hard to explain because one minute I’m looking at old pictures from a few seasons ago and I’m really happy, then an hour later I’m really angry and furious about what’s happened.

“You think of the good times and then realise I’m never going to be wearing that kit again. Never going to be wearing the training kit again. Never going to be playing at the stadium again potentially.

“It’s just a big travesty and it could have been so easily avoided. It’s such a waste.

“It pretty much is like a death in the family.”

The day before the winding-up order, Whitaker had come out of retirementexternal-link and signed a one-year playing contract with the Silkmen.

He played that night in what would turn out to be Macclesfield Town’s last game – a 2-1 friendly win over Witton Albion.

“It was the best and worst week of my career,” said Whitaker, who also had stints as caretaker and assistant manager at the club.

Twelve hours after full-time at Witton Albion, and Whitaker’s first game in 10 months, he received a text from the press officer telling him the club had been wound up.

Players continued to train for the following two days, hoping news of a takeover would come over the weekend, but it never did.

“The office staff were immediately told they were redundant, but us players and coaches are on different contracts, so we didn’t know if that applied to us,” he said.

“It was the manager in the end that actually found out. It took him a good number of days to do some ringing around to find out what the situation was. He rang me and said ‘that’s it basically, the contracts are all null and void’ and that was it.”

Macclesfield Town celebrate promotion
Whitaker played a key part in the Macclesfield side that secured promotion back to the football league in 2018.

Macclesfield’s expulsion from the National League means a phoenix club may be the most realistic way forward, something which Whitaker wants to be part of.

“It isn’t going to be the exact same, but if it’s still at the same ground and the same fans are coming, we can make it our club. We can make it whatever we want it to be,” he said.

But the National League said in a statementexternal-link that the Silkmen’s notice of expulsion would not take effect until 12 October, and Whitaker is still hoping for a miracle before then.

“My wife asked if we should change some plans to Saturday this week now we don’t have a game, but I told her to keep it to the Sunday just in case.

“We’ve still got that tiny thread of hope.”

BBC News