Robbie Savage wants to give Macclesfield back to ‘battered and bruised’ fans

Robbie Savage says he joined the rebirth at Macclesfield because he wanted to help give the club back to its “battered and bruised” fans.

The 45-year-old is part of a group led by local businessman Robert Smethurst who has acquired the assets of Macclesfield Town, with a new club being named Macclesfield FC.

Savage, the former Leicester, Birmingham, Blackburn and Wales midfielder turned broadcaster, is an associate of Smethurst and will be involved on the board, as well as in a head of football role.

The Silkmen were wound up in the High Court and expelled from the National League last month, following unpaid debts of more than £500,000. Players and staff were made redundant in the wake of the ruling but Smethurst plans to build a new club at Moss Rose after acquiring the assets of the old one.

Danny Whitaker will be manager of Macclesfield FC, who aim to compete in the North West Counties Football League next season.

Savage, who made a brief comeback as a player with Stockport Town, then also owned by Smethurst, in the 10th tier last season, said: “I live locally and it’s devastating what happened here.

“The fans have been battered and bruised over the last few years, as I’m sure Jon (Smart, the former Silkmen Supporters Trust chairman) and Danny (Whitaker) will tell you, and to have the opportunity give the club back to the fans and this community is something I wanted to do and couldn’t turn down.

Macclesfield FC's ground
Macclesfield FC's ground

“Twenty-one years ago Macclesfield were playing against Manchester City at the same level of the Football League. I’m not saying we are going to reach the Premier League, win the title and bring some of the world’s greatest talents to Moss Rose.

“But the aim is to take Macclesfield FC through the leagues and restore pride among the loyal supporters. We are passionate about bringing football back to life in this town.

“The level we go at doesn’t really matter, it’s just about this club being here. Our key focus will be to bring the football club, the fans and the community together.”

Smethurst, who runs the Pro Football Academy franchise, plans to install a 4G pitch at Moss Rose, along with a gym and classrooms to enable the stadium to be used by the local community as well as Macclesfield FC.

He said: “We need to make sure we can build this for the next generations. We want to make sure we have enough money coming into this club so that we can support a first team.

Congrats to all involved… 👊🏽Special mention to @RobbieSavage8#MacclesfieldFC

— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) October 13, 2020

“I want to put in place the infrastructure to build a very successful first team, and to do that we have to get the fans on board because these things don’t work without the fans.

“So we will be working very closely with them. The community is a massive part of this club and we need to be getting into the schools, I believe kids should be coming here for free.”

Smethurst went on to clarify his position at Stockport Town, saying that he has agreed to sell the club and that he expects that to be completed in the coming weeks.

“We can’t have two clubs so we have a buyer for that now and that will be move done in the next couple of months, hopefully,” said Smethurst.

“We’ve left that club in a really good state and that will be handed over. We have a year to get this club right (before the start of the 2021/22 season).”