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An Update From The Club Chaplain

27 July 2020

Club Chaplain Chris Whiteley provides an update.

Here we are, the season has ended, the close season has begun and next week the transfer market opens. The EFL has decided the final league placings on the basis of a points per game average.

Macclesfield Town find themselves the subject of a further Independent Disciplinary Commission so the final, final league placings will be decided by the lawyers. This is our elephant in the room at the end of a turbulent season.

In a season blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s lives and livelihoods have been put on hold. We’ve begun to see the reality of Football Clubs. In Leagues One and Two, football is not about fame and glory, these are ephemeral and only a very few each season can experience them.

Nor are clubs about profit and loss, all the clubs in the lower reaches of the football pyramid exist on subsidy from owners and supporters. It’s not even about promotion or relegation, because whatever their end game, most clubs go on. Clubs like Macclesfield Town are about community.

What we have missed most during the lockdown is that real sense of community that comes from supporting our local club.

The connection between players, management and supporters, the people we stand or sit next to every other Saturday, the camaraderie on the coach as we travel to away matches and for me, the privilege of sharing in the whole life of the club, rubbing shoulders with all the staff.

This kind of community involvement has been so missed and it shows in the tremendous take up of the Community Call Scheme that was set up early in Lockdown. Over 200 calls have been made to fans who were experiencing the loneliness of social isolation, and the connection goes on.

Together, this club is so much more than the sum of its parts and, like every football fan in the land, we can look to the new season with hope and optimism. Things may change at our club but the community of players, management, staff, volunteers and supporters will always do their best.

Finally, I’m going to quote from the Bible. (Oh no! I hear you say) This is from a passage in Romans, where the writer, the Apostle Paul, is talking about teamwork in the Church.

“We, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12 v 5.

This could be true of our football community.

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