2011-12 season review ~ The season was traumatic enough for Macclesfield Town but events in the last few days have increased the tension surrounding the club on their return to non-League football after 15 years. The appointment of Steve King as manager last Monday was coupled with the news that deputy chairman Andy Scott would be stepping down. He will be followed by the other members of the board, including chairman Mike Rance. In other news, 16 players have been released. From sitting relatively pretty in League Two just six months ago, 25 games without a victory under first Gary Simpson and latterly, and disastrously, Brian Horton, saw the club slide out of the League with barely a whimper.
Crucial games at home to Barnet and Hereford were drawn rather than won. Horton's lack of interest and engagement was such that he left the club before the final day, leaving Glyn Chamberlain, who has now also departed Moss Rose, in charge for the last game of the season at Southend.
While such a run of form suggests that a restructure is essential – and on the surface, the club's quick action to give their new manager most of the summer to shape his new squad would be a welcome piece of decisiveness – some discomfiting elements lurk beneath.
Not least of these are the circumstances of the entire board's departure. A supporters' trust press release states that: "This critical series of resignations had been forced on the directors by the club owners' insistence on appointing Steve King as manager."
The circumstances surrounding King's appointment are unlikely to ever be made clear. He said on the BBC's Non-League Show that he "applied like everyone else", though his agent, Saif Rubie, is rumoured to be friendly with the man responsible for the appointment, Macclesfield owner Amar Alkadhi.
Nervous times lie ahead. From feeling helpless at experiencing the team's slide towards the trapdoor, the fans now face an even greater leap into the unknown with a new manager whose appointment was made seemingly against the wishes, and ultimately at the expense, of a board known to be supporters of the club.
The Conference is a notoriously difficult league to get out of for even the most stable (and wealthy) of non-League sides. Necessary change has come to Macclesfield but the new manager and the new board, when appointed, have a big job on their hands to manage the club's first season back in Conference football. Rob Macdonald