Macclesfield withdraw £20,000 pay-to-play fan offer

The Silkmen were set to allow an investing supporter 10 minutes on the pitch in a competitive game but now accept that it "clearly crosses an important line" for sporting integrity
Macclesfield Town have quickly withdrawn an unusual fundraising offer which allowed a fan of the club to play in a competitive match in return for £20,000.

The Conference National side released details of the initiative, which would guarantee the investor 10 minutes of playing time in a league or cup game, on Wednesday.

But the club decided to rescind the proposal after widespread media coverage and supporter disdain.

"The 'pay to play' proposal was one of many innovative ideas that have been considered in the last few weeks to raise both funds and interest in the club," read a statement on the club's official website.

"It was intended to be a light-hearted idea that would be of interest only to our local media.

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"We now recognise that, whatever controls are put in place, it creates a possibility of altering the outcome of a competitive fixture and as such, clearly crosses an important line with respect to the integrity of the game.

"We are therefore withdrawing the offer and would like to apologise unreservedly to the football authorities and to the Football Conference for our error of judgement in this matter."

The Silkmen are preparing for their second season out of the Football League following their relegation from League Two in 2011-12 and 11th-place finish last season.