Former Macclesfield Town Captain Andy Halls has spoken to SLE explaining why he had to leave the Moss Rose in the wake of our FA Trophy Final defeat at Wembley Stadium.
The 25 year old ended a four year stretch at the club by following in the footsteps of John McCoombe and Kingsley James by signing for National League rivals Chester City.
Yet, this was with a heavy heart and throughout our conversation Halls expressed his wish that he did not want to seem like he was bad mouthing the club, merely just wanting the fans to know why he had to leave.
“For the last four years I have signed a 44 week contract which the club. This means that I don’t get paid for two months during the summer. Whilst being a full time footballer is my primary income, you can understand the difficulties this brings.
I work for ten months of the year to then use all my savings to get me through the summer without pay. Every year I have asked for a full 52 week contract yet the club have always said that this is just not possible.
When last season finished, I hadn’t been told if I was going to be offered a new contract or not, and with no money coming in for the next eight weeks I needed to have some options.
I only found out that Macc were wanting to keep me during the week of the FA Trophy Final, and it wasn’t until after the Final that an offer was made – again being a 44 week contract on the same money.
With the unexpected money the team had made for the club last season with the sale of three players, an FA Cup match on the BBC and the FA Trophy run, I felt that if I was ever going to be offered a 52 week contract then it would be now.
This wasn’t the case and there was an offer on the table from Chester which ticked all the boxes I had been asking Macc for – ones which I felt a full time team should be offering.
I think that if you look at this as a non football fan, it makes complete sense why I left. Being a footballer in the lower leagues brings barely any financial security, but at some point you have to do what is best for yourself.
I really didn’t want to leave Macc, I really enjoyed my four years there but I am 25 and got no savings whilst still living with parents.
For the reasons above unfortunately I had to leave Macclesfield”.
Andy Halls. Former Macclesfield Town Captain
We would like to thank Andy for responding to our message, and also for being so honest with us. Sometimes we are all guilty of seeing players as objects rather than human beings – these guys are just like you and me, grafting to make a living and trying to do the best for themselves and their families.
If you think about what Andy has said, and assuming this is true, then I am sure that if you were in a similar situation with your job then you would do exactly the same thing.
For me the sad thing that comes from these claims is why are we not able to offer these guys proper contracts rather than 44 week jobs, which in my opinion is the real issue here. Let’s be honest, would you take a 44 week contract?
The fact that Sir John Askey manages to prize together a competitive squad year after year under such alleged restraints is unbelievable. We have finished in respectable positions each year and been taken on a wonderful day out at Wembley – the man should be given a medal.
I genuinely wish Andy all the best for the future (other than the two games against us) and it was a pleasure to speak with him.
As for us, we have to stand with John and the squad which is currently taking shape, bracing ourselves for another season battling against the odds – it promised to be one hell of a ride.