Stevenage's survival hopes all but over after latest Macclesfield Town hearing

Stevenage's Lamex Stadium. Credit: EMPICS Sport

Stevenage's hopes of avoiding relegation to the National League look all but over after Macclesfield Town escaped with a two-point deduction at their latest hearing.

A deduction of three points or more by an independent panel would have seen Macclesfield drop below Stevenage in the League Two table and be relegated from the EFL.

However, the panel instead decided to activate a two-point penalty that had been suspended from a previous case.

It means Stevenage definitely finish bottom of League Two on the points-per-game basis agreed by clubs earlier this month and their only hope of survival now rests on the National League not being able to give assurances to the EFL board that the 2020/2021 season will go ahead.

Macclesfield's latest punishment relates to the late payment of wages to a number of players in March.

Macclesfield Town's Moss Road Ground. Credit: PA

It's the third time Macclesfield have been deducted points this season.

The Silkmen have also been fined £20,000, and have been handed an additional four-point penalty which will be suspended and carried forward to next season.

Speaking to ITV News Anglia earlier this month, Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said: "If something happens six times in a season, and the rest of you are playing by the rules, whilst one club is seeking a competitive advantage, it's probably not right. There's quite a lot of feeling in the league about that."

However, Wallace did also admit that if his club were relegated, they would only have themselves to blame, having only won three league games all season.

If relegation is confirmed, it means Stevenage will be playing non-league football next season for the first time since 2010.

The club were promoted to the Football League after winning the Conference in the 2009/10 season and made it to League One a year later when they beat Torquay United in the League Two play-off final.