Macclesfield were hanging onto the football league by a thread in November of last year. Having only won two of their opening 19 games, the side were 7 points adrift from safety and it was looking like a bleak season ahead and inevitable relegation to the National League.
Then in stepped Sol Campbell. It was his first move into management and he was starting right at the bottom of England’s professional football pyramid. Sol was a legend at Arsenal and an important cog in the famous Invincibles team of 2004. He retired in 2012 and wanted to show his knowledge of the game by making the transition to manager.
It was always going to be a tough task for Campbell. Partly because there aren’t many black managers and that would mean he would be part of a small group that is willing to put themselves out there and trying to change that.
In his playing days he had shared a pitch with the likes of Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira, and the lower league fixtures would need a lot of grit to grind out results. He even had to deal with players not being paid for three months straight, so there were just as many problems off the pitch as on it.
But Campbell won seven and drew 11 of his 27 games in charge, with a vital point against Cambridge on the final day of the season being enough to keep the Silkmen up.
The result meant Notts County, England’s oldest club in the top four tiers, were relegated from League Two. But Sol can celebrate a great achievement for Macclesfield, who had broken the record for longest run without a win in Football League history, a few weeks before he took over. #mmlove