FIACRE Kelleher faces an uncertain future after being caught up in Macclesfield Town's relegation.

The defender joined the Silkmen on loan from Oxford United in 2018.

He went on to leave the U's without playing a competitive game for them, making the move to Moss Rose permanent.

He went on to captain the side and swept up at the club’s end-of-season awards for his performances amid challenging circumstances.

But having spent the summer preparing for another season in Sky Bet League Two, everything changed when Macclesfield’s relegation to the National League was confirmed last Monday.

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Misconduct related to the non-payment of player wages in March brought a six-point penalty and final blow to their League Two hopes, also leading to the exit of captain Kelleher.

“Up until Tuesday of last week I was just set on staying at Macclesfield for the upcoming season in League Two,” the defender told the PA news agency.

“They extended an option on my contract to keep me for another year and then, as of Tuesday, we were relegated, so that kind of took away my option and now I’m a free agent.

“Yeah, in the space of a week I’ve gone from thinking I’m playing League Two football to not much at the moment.”

Macclesfield’s league match against Crewe in December was suspended after the players went on strike due to the non-payment of wages.

It led to the Silkmen being docked points and the punishment for March’s misconduct saw them relegated from League Two on a points-per-game basis.

Kelleher finds that hard to swallow after the players had come together in adversity, but could not blame the EFL for taking the decision given the “pretty unacceptable” non-payments, even if he questioned the timing.

“I suppose the thing that frustrates me is just how long it all took,” he said.

“You know, this should have all been dealt with by May or June, really, giving everybody a fair chance to get out and try to find a different club.

“They’ve taken it now to a stage where I thought I was going to be back there playing football and now two, three weeks before the new season is meant to start I found out that I don’t have anywhere to play.

“It’s just frustrating from that point of view that it took so long to get dealt with.”

That delay saw Kelleher miss a number of opportunities to move on, having batted away interest due to his commitment to Macclesfield in a summer unlike any other.

“I suppose the feeling is one of anxiety, really,” the Irish defender said, wary of the impact of Covid-19 on football clubs.

“I don’t really know what’s around the corner for me at the moment, so just a bit anxious as to what’s going to be there for me.

“But, you know, a small bit of relief that I finally know now 100 per cent what my situation is and that I’m gone from the club, because for the last two months through all these court cases I’ve not been quite sure what way it’s going to go.

“Just the fact that it’s all over… there’s a bit of relief, but anxiety quickly takes over as to what’s going to be next down the line for me.”