Mansfield Town have no idea what may await them at cash-strapped crisis club Macclesfield Town on Saturday.
The players, and some members of staff, went on strike last weekend over yet more unpaid wages and players were advised not to train this week as they were not insured to train or play.
Sunday’s FA Cup game bordered on the farcical, with Macclesfield College’s affiliated team providing six starters and seven subs in the 4-0 home defeat by non-league Kingstonian.
Manager Daryl McMahon, who took over when Sol Campbell quit in August, refused to answer any questions that weren’t about the game in his post-match, including if the players would be back in training this week.
But the general view was that they are likely to remain on strike for tonight’s (Wednesday) Leasing.com Trophy game at Shrewsbury.
Fans stayed away on Sunday with less than 1,000 there, around a quarter of that number being away fans, with plenty outside protesting against owner Amar Alkadhi, who is highly unpopular among supporters.
There’s a HMRC bill still outstanding, adjourned in the High Court around six times in six months, and players and staff have been paid late countless times in the last year or two.
A group of last season’s players took over the winding-up petition at one point in their bid to get unpaid wages from the club but it’s now back in the hands of HMRC.
Alkadhi is thought to have had initial talks with a local businessman called Joe Sealey (son of former Manchester United keeper Les) about a takeover.
If the first team play on Saturday the standout players Stags should look out for so far have been Paddy Osadebe, an attacking midfielder, and Theo Archibald, who has been played at left-back and right midfield and likes to cut in from the right and go for goal.