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Latics and England

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About Latics and England

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    Earl Barrett
  • Birthday 09/19/1978

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    Oldham Athletic

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  1. Only 4 days left to get a season ticket before adult prices increase by 33%. I suspect that the recent upturn in form will increase the number of people who will renew but there are clearly some very difficult decisions for people to make. Reports suggest that numbers are down materially on last year so it must be the case that there are many hundreds of us who either haven't decided whether to renew or are purposefully leaving it to the wire before doing so. I can see both sides of the argument. I strongly disagree with a lot of what is going on at the club and see buying a ST as accepting such things. On the other hand, if sales are low that would legitimize reducing the playing budget.
  2. A lot of the football was poor but we mustn't forget that he was, as has become our trait, brought in late in the summer without the opportunity to build a team. His position reminded me of that of Steve Robinson where he tried to build from the back because he didn't have the attacking players he trusted. He might have gone on to be shite but we will never know.
  3. The initial letter contained a number of very specific questions, the answers to which would be commercially sensitive. It would be very helpful to know which questions he has answered and the Trust's view on the answers that have been given. Assuming some or all of the questions have been answered, I think the Trust is right not to share the actual answers given. Some of the things in the response such as a change to our recruitment policy indicate that Abdallah does have a plan. Whether it is the right or wrong plan, this feels like a small step forward. The right thing for him to do would be to share that plan with the fans so that we can see what he is trying to achieve. You would have to imagine that he believes that what he is doing is the right thing for the club and so I would expect that he would want to share the plan to put our minds at ease. The respinse, as it has been reported, leads to more questions than it provides answers. As has been mentioned, the comment about his life savings has to be a massive concern. From what I led to believe about his level of wealth when he took over I suspect this is closer to the truth than many may believe. I am sure he still has plenty to live on but I think his "play fund" might be pretty empty right now.
  4. It was always going to be the case that the best opportunity to go back up would be at the first attempt before the playing budget was slashed even further (we make losses so logic says the budget reduces year on year). From the moment we set up to play for a draw in the opening game it was clear that there was no ambition to go up this year which told me everything I needed to know. Bunn clearly believed he didn't have a squad capable of taking on this dreadful league. We have had a few decent runs but overall I think he was right. The squad is bang average.
  5. When Scholes took over he made it clear that if the owner interfered he would walk away. He clearly had his own view as to what classed as interference. It sounds from his interview that he tolerated some interference but when it came to team selection he stuck to his word. Of you tell your boss that you will quit if they act in a certain way and then you fail to quit when they do that precise thing, you are on to a loser. I don't have a great deal of respect for much that Scholes did whilst at the club but for that I have the utmost.
  6. It seems to me that the Trust have tried to engage with Abdallah for some time and have now made a formal attempt following a meeting of fans (not just Trust members) which has once again been ignored. I think this was the right approach. In ignoring the deadline set on the letter Abdallah shows contempt for the concerns of the fans. It seems most people expected no response, personally I thought there would be a short reply which answered none of the questions set. That would have ticked a box for Abdallah that he was engaging with the supporter base. A refusal to even do that is a clear sign that he doesn't have any desire to engage. The upturn of form means that even those with strong views against the owner will be somewhat torn and I don't see a boycotting as being the answer right now. I am pleased to hear that the Trust has been speaking with Supporters Direct and has a plan of action. I would like to think that this will be shared imminently. The next step is very important. There are only a handful of games left and there will be little opportunity to be heard by those in charge once the season ends. I think those who believe that our position is a long way from that of Bolton, Bury, Coventry, Birmingham etc. are kidding themselves. We need to bring attention to the situation now before it is too late.
  7. I'm a bit confused by the comments regarding the crowd. There was no organised boycott today, just some individuals who decided that they would boycott. I suspect the home gate was down 15 - 20% on what it probably would have been expected to be. That is a pretty dramatic drop considering the lack of an organised protest.
  8. According to the statement AL put on the official website on 15 March: “I continued to encourage him despite the results and reassured him that his job was secure. I was content to remain in League Two for this season and working with the team we have for the remainder of this season is important. Paul and I both agreed that there is potential but I reassured him that he had my full backing to rebuild the team of his choice next season.” Does that stack up with him only talking to him once? “Continued to encourage” sounds like multiple conversations to me.
  9. I disagree. The demands you refer to are there in the ‘Expectations’ section. The specific questions largely relate to a statement he has made either publicly or in his conversations with those invited to speak with him. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask him to back up statements he has already made.
  10. I think it is a reasonable letter. My only concern would be that it is unclear what it is requesting to be provided to the Trust confidentially and what is being asked to be provided to then be shared with members/fans. In particular, I think it may be unreasonable to ask what offer has been made for the ground. It is known that the Trust is connected to the FLG. It would be a strange decision of the owner to tell this group (as a rival bidder) what offer he has made. I would also be wary, if I was him, of disclosing next year’s budget if this was going to be shared widely. Knowing the size of the budget is something that could give competitive advantage to rival teams. The Trust shouldn’t be scared of confirming that some answers will not be shared widely and we, as fans, should accept that we might have to take the Trust’s word on some things if they simply tell us that they have had an appropriate answer. It is a great start though and if we got 11 answers back to those 13 questions I would be delighted. Over to you Abdallah.
  11. I think the most important thing today was to show that people are worried and were prepared to come together to talk about it. 150 turning up at a few days notice definitely did show that. It was very much an opportunity for people to express their views and that was achieved. On top of that, a list of questions were collated and the Trust have taken it on themselves to push for answers. The next steps are crucial. Having had a session to get things off our chests we now need some more structured meetings where we de ide what action we believe will lead to the improvements we want to see. One thing that was clear was that it is difficult to manage a meeting of that size yet when someone suggested smaller meetings there was a lot of push back. I don't know what the answer is on this because I understand the concerns that we don't have fans who are seen as being able or mandated to represent the wider fanbase. I'd like to think that the Trust boosted by new directors might be able to do this but there is still some way to go for them to win over many fans. That will take time and there is clarity as to whether we have much time. At present there are clearly conflicting views as to whether people want to boycott games and whether they will be renewing season tickets. Whilst everyone needs to make their own personal decisions it feels like this should be discussed pretty quickly. If some fans feel that these measures are appropriate they would only be powerful if there is a coordinated approach.
  12. The Tramps game has been rearranged for the 2nd which will affect the number of people who can make a meeting on the 1st and make it difficult to arrange something effective at 24 hour’s notice. A meeting this coming Saturday feels like a better option to me.
  13. The Mirror are reporting that Abdallah offered contract extensions to 12 of the 20 who are out of contract in the summer without Scholes' knowledge. If true, I can definitely see that being the catalyst for the resignation. It also has to be a massive ongoing concern because this squad is nowhere near good enough.
  14. As someone who hasn’t been involved with the Trudt for several years I understand the point that you are making but I think you are being unfair. The Trust has always struggled to attract volunteers and so to suggest that only those who attend matches every week should be involved is unreasonable. The core of the Trust Board will be made up of people who attend most games but there will be others who don’t. It seems quite logical that some people who are unable to get to games might see helping out on the Trust as being a way of putting something into the club because they can’t get to as many games as they would like. Personally I would think that it might have been a good opportunity for those Trust directors who were able to have had a meeting today but if it was felt that they should wait until an arranged meeting where more are available I can understand that. The Trust are the right people to organise a protest if for no other reason than there is nobody else. It is a sad indictment but there is no Supporters Association or similar fan group. what we really need is for the Trust to reach out to other notable collections of fans and all come together to plan something. This might include the Athleticos, the hundred club (assuming it still exists), prominent OWTB posters etc.
  15. So... Fane is sacked/released. The scenario exists whereby Scholes wanted to play Fane on Saturday in the absence of Baxter but was told that he couldn’t because he is no longer our player. Scholes is not able to run the club in the way that he wants because he can’t play someone who he believed was an employee who was available for selection. Lemsagam believes that he hasn’t interfered in team selection as clearly you can’t play someone who is no longer on the books. From his perspective, that is hardly his fault as he will say that the release/sacking was inevitable and related to things well before Scholes arrived. Both Scholes and Lemsagam give statements that they wholeheartedly believe to be true.
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