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tGWB

It's really difficult to know who to trust with our Club

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Population of Oldham is c235,000

Average Home Attendances for the 18/19 season was 4,364 (including Away Fans)

Less than 3,500 Home supporters attended the game v Crewe yesterday

Trust Oldham membership is c350

Only 50-60 supporters turned out for the FLG introduction meeting to declare their intentions to purchase the stadium, the land which is the footprint of the ground and the car park

 

Off those numbers it would be difficult to substantiate that we are an essential part of the community and I would suggest the Club has already lost the loyalty of most of the town folk, mostly due to a serious lack of achievement since the early 90's

 

Mr Abdallah Lemsagam (AL):

We have no idea how much he spent to purchase the 97% shares in the club off Simon Corney, the previous owner.

Despite AL riding into Boundary Park like some 'Knight on a great white horse' to save us from our decline under the previous regime, very much of his tenure remains shrouded in mystery.

Early days witnessed cries of 'foul' with claims that the previous regime had not fully declared monies owed by the club, which did nothing to inspire confidence in our new owner as most fans rightly thought that any reasonable 'due diligence' process would pick such matters up. Late payment of wages for both players and staff followed with some well publicised non payment of suppliers. However, its only fair to say that these issues appear to have improved (to the best of our knowledge)

Much has been said and written by disgruntled ex-players and ex-coaches/managers of the club regarding team matters which has significantly unsettled our supporters and with it further damaged the owners reputation with the fans.

Most concerning is that team performances have slipped dramatically resulting in our relegation and with it the complete absence of attractive attacking football we badly need to bring supporters back and the much needed revenue they bring as no club can survive on crowds of 3,500.

Supporters feel increasingly alienated from their club that most adopted as their own from their childhood 

Mr Lemsagam, you really do need to open up a lot more about the issues you and the club face as our supporters are highly likely going to turn their backs on the club in even greater numbers.

Of course there will be many who will not be won over but many more could be

 

Trust Oldham:

Formed in the wake of Oldham Athletic entering administration in 2003, the Trust was created by the fans to save the club

For me, potentially the  best vehicle to protect our club but disappointingly has only attracted a membership of c350 supporters despite the glaringly obvious difficulties the club has faced for the last decade or so.

Critics would point to what appears to be a lack of action by the Trust, particularly in holding the previous owner to account (eg. rumours of him using monies raised by supporters to purchase a scoreboard / late wage payments to players and staff ) despite the purchase of 3% of club shares.

Similar criticism falls on the Trust with regard to holding the current owner to account, however its only fair to note what appears to be a breakthrough, with AL giving access to view  the club accounts.

The Trust have announced they are having a meeting this week to discuss the matter and have said they will advise supporters accordingly.

The appointment of a JP Morgan Director to bolster the financial acumen of the Trust Board is welcomed and evidences a more business like approach strategy.

Recent communications from the Trust suggest a link with the Fans Led Group (FLG) but to be frank, that could well cause issues in continuing an improving dialogue with the owner of the club.

Trust Oldham, you have an unenviable task in trying to appease both the club owner and our supporters but I would suggest you try and make your short term intentions clearer as most fans can see the obvious conflict in trying to hold together a relationship with both the club owner and the group that are intent on buying the stadium

 

Boundary Park Purchase Group / Fans Led Group (FLG)

On the 27th July, the FLG held their introduction meeting to announce their immediate intentions to purchase from Brassbank Ltd, the stadium, the land which is the footprint of the stadium and the car park for c£7m

Presenters on the night were Simon Brooke, who has recently been appointed the Operations Manager of the Oldham Event Centre (OEC) which operates within the North Stand / Joe Royle Stand and his fellow presenter Paul Whitehead, who was the original main contractor appointed to build the North Stand

Additionally the FLG presenters advised that Simon Wood was part of the FLG and there was 2-3 other members who at the time wished to remain anonymous due to business/personal reasons.

In his presentation, Paul Whitehead advised that some land next to the ground had already been designated by Brassbank for the building of homes and that the land allocated was not in the proposed purchase by the FLG. The FLG also advised of their mid-long term aspirations to build a hotel between the Joe Royle Stand and Jimmy Frizzell Stand

Simon Brooke advised of a current dispute between the OEC and the club to provide match day hospitality in the North Stand, which has resulted in the club not agreeing to sign a Service Level Agreement for the 2019/20 season.

Disappointing from the evening was that only 50-60 supporters turned out to listen to the aspirations a group of fellow fans  regarding the future of our club.

More disappointment was to follow as (a) No written information was distributed at the meeting and (b) No written communication has subsequently been forthcoming from the FLG since the meeting.

Concerning for me, but not insurmountable, is the lack of any written information from the FLG, on lets be honest, not an insignificant amount money, £7m, to be sourced to fund the purchase of our stadium and the land it sits on.

Additionally, Paul Whitehead was the main contractor who failed to complete the building of the North Stand with one of his businesses failing, owing sub contractors money. However, its only fair to point out we do not know the actual circumstances and how much blame rests with Corney  the previous owner of the club, but for me until the circumstances are made public, an element of suspicion will remain. 

Boundary Park Purchase Group / FLG,  you need to put into writing your intentions with some proposed timelines, this should give supporters a more informed opinion rather than the understandable gossip doing the rounds on the forums. As soon as is practical, you should name the other FLG members.

Ideally Paul Whitehead should advise 'what went wrong' with the building of the North Stand and the circumstances of why it remains incomplete to this to date. People understand that businesses fail but when the very same people volunteer themselves into the public domain with the intentions of leading the club into a bright new world, its only right they stand up and be counted.

 

Why the post:

I sincerely hope that all the above parties take a considered look at the impact they are having on our club and supporters and that at the very least they will make a concerted effort in significantly improving their engagement with us, the fans and the heartbeat of this club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

A well balanced overview TGWB.

 

Myself and Andy will take your comments and suggestions to the Trust meeting this week - thank you

Edited by underdog
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15 hours ago, underdog said:

A well balanced overview TGWB.

 

Myself and Andy will take your comments and suggestions to the Trust meeting this week - thank you

 

Appreciate your feedback  :OASISscarf:

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