Jump to content

BPAS PODCAST SEASON 2: 26th Jul '21 Episode 42: David Wheater


Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, League one forever said:

In what way could they take it out on fans? 


Well they’re fucking me off by not letting me pay a quid to have my season ticket posted and saying I can go to “a dedicated collection point” on the 7th when you just know my season ticket won’t be there - they make everything so difficult 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Chaddyexile84 said:


Well they’re fucking me off by not letting me pay a quid to have my season ticket posted and saying I can go to “a dedicated collection point” on the 7th when you just know my season ticket won’t be there - they make everything so difficult 

They love it don’t they. So pathetic. 
 

While it’s highly annoying and antagonistic, it’s not on a par with their treatment of staff and players. NZ is imitating that he/she is worried they will start take it out on fans or treat them similar. I don’t see how they can affect any of us. We don’t work for them, we’re just members of the public. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, nzlatic said:

He doesn’t have unlimited resources though. I hope I’m wrong, but the way they do the same thing regularly - to players… and staff… is a bit of a worry if they decide to take it out on the fans. 

 

He went after Blitz and failed. He treated the players and staff like shit because they were under his employment. The fans are not under his employment He can't legally go after anyone for saying he's a rubbish football club owner. Racism threats and stories that are made up then that's a different matter He can go after those people. But just saying he hasn't a clue what he's doing and neither has his brother at their jobs that's just democracy for you. 

 

He is though volatile enough to take the club down despite the fact he would lose everything. If that's the case we just start from scratch. I don't think it will come to that. The fact that we no longer hear from Abdullah may even be grounds for mild optimism that he might be on the quiet trying to sell the club. That could admittedly be wishful thinking on my part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, GlossopLatic said:

He is though volatile enough to take the club down despite the fact he would lose everything. If that's the case we just start from scratch. I don't think it will come to that. The fact that we no longer hear from Abdullah may even be grounds for mild optimism that he might be on the quiet trying to sell the club. That could admittedly be wishful thinking on my part.

That’s what I’m getting at, taking it out on the fans by letting the club die. I’m not saying that’s the plan or even likely, just concerned about their pattern of behaviour leading to an extreme outcome such as that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, GlossopLatic said:

He can't legally go after anyone for saying he's a rubbish football club owner. Racism threats and stories that are made up then that's a different matter He can go after those people. But just saying he hasn't a clue what he's doing and neither has his brother at their jobs that's just democracy for you. 

 

A genuine question:

 

Can he go after someone for calling him a ‘c__t’? 

 

Apart from racist language, when does an insult cross over legal boundaries? 

 

🤔

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TheBigDog said:

 

A genuine question:

 

Can he go after someone for calling him a ‘c__t’? 

 

Apart from racist language, when does an insult cross over legal boundaries? 

 

🤔

You can't be punished for thinking someone is one......as Marshy discovered !!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TheBigDog said:

 

A genuine question:

 

Can he go after someone for calling him a ‘c__t’? 

 

Apart from racist language, when does an insult cross over legal boundaries? 

 

🤔

saying it to his face could be an offence under Section 4a of the Public order act 

 

good luck finding a copper willing to take it on without a racially aggravated bit though

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TheBigDog said:

 

A genuine question:

 

Can he go after someone for calling him a ‘c__t’? 

 

Apart from racist language, when does an insult cross over legal boundaries? 

 

🤔

 

I'm not a lawyer and I wouldn't advocate doing it but I think it depends on how threatening your behaviour is. If it's used with intent to cause assault then I'd imagine so.

 

If you call him to his face inside Boundary Park then he can eject you as he can everyone he's the owner. But if 3000 Latics fans at Boundary Park tell him to get out of the club what's he going to do chuck everyone out midway through a game?

Edited by GlossopLatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Their was this case against a Blackpool fan who made some derogatory comments on a message board against the Oystens. But the poster implied some very lurid allegations which we haven't seen on here. If we did I'd expect the admin would have shut it down pretty quickly.

 

Blackpool fan sued

Edited by GlossopLatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, GlossopLatic said:

Their was this case against a Blackpool fan who made some derogatory comments on a message board against the Oystens. But the poster implied some very lurid allegations which we haven't seen on here. If we did I'd expect the admin would have shut it down pretty quickly.

 

Blackpool fan sued

Yep. 
 

To me it’s there is a world of difference in a strong opinion on something or someone. And sinking to racist language and/or making things up particularly of a personal nature. 
 


 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, al_bro said:

He did seem to think though, that surely it wouldn't continue and they would allow him to play again. He was training hard and doing everything asked of him. Even moving into a mates house that was being renovated, to abide by new rules they made up regarding commuting.

I can understand that thought process really given that we were conceding so many goals, despite having the "solid" Piergianni there. But, once you've crossed a Lemsagam there is no way back and I'm surprised he didn't realise that earlier on. There was actually talk that Sunderland wanted him at the start of last season. I feel like he has missed a big opportunity...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, League one forever said:

In what way could they take it out on fans? 

Selling the club to Lee Power who wants to get back into football. Or to anyone willing to pay him for the club who doesn't have it's best interests at heart.

 

I think the way ALMO run the club is a culture thing. They are not used to being questioned and told they are wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, al_bro said:

Selling the club to Lee Power who wants to get back into football. Or to anyone willing to pay him for the club who doesn't have it's best interests at heart.

 

I think the way ALMO run the club is a culture thing. They are not used to being questioned and told they are wrong.

That’s hurts the community not an individual, but I take your point. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listening to David Wheater talk about his treatment and exile at Oldham Athletic and what he describes as “the worst and most stressful year of my career”, the saddest thing is that he no longer has any desire to lace up a pair of boots.

“One hundred per cent it’s killed my love of playing football,” the defender, 34, says. “People ask me if I’m still playing. I tell them I love football but everything else that goes with it now I can leave. After the last year, I’ve completely lost the love for it.

“I’ve always been a low-maintenance professional and loved what I do but after last season I’m happy not to do it. I don’t think I’ll ever say I’m retired but…”

A veteran of 418 senior appearances spanning 17 seasons, a quarter of which were spent in the Premier League, and a player twice called up by England, Wheater was no stranger to turmoil by the time he pitched up at Oldham in August 2019.

Four months earlier, the former Middlesbrough centre-back had been part of a Bolton Wanderers side who refused to play in protest over unpaid wages, a last resort for a squad whose patience with the club’s then-owner Ken Anderson had finally snapped.

Yet Wheater said what happened at Bolton pales by comparison to his experience with Oldham, where he says he was banished to play with the youth team after being caught in the crossfire of a dispute over pay cuts and, in his opinion, made to feel like a pariah. Oldham fans would end up launching a #freewheatz campaign.

“I felt bullied,” Wheater said. “That last year with Oldham was the worst and most stressful of my career. Bolton was easier because we weren’t in a pandemic, the manager [Phil Parkinson] supported us throughout and, as players, we were all in it together.

“People would ask why we went on strike but we hadn’t been paid for months by that point. I hated going on strike because I loved Bolton but it was a group decision. At Oldham, I felt like it was me on my own. I felt targeted and singled out. It was a nightmare.”

Wheater said he had ignored warnings to stay away from Oldham by, among others, the club’s former striker, Craig Davies, who was a team-mate at Bolton and a vocal critic of owner Abdallah Lemsagam’s regime at Boundary Park. But it was not long before he said he was threatening to quit after the first wages he was due arrived late.

He swallowed it, and some other late payments that followed, and had started 34 of 37 league matches as club captain by the time the League Two season was curtailed in March last year due to the coronavirus lockdown. That, though, was when the real problems started, the catalyst – according to Wheater – for a tumultuous 12 months that left him unable to sleep and his worried wife Laura eventually sending him off to a doctor for help.

Wheater has described his final season at Oldham as ‘a nightmare’

Wheater claims Oldham were originally proposing that the players take a 20 per cent pay cut to help offset the loss of matchday income but, at a subsequent Zoom meeting in the days that followed, the tune had changed. “They told us they were not going to pay a penny on top of furlough,” Wheater said. “For me, that equated to a 70 per cent pay cut. I asked if we’d get it back in time, if it was a deferral and they said no.”

As captain and Oldham’s PFA representative, Wheater was suddenly the go-between the players and management, a position he came to view as something of a poisoned chalice. “I never caused any trouble around the place – obviously I went to see if we were going to be paid a few times – but I was never any trouble, all the staff will tell you that,” he says.

“But as soon as the furlough thing happened everything changed. I felt like an outsider all of a sudden. I was captain and the PFA rep so I was passing on news from the PFA to the players and speaking to the club. I later found out certain players were passing those messages on to the owners.
“Players would say they’re not signing up to furlough then I’d find out they had. I’d go back and tell the club they’re not signing and they’d be like: ‘Well, they have’. Maybe they saw that and felt I was the ringleader but I was just the PFA rep and the captain and trying to keep everyone right.”

That summer brought the usual upheaval at Oldham, a feature of Lemsagam’s ownership at Oldham where his brother, Mohamed, serves as sporting director. A litany of players came and went and Harry Kewell, the former Leeds and Liverpool winger, was appointed as head coach, Wheater’s third manager in a year.

Wheater played in pre-season games against Accrington and Curzon Ashton but, before a friendly against Nottingham Forest, he got a tap on the shoulder from Kewell. “He said he’d been told from the top he wasn’t allowed to pick me,” Wheater said. He did subsequently appear in a game against Rochdale two days later but it would prove to be his final senior appearance for Oldham, after which relations worsened.

It was shortly after being forced to isolate for 10 days after contracting coronavirus in September last year that Wheater was called into Kewell’s office. “The manager said, ‘This will come as no surprise to you but the owners have decided you will be with the youth team from now on’,’” Wheater said. “‘They’re making it impossible for me to pick you’.”

Oldham released a statement on September 21 confirming Wheater and goalkeeper Gary Woods would “no longer be part of the first team squad”. Karl Evans, the Oldham chief executive, later claimed that it was Kewell’s decision for Wheater not to be part of the first team because of the player’s fitness level.

Wheater will not dispute that there were factors that complicated his fitness early last season. Not long after isolating, he was forced to sit out for a fortnight after suffering a concussion in training and then he aggravated a long-standing back problem while pulling his black labrador, Ted, out of his car one day. But Wheater took serious exception to the tone of a statement Oldham released on November 3 outlining reasons for his continued absence.

“It was not very nice, to say the least,” he said. “They even put the reference to lifting the dog in quotation marks like I’d made it up or something.

“They said I wasn’t fit enough. Harry Kewell does this 1.5km run and you have to do it as quickly as you can. Look at me, I’m not a runner. I did it in the best time I could and got an email saying: ‘You did it in this time, you’re not fit enough’.

“I got told there was a player who was playing who had done it slower than me. They said my body mass wasn’t the best and I agreed – I was disappointed in myself but I could hardly move because of my back for weeks. As soon as I got back to training the weight came straight off.”

Wheater also expressed bemusement at the club claiming his decision to move house was a “concern … due to Whereabouts and Anti-Doping regulations”. “The day I moved I gave them my new address. I wasn’t trying to hide anything. I was at training every day,” he said.

They were also unhappy he had relocated to Teesside, which meant a 200-mile round trip. “I was never late and I found out there was another lad who lived in Walsall who was going there and back every day – that was a similar distance,” added Wheater, who said there were staff who supported the decision because he was better off mentally living at home with his family than alone somewhere closer to Oldham.

In Wheater’s eyes, Oldham simply did not want him around the place. “My name eventually got removed from the back of the programme and I didn’t do the photoshoot for last season,” he says. “A few lads told me they got told by Mohamed to delete things off Instagram if I was on their stories, things like that. My name was mud.”

Wheater is talking over lunch at a pub close to his home in his native Teesside and it is clear some episodes hurt him more than others. He was particularly disappointed by claims from Evans on The Boundary Park Alert System! podcast in January that he “didn’t particularly want to play” in a youth team game against Blackburn because “it was on 3G – they are not great for knees and backs – so he didn’t play”. In the same interview, Evans said Wheater had been “very professional in his approach”.
“It was embarrassing for me professionally being put into the youth team – I’m 6ft 5in and remember Blackburn had a guy who was not much more than hip height on me – but I was there and ready to play,” he said. “I was furious at those claims I refused to play. One of the staff members told me: ‘Oh, they’re making you warm up but you’re not allowed to play’.”

Wheater recalls putting on the youth team shirt and it resembling a “boob tube”. “I managed to swap shirts with one of the taller lads but it was still too small for me, as were the shorts” he said. “I had to ask the ref if I could get my training shorts from the car. But I probably knew all along I wouldn’t be allowed to play.”

Evans said he had told Wheater in conversation that he “probably fuelled a little bit of angst and the #freewheatz campaigns” with some of his tweets and criticised the player for his lack of public support for the team on social media.

“He told me the club were not happy about that but I told him I did that in our WhatsApp group,” Wheater said. “The worst thing was not playing. We were scoring loads of goals but we were conceding a lot as well. The lads couldn’t believe I wasn’t allowed to play. If I could have played I guarantee we’d have conceded less.” Telegraph Sport put Wheater’s allegations to Oldham and Kewell but received no response from the club or their former manager.

Wheater was unaware of the toll the situation was taking on him until his wife Laura, who previously worked in mental health for the NHS, ordered him to go to the doctors after waking in the middle of the night once too many times to find her husband pouring over text messages and emails. “At 3, 4 in the morning I’d be up looking at my phone and thinking about when this would end,” Wheater says.
“I probably wasn’t sleeping properly for about two months until my wife told me I was stressed and asked me to go to the doctors. In my own head, I was like, ‘What, I don’t get stressed?’ but she was right.”

It is over four months now since Wheater finally left Oldham by mutual consent and, like others, he struggles to understand why Lemsagam bought the club. “The turnover of staff and players is just incredible,” he says. “It’d be new faces all the time. Someone always seemed to be leaving.”
At Bolton and Middlesbrough, Wheater played under two benevolent benefactors in Eddie Davies and Steve Gibson respectively and he says the contrast with Lemsagam could not be more stark.

“I remember when I was at Middlesbrough and went away with England to Trinidad and Tobago and I was on the bench,” Wheater said. “Steve Gibson paid for my mum, dad, sister and girlfriend at the time to fly there and back and stay in the hotel where the England team were. He was fantastic.

“He was like a father figure type, not just for the club but the whole town really. What went on with me at Oldham, Gibson would never let happen to a player.”

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was bullying in the workplace pure and simple.  The plan from ALMO and the CEO was clearly to make Wheatz do things that would humiliate him and make him unhappy.  A senior player made to play with the boys, made to move away from his young family, isolated and kept separate from the other players.  The obvious plan was to make him tear up the contract they had signs with him in good faith just to save money.  (Normal employers would pay up the value of the contract if they want someone to leave)

 

The disappointing thing is that this was a corporate bullying. Owner, SD, first team coach, CEO and academy coach were all involved.  They all had their chance to say “no I’m having no part of this bullying.”  This owner has brought in a culture of bullying!

 

Sounds like the club Doctor stepped in to support Wheatz and has been gotten rid of as a result.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Pidge said:

This was bullying in the workplace pure and simple.  The plan from ALMO and the CEO was clearly to make Wheatz do things that would humiliate him and make him unhappy.  A senior player made to play with the boys, made to move away from his young family, isolated and kept separate from the other players.  The obvious plan was to make him tear up the contract they had signs with him in good faith just to save money.  (Normal employers would pay up the value of the contract if they want someone to leave)

 

The disappointing thing is that this was a corporate bullying. Owner, SD, first team coach, CEO and academy coach were all involved.  They all had their chance to say “no I’m having no part of this bullying.”  This owner has brought in a culture of bullying!

 

Sounds like the club Doctor stepped in to support Wheatz and has been gotten rid of as a result.  

He should have got support from the PFA. Why didn't they step in and take action against the club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Matt unfeatured this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...