The 2017-18 season was supposed to be the year when an exotic Moroccan Took over the ownership from Simon Corney and brought back Oldham Athletic Glory days.
But, the Majority shareholder turned out to be a former football agent named Abdallah Lemsagam. In the initial stages, He seemed like a man who could bring stability back to Oldham Athletic.
He renamed SportsDirect.com Park as Boundary Park which was a feel-good moment for most fans. But, they weren’t able to survive the Relegation that season.
This was a perception that most fans had for the most part of that season. But, behind the scenes, it was a whole other story.
It was also revealed that Abdallah Lemsagam had paid bills for the whole season even before taking over the club in January. Players were receiving wages late just like old administration days.
But unlike the previous administration, Abdallah Lemsagam had an interest in getting involved in the management of the squad. Ousmane Fane was asked to stay away because of Abdallah Lemsagam felt he had “disciplinary issues”.
There are also reports that he entered the dressing room during the half time and that he asked Richie Wellens (manager at that time) to pick certain players over others. The dressing room was also unhappy because they were being paid late.
Abdallah Lemsagam also didn’t know the meaning of budgets and raised the wage bill from £1.4m to £2.4m while revenue remained mostly the same. Which is never a good sign for clubs financial stability of the club.
2018-19 Off the field Issues
Even before Pre-Season began Richie Wellens, was removed from the post and Frankie Bunn was brought in. The news was received warmly by the fans as he was a club legend.
Abdallah Lemsagam also announced the clubs North Stand( Owned at the time by Mark Moisley) will be named after Joe Royle, This was also good news for the fans and they have also brought in European talent to the club, this gave the feeling that Abdallah Lemsagam was building his support in the dressing room.
If the Owner had backing from the dressing room there is no doubt in saying that the following instances would not have happened.
But players didn’t like the way Abdallah Lemsagam behaved around them and so the story from 2017-18 season continued but this time it was at a much higher level than last season.
Craig Davies was sold to Mansfield Town just 6 months after rejecting an offer from Coventry City. This led to him hitting out at the owner by saying
“With all the good at the club I wish it well in an unclear future because I can honestly say in the 14 years I’ve been a professional footballer I’ve never worked for someone that thinks it’s acceptable to treat his staff and players in such a bad way”
Anthony Gerrard was sacked for posting a message relating to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in a player group chat. which was understandable.
But Jack Byrne, One of the highly rated young Irish midfielder was sacked because of his online behavior, where he was critical of the way club was being run.
Andy Rhodes(Bunn’s Assistant) was also sacked for no apparent reason but “for the good of the club” without any knowledge of Frankie Bunn.
With Club sitting in 12th position, Frankie Bunn(allegedly over email) was sacked following 6-0 Boxing Day hammering at Carlisle United. But what followed could have been easily the best thing to happen to Abdallah Lemsagam and Oldham Athletic.
Manchester United, England Legend, Paul Scholes took control of his boyhood team Oldham Athletic. Which meant there is a lot of positive hype surrounding the Lancashire club.
But just after 31 days, he resigned with the club sitting at 14th position claiming he was misled over the amount of control he would be allowed in club management and that Abdallah Lemsagam was asking him to bench some senior players.
Pete Wild was promoted from the academy to lead Latics and stabilized the club and helped them finish the season in 14th position.
But, he resigned at the end of the season “due to personal reasons” and Laurent Banide was brought in to manage the squad.
Two well-established defenders Rob Hunt, George Edmundson have left the club to join Swindon Town, Rangers respectively in summer.
On a positive note, a fan-led group brought the corporate facilities in the Joe Royle Stand. That means work in the unfinished 2nd floor can now continue.
Let’s hope that Abdallah Lemsagam has learned his lesson and it is all on and upwards from here for the club.
Oldham Athletic Manager
Laurent Banide is the current manager of Oldham Athletic FC. He is a former Monaco manager, who has been in management since 1990.
After the Monaco role, he has spent most of his management career in the Middle East. Oldham Athletic job will be his first job ever in England.
Frenchman has also played for Monaco and Olympique de Marseille during his playing career.
2019-20 Oldham Athletic New Signings
The following player have joined Latics this summer
Zak mills is a 6 foot, 27-Year-Old versatile defender who usually plays at Right Back position.
He didn’t have a dream start to his career as he had to play six years of non-League football before making a move into Football League with Grimsby Town where he spent two years and made 66 appearances in League Two.
Last season he joined Morecambe FC and was one of the fan favorites at the club. He made 40 appearances for the club and scored one goal while setting up 4 more.
He has a good long throw which can turn many throw-ins into set-piece situations. He is a hardworking nature will undoubtedly make him a fan favorite at Boundary Stadium.
Alex Iacovitti is one of the highly rated prospects to come out of Nottingham Forest Academy. The 21-Year-Old is a Scottish U-21 international Left Back who can also play at Center back.
He is a Left Footed player who has a good Jumping reach with his 6 Foot 3 inches frame. He spent the second half of last season on loan with Oldham Athletic as many of the Latics fans will remember.
He didn’t have a good start to the loan spell as he was benched for the first 9 games of the loan spell but became a regular for the last nine games.
Gary Woods is a 28-Year-Old defender who was a product of Manchester United academy. He made 215 appearances for various clubs in his 9-Year pro career.
He has spent the last 4 seasons with the Sottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical and helped them in maintaining a Premiership status.
Last year he managed 8 Clean sheets from 35 appearances with Scottish club and let in 62 goals.
Oldham Athletic 2019-20 Away Journey
Total Away miles Oldham Athletic fans have to travel this season is 3149 which means they have to travel an average of 136.9 miles per game.
The Longest away game for them this season will be Plymouth Argyle. For that game alone they have to cover 292 miles.
Oldham Athletic 2019-20 Odds
Bookmakers are predicting a mid-table finish for Oldham Athletic.
Oldham Athletic 2019-20 Fixtures
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