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02 Mar 2011 06:04:06

Meet the fans forum

Chairman Simon Corney lays it on the line with honest answers The Latics held a question and answer fan's forum in Shaw on Monday evening. Chairman Simon Corney remains committed to finding a new ground for the Latics but admitted that the proposed move to Failsworth is highly unlikely but also remains convinced that a new stadium is the only option to maintain the long-term future of the club. He told supporters that he would do everything in his power to ensure that the club is not forced into administration.He said, “Boundary Park has been the home of the club for over 100 years and is an old, decaying ground. Look at the stands and the toilets and it is a horrible experience and doesn't encourage people, especially youngsters, to come along. It is not feasible to stay unless somebody is prepared to come in and throw unlimited resources at it - and that is not going to happen. Look at the clubs which have built new stadiums and the majority have done well. Chesterfield, for example, have added between three and four thousand to their gates following their move. The future is a new stadium where we can attract youth and fans can watch football is a pleasant environment where they can have a drink and play video games and not simply arrive at 2.59pm and leave at 4.50pm or 4.20pm some weeks! We will continue to lose several hundred season-ticket holders each year until we reach a situation when we have about 500 in 10 years' time. Gradually we will lose fans and our crowds will fall below 2,000 and you cannot sustain League One football with those numbers. It is hard enough today with between 3,000 and 3,500 hard-core fans. We didn't come here to stand still, but move forward and we need a new stadium to have a future. I would love to stay at Boundary Park which is the true home of football in Oldham and I accept to go elsewhere would be painful. I know there are people against moving, though there a lot for it. And though it is not popular with everybody, we have to do what is best for the club.”“We are looking at alternative places to play, but will have to decide quickly as the new season kicks off in six months. There is every chance we will still be at Boundary Park next season, but we cannot stay there indefinitely in its current state. Maybe we can stay and eke out another year, but the future has to be a new stadium.”“We have run out of funds, but will do everything we can to get through this season. The players' wages have been paid late. It is going to be hard every month until the end of the season, but we will find a way of doing it. We have lots of bills to pay and there is no light at the end of the tunnel and at times it is difficult to stay motivated. I have always maintained I won't put the club into administration unless it is a last resort. If I had been going to, I would have done it by now. I don't think we will go into administration, though I cannot promise that faithfully and it wouldn't be through a lack of effort on our part. I cannot afford to keep losing £600,000 to £800,000 each year, but if we cut our budget to lose £200,000 or may be break even we would be fighting relegation. There are teams in League Two and the Conference with money to spend and before you know it we could be in the same position as Stockport County who not long ago were in the Championship. Don't think what has happened to them can't happen to us - it can!”“There may be some things which may happen in the next few weeks. I have ideas for possible sites, but I am not sure whether they are deliverable. You have probably heard about five possible sites for a new stadium, but there have probably been another 20/25 we have looked at. We have probably had 50, 60 or may be 70 different meetings to discuss these sites and things such as transport links. I have only been here seven years, but I know every inch of Oldham and the town better than people who have lived here their entire lives. There are no sites available in Oldham and Failsworth would have been the only which would have made sense.”“Simon Blitz and Danny Gazal became disillusioned last year because of the football played, the fact we lost more money than in any other year since we took over the club and also the fiasco with Oldham Council. I still believe the situation can be be rescued which is why I am still here, though it is getting harder all the time.”


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