Have Oldham Made the Right Move With the Board of Directors?

Changes at boardroom level are largely unnoticed by fans unless the incoming chief executive is a billionaire who likes spending money.

At Oldham in the past, a newcomer to the board would hardly merit a mention. However, with every statement and action from the club being monitored in minute detail, the changes that took place this week have once again triggered disbelief and ridicule.

A simple announcement of the changes was posted on the club website with Abdallah Lemsagam as Owner and Director, his brother Mohamed Lemsagam as Sporting Director and Barry Owen, Adam Morallee and Darren Ratcliffe as non-executive Directors.

It has long been claimed that the Lemsagam’s have been involved in interfering in the choosing of the team and, that was an accusation aimed by Paul Scholes after his departure. They deny it but with Mohamed Lemsagam as ‘Sporting Director’ and no manager in place, someone must be keeping an eye on potential signings and dealing with bids for George Edmundson – so it is a safe bet to assume it is ML.

The one oddity appears to be Adam Morallee who is a colourful character with a chequered past. He is certainly not a shadowy figure with an untraceable past, quite the opposite in fact. Morallee is easy to track down on social media as the manager of boxer David Haye. He gave what is widely described as a ‘cringeworthy’ speech prior to the Hayes/Bellow fight in 2018.

It is his involvement in the football world which will probably cause Oldham fans more sleepless nights however. He was Massimo Cellino’s lawyer during his takeover of Leeds United in 2014.

During his time at Leeds, he also represented Giuseppe Bellusci when he was accused of racist slurs against Cameron Jerome.

Cellino incase anyone was unaware, had a turbulent time at Leeds going through six managers in three years. Although Morallee wasn’t involved in some of Cellino’s wilder antics, it will still be seen as a controversial appointment.

Elsewhere on the board is Barry Owen who was Chairman of Trust Oldham for 12 years, and is widely distrusted by Oldham supporters for a number of reasons. He resigned during the club’s failed attempt to sign Ched Evans in 2015 but was co-opted back onto the board.

Whoever makes up the board at Oldham, their relevance and eligibility for the job will be measured by the way in which the team performs in League Two next season. That is an easy way of looking at it, but all that the fans want is a team which is able to compete adequately and push for promotion without the off-field distractions which marred the 18/19 campaign.

If the board can deliver on that hope, the Lemsagam’s can appoint whoever they like.