Tag Archives: Abdallah Lemsagam

Examining Oldham Athletic’s 19/20 League Two Opponents: Swindon Town and Walsall

The Football Manc Cave continues the definitive guide to the 19/20 League Two season for Oldham Athletic supporters in our final round-up.

Swindon Town

Richie (not my fault) Wellens may well be the first manager to get the push this season given that Swindon fans think he’s pretty dire. Oldham supporters could have told them that a long time ago.

Nickname: Robins (because of their red kit – uninspired)

Sponsor: ‘Imagine Cruising’ which is perhaps a suggestion of what to do rather than watch Swindon.

Star Supporter: Diana Dors

Club Mascot: Eeyore

Half Time Entertainment: Group Therapy

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: They might do just to wind up Richie Wellens

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Lee Power who the fans don’t think much of. Appointed Wellens so wins the Maddest Chairman Title. 10/10

One to Watch: Michael Doughty. Turned down a move to League One and signed on for two more years with Swindon. Needs help.

Style Of Play: Dour and depressing

Speciality Pie Flavour: Something bland and unappetising. The pie kiosk people won’t understand an Oldham accent anyway.

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1200 in an adequate stand.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Richie’s favourite ‘Heaven knows I’m miserable now’              

End of Season Prediction: 21st (10 points deducted for having a miserable so and so as a manager)

Walsall

The best view of Walsall’s ground is out of the rear window of your car as you travel south on the M6.

Nickname: The Traffic Cones

Sponsor: The Highways Agency

Star Supporter: Lenny Henry probably

Club Mascot: Ronnie the roadblock

Half Time Entertainment: Trying to understand what the announcer is saying.

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Doubtful as most of them will be stuck in a traffic jam near Stoke.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Jeff Bonser who charges the club for the use of the stadium. Needless to say, the Walsall fans aren’t keen. 5/10

One to Watch: Stuart Sinclair who looks like he’s just been rescued after 10 years from a remote island.

Style Of Play: Stop, start, stop, start

Speciality Pie Flavour: If you can get anybody at the Bank’s Stadium to understand a word you’re saying then good luck as regards the pie contents.

Away End Capacity and Condition: 2000 but a few pillars in the way.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Autobahn- Kraftwerk

End of Season Prediction:

And finally…….

Oldham Athletic

If the club and some of its doom obsessed supporters can agree on something for more than five minutes they may do everyone a favour and we can get on with competing in League Two this season.

Nickname: The Latics (there is another side with the same name. Ignore them)

Sponsor: ACAS

Star Supporter: Inspiral Carpets

Club Mascot: Chaddy the Owl

Half Time Entertainment: Croquet

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Looking at the fixtures it seems unlikely that there will be a full house at Boundary Park this season.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Tempting though it might be to score AL highly, the jury is still out on his attempts to develop a Moroccan/French hybrid side. He will ultimately be judged on results, not the circus that appears to be in full swing behind the scenes. 8/10

One to Watch: Urko Vera. If ever there was a player who needed to show his critics what he’s made of it’s our Urko.

Style Of Play: French Division Three standard spliced with an occasional rock, paper scissors approach to tactics.

Speciality Pie Flavour: Humble

Away End Capacity and Condition: It’s been a long time since Oldham fans have seen the ground filled to its 13,500 capacity and unless there is an FA Cup 3rd round game against decent opposition, the empty spaces are going to remain.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Given recent events, it’s likely to be “We don’t know what we’re doing”            

End of Season Prediction: 1st of course!

Is the latest drama from Oldham Athletic, Lemsagam’s last stand?

With just over two weeks to go till the start of the new season, Oldham Athletic have been rocked by another news story that has nothing to do with the team.

Supporters hoping to sit in the North Stand for the friendly games against Rochdale this weekend and Bolton the week after, have been told that the stand will be closed due to ‘unreasonable commercial terms’ from the people who own the stand.

For those Oldham fans who get their information about the club away from social media and are not privy to the myriad of untruths, half-truths and blind speculation that exists online. The news that any part of the ground is not owned by the club may seem ludicrous.

However, at Oldham anything is possible and the North Stand which was built with funding from Oldham Council. Remains unfinished to this day and was not part of the deal which saw Abdallah Lemsagam take over the club.

Brassbank Ltd

Instead, the stand is owned by Brassbank Ltd who lease it back to the club. Two of the directors of Brassbank are Simon Blitz and Daniel Gazal who along with Simon Corney were previous joint owners of the club.

Having part of a football ground still owned by a person or persons who have no current affinity with the club, reeks of poor financial planning at the very least. One would have thought that such a major detail, would have been one that Lemsagam would have ironed out before he opened his chequebook.

It transpires however that this is not an unusual occurrence. Walsall Chairman Jeff Bonser owns the club himself, but the freehold titles of the stadium are held by Suffolk Life – a pension firm of which Jeff, his wife, his brother and his brother’s wife are beneficiaries.

Walsall Football Club then pays rent to the pension firm to play at the Banks’ Stadium each year.

There was hope however as far as the situation at Boundary Park was concerned. In February this year Trust Oldham announced that they had been invited by a fan-led group (FLG) to join talks with Brassbank to purchase the stadium.

A month later, Trust Oldham announced that a deal has been agreed to purchase the freehold of the stadium, the North Stand in its entirety and the car parking space. The FLG also announced that part of their purchase agreement was to take over the operation of the Oldham Event Centre, which is an event catering business based in the North Stand.

Noises were also made about completing the 2nd floor and other developments within the North Stand, and offering fans the chance to become co-owners through shares. Likely in the form of both equity and/or investment bonds.

This all sounded incredibly positive of course. however, there was one minor fly in the ointment in that no one knew who the FLG was back in February and still don’t.

Oldham public meeting

Supporters will have to wait till the 27th July to find out what vision the FLG has for the club at a public meeting.

Meanwhile, the club statement regarding the ‘unreasonable commercial terms’ put paid to the FLG opening a bar in the hospitality area of the North Stand before the Rochdale game.

Their response was to point out that they had contacted the club to discuss a service level agreement for the coming season but had been ignored. The increase in costs amounted to 4%.

Consequently, the club now has several factions all competing to be seen as either the saviours of the club or the ones dragging it into an abyss.

Talk of moving the club away from Boundary Park to frustrate the FLG into complying with whatever would bring a solution to the situation has now, become a hot topic despite there being no indication of intent to do so.

It is the last thing the club and its supporters need at the moment, and the situation is only going to get worse.

Expecting Lemsagam to step away from his ‘project’ is a big ask however and unless the FLG has been backed with the sort of money needed to take Lemsagam on, they are doomed to failure.

Will Paul Murray’s return to Oldham Athletic be third time lucky?

On the whole, football fans are always pleased to see an experienced ex-player return to the club in a coaching capacity. Therefore the return of Paul Murray to Oldham Athletic has been greeted positively.

Murray was part of the side who played under Iain Dowie and John Sheridan in 2004/5 which included Calvin Zola, David Eyres and Chris Killen. Although the club had shown signs of challenging for promotion via the playoffs in 2002/03. The momentum had not been maintained despite the inclusion in the side of quality midfield players like Murray.

Like many players nearing the end of their careers, Murray moved around several lower league clubs such as Hartlepool, Carlisle and Shrewsbury and also had a spell at Gretna who were liquidated as a club in 2008.

He had a short spell at Hartlepool as manager but returned to Boundary Park as an assistant to Lee Johnson in 2014.

Murray now returns for his third spell with the club as Academy manager and has a vital role to play, given the importance owner Abdallah Lemsagam has put on developing the club’s young players. With George Edmundson fetching a fee of £700,000 recently. It is vital that Oldham bring their Academy players into the first-team squad and cash in when the time is right.

Much has been said about the future of the Academy at Boundary Park, but it must surely be clear that there are no plans to scrap it as was rumoured. However, Murray may well find himself linked to other roles at the club before long. With last season showing that anybody can end up being a coach at the club at the drop of a hat.

Oldham fans are already looking for odds on Paul getting that position before long.

‘Have I actually just booked and paid for Morocco away in a pointless preseason game? Yes, yes I have’ Oldham Athletic fans looking to take over Morocco

Oldham’s pre-season preparations usually involve trips to local non-league sides, but they are heading much further afield in the next few weeks.

Owner Abdallah Lemsagam has organised a 10-day training camp in his home country of Morocco, culminating in a friendly game with Raja Casablanca on Sunday 14th July.

It is not unusual for clubs to take a squad to Europe or further afield as part of pre-season training. However, Oldham has tended towards the Isle of Man, Scotland and a break from tradition with a trip to Lloret de Mar about 50 years ago.

They did win a trip to the Seychelles in the early ’90s for being the club with the best disciplinary record in the Premier League. Striker Ian Olney spoiled the trip somewhat, by elbowing one of the Seychelles team in the face in the first five minutes of the ‘friendly’ game organised by the islands football association. They must have been wondering what they’d let themselves in for.

The Moroccan trip came out of the blue and has given Latics fans very little time to decide whether they are going to make the trip or not. For some, it’s a no brainer:

The club is running a three-day trip out to Agadir for the game, and given that Moroccan football doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the UK, Latics fans will probably have been searching the net to find out more about Raja Casablanca and their fans.

What they will have found is a passionate bunch of supporters, who managed to sell out their 70,000 capacity Stade Mohamed V on 5 occasions last season. The game will take place at the 45,000 capacity Stade Adrar however where Latics will be based.

Moroccan football appears to be everything UK football isn’t with choreographed chanting, massed banks of supporters in a huge stand, flares, smoke bombs and general madness. It looks fantastic.

For Latics supporters and players used to the library like atmosphere of Boundary Park, it will no doubt be an amazing experience if not a little intimidating to say the least.

Oldham Athletic’s Edmundson on the brink of departure to Rangers while Lemsagam receives both plaudits & critics

The saga surrounding the transfer of George Edmundson appears to be nearing its end.

According to reports north of the border, Glasgow Rangers have beaten off competition from Peterborough and Portsmouth to sign the promising young defender.

It brings to an end several weeks of thrust and counter-thrust between Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam and Rangers, who were told the player would cost them far more than they offered.

At one point, Rangers appeared to have lost interest. However, the insistence of AL that he was not going to back down on his valuation assured that Oldham got the fee they asked for.

It was an attitude that has gone done well with some supporters.

Along the way, however, AL has apparently upset the Peterborough Chairman Darragh MacAnthony. He took to Twitter to complain at length over the transfer dealings, despite it being described by many as normal transfer activity.

It seems that AL can successfully upset people away from Boundary Park as well. He may well have gone some way to mending rifts by getting what is a very good price for George.

Some supporters are obviously impressed.

It is always sad to lose a decent player like Edmundson. However, his chances of career success are far better with Rangers than they are with Peterborough, and their petulant Chairman.

Are Oldham Athletic Fans Prepared For The French Invasion?

There isn’t much news that could be described as unbelievable when you’re talking about Oldham Athletic. However, that doesn’t stop the rumour mongers casting their lines and waiting for a bite.

The latest one apparently backed up by someone who claims they are scouting for the club, is that ex-Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh has been coaxed out of retirement at 35 to turn out for Latics in League Two next season. As rumours go, it had a degree of believability given that the player has both Moroccan and French citizenship, but a player who hasn’t kicked a ball since February 2016 is pushing the imagination a little too far.

It is not beyond belief however to expect an influx of French players. Given the imminent arrival of new coach Laurent Banide or, ones who are connected with Abdallah Lemsagam’s Sport2jlt company based in Dubai.

There are more French players than you can shake a baguette at who find themselves without a club, having failed to get a contract extension and many ends their playing careers out in Dubai or Saudi Arabia. It is therefore fairly obvious that any incoming players from that area aren’t going to be fresh-faced youngsters.

Right midfielder Billy Ketkeophomphone is a free agent having been released by Auxerre, presumably because they didn’t have a shirt wide enough for his name. However, at 29 he may still have a season left in him, despite his previous problems with injury.

On the books of Sport2jlt is Brazilian forward Wanderley or Wanderley Santos Monteiro Júnior to his mates. The 30-year-old striker had an impressive record in the UAE Gulf League, scoring 36 goals in 58 appearances. There is little knowledge of what the standard is like out in the UAE, and how it compares with League Two.

There has been one rumour surrounding a player who isn’t based in Angers or Abu Dhabi, and that is the very un-French sounding Billy Clarke who has been released by Bradford City. He spent a large part of last season out with a cruciate ligament rupture, but the 31-year-old attacking midfielder might be tempted to stay in the region despite the interest shown from Exeter City.

Without a doubt, there will be further rumours concerning new signings as the start of the season approaches. Nevertheless, as with the new coach, whether they are well known or not cannot be guaranteed. Plans for next season certainly need to be stepped up a gear for as the French say: ‘Qui n’avance pas, recule’.

Here’s Two Reason’s Why Oldham Athletic Fan’s Should Be Excited By The Thierry Henry Backed Binade

The Latics have been without a manager since Paul Scholes left back in March but they may have found their answer in Laurent Banide. 

Oldham fans found out yesterday that the Frenchman has signed a one year deal with the club, following Pete Wild’s temporary stint and this could be exciting if the 51-year-old can work his magic. Thierry Henry has previously backed Banide stating that he was one of the most influential coaches in his playing career. This has got to be promising for Oldham and their fans.

Henry’s backing aside, what else can he bring to the club? 

Experience 

Laurent has spent the last decade managing various clubs in the Middle East. Just a few include Monaco, Al-Nast, Al-Dhafra and Al Orobah. It’s not just managing that he’s been a part of, he’s also been a big part of a lot of clubs coaching staff and with him playing such a big part, he’s now been managing since 1990.

The long list of clubs year after year may be a worry that he hasn’t been able to stay at a club for a long period of time, although if he does well in this deal, he could be tempted to stay with Oldham. 

Chairman’s Backing 

Once the deal was done, Oldham chairman, Abdallah Lemsagam said he was delighted to welcome the Frenchman and, that he was looking forward to working with him in the 2019/20 campaign. He believes he has chosen the right man to take his club forward, and if he can deliver this would mean more money to invest in players and transfers, better results and hopefully climbing the league. 

‘Laurent Banide’s Blue & White Army’ ‘This Will Go Badly’ Oldham Athletic Announce New Manager Which Leaves Fans Divided

The news that former Monaco manager Laurent Banide has stepped into the hot seat at Boundary Park has surprised a number of people, probably because he was nowhere in the betting for the job.

The Frenchman has been tempted to Boundary Park by owner Abdallah Lemsagam, despite the post being billed as something of a poisoned chalice in the last few years.

Given Banide’s recent appointments in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait it is not difficult to see where Moroccan Lemsagam has been looking to find the new coach.

When the news broke, people were quick to point out the number of jobs he’s had.

The club was obviously delighted to get their man as the press release stated:

Oldham announce Laurent Binade

‘Oldham Athletic are delighted to announce that the club have appointed Laurent Banide as Head Coach on a one-year deal.

The 51-year-old has managerial experience abroad which includes stints at AS Monaco, Al Nasr and Al-Orobah FC.

Most recently, Banide was in charge at Umm Salal SC in Qatar, before leaving in 2018.

Laurent Banide enjoyed a playing career at AS Monaco, Marseille and Strasbourg before moving into a coaching role with Monaco in 1993 where he spent 12 years before being made First Team manager.

Banide will officially start his reign in charge on July 1st, 2019 when the players report back for pre-season training.

Chairman Abdallah Lemsagam said; “I’m delighted to welcome Laurent to Oldham Athletic.

“He brings a lot of experience to this club and I’m looking forward to working alongside him the 2019/20 campaign.

“I believe Laurent is a fantastic coach and is the right man to take this club forward going into the new season.”

An official interview with the new Head Coach will be released in due course.

Welcome to the club Laurent!

Banide becomes Oldham’s first foreign coach and has already divided opinion:

It is obvious that Banide will need to win over the supporters pretty quickly, and part of that process will involve bringing players in to bolster what is at present a very threadbare squad. However, until then, the best Oldham fans can hope for is a period of stability at the club. Bien accueillir Laurent!

Are Oldham Athletic Looking To The Continent For Their Next Coach

A decision on who might be installed in the managerial hot seat for the coming season took a new twist recently, with reports that owner Abdallah Lemsagam might be looking at candidates outside of the UK.

Three of the names mentioned are:

Pablo Correa

It is no secret that AL has contacts in Europe but whether they extend to being close to former Auxerre manager Pablo Correa remains to be seen. Correa was in the frame for the Latics post at the same time as Paul Scholes but it is unknown if he was interviewed at the time.

The 52-year-old Uruguayan is a former forward who spent most of his playing career in his home country, before moving to France where he managed 2nd tier teams Nancy and Auxerre before finding himself out of work in March this year. He is not currently favourite for the post but he does have the managerial experience that many Latics fans believe is vital.

Andries Jonker

The former Wolfsburg coach is high on the list of current favourites. He is currently without a post and, has a great deal of experience having been an assistant manager at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and head of the soccer school at Arsenal.

The 56-year-old Dutchman would represent something of a coup for Athletic if he did arrive here, however, there has been no indication that he has shown an interest or been approached.

Paco Herrera

The current favourite for the job is Spaniard Paco Herrera who has held a number of posts in Spanish football and, was also ‘Chief Analyst’ with Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

He hasn’t lasted more than half a season at any of his last three posts at Sporting Gijon and Las Palmas in Spain and Aris Salonika in Greece, so why he is favourite to arrive at Boundary Park is something of a mystery.

There was no surprise surrounding the appointment of Paul Scholes as it was football’s worst kept secret, but it looks like speculation as to who will step into the Oldham hot seat may remain up in the air for the time being despite the calls for an appointment to be made soon.

Oldham Athletic Fans Yearly Panic About A Lack Of Signings Starts A Month Early

There’s something that happens every year when the football season ends – the players tend to go on holiday.

This is obviously a situation that many fans find difficult to accept but they may have a point. After all, who has ever seen Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane taking advantage of happy hour in the bar of the Rosamar Beach and Spa Hotel in Tenerife, or struggling to inflate a lilo on the beach in Benidorm? Exactly.

If a club hasn’t made significant numbers of signings by the time the fixtures are out then the season can be pretty much written off according to some. Oldham have secured the services of Alex Iacovitti and Gevaro Nepomuceno and, signed 10 youngsters up for the Academy but for some that aren’t good enough with the 19/20 season just 59 days away.

There was an uproar from certain quarters when Jose Baxter and Peter Clarke were released at the end of the season. It was argued that they would be snapped up immediately by our rivals, and return to Boundary Park to wreak havoc on the club for our short-sightedness in releasing them.

Of course, they might well do but at present, neither have a new club or look like getting one…or they could be on holiday.

It is true that some clubs like Northampton have made a number of signings, but with the transfer of George Edmundson still up in the air. Waiting to see how much money we might have to spend, before diving in for the likes of ex Macclesfield forward (Harry Smith) with a staggering 8 goals last season seems perfectly sensible.

There is also a myth that all the decent players will get ‘snapped up’ and we’ll be left with the bottom of the barrel. However, it is a fact that given the size of some Premier League and Championship squads, loan signings often do not surface until the season has started. Both Sam Surridge and Callum Lang didn’t join the club till late July last year.

It would improve the atmosphere that exists at present if the club could decide who their new coach will be, but until then, the more impatient of Oldham’s supporters are doing their blood pressure no favours as the day’s tick by.

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