Oldham fans opinions have fallen into several key categories over the last 12 months and the divisions seem to be multiplying weekly.
The latest missive from club owner Abdallah Lemsagam has caused division when its intention was to heal some rifts. The different categories of fans seem to fall into:
The Eternally Optimistic
These supporters get most of their Latics news from the radio or newspapers and while they are obviously concerned about the future of the club, they are confident that whoever is in charge is doing it for the right reasons.
Blissfully unaware of the storms that rage on message boards, Facebook and Twitter, they are the lifeblood of small clubs and their lives revolve around Oldham Athletic as probably did the lives of their parents and grandparents. They are not to be pitied or described as ‘Happy Clappers’ are not stupid and they have as much right to an opinion as everyone else. They will welcome Lemsagam’s vision for the future.
The Silently Worried
If you’re a member of a message board but ‘lurk’ in the background rather than post on there you are among friends. Your views are not based on rumour and outright invention but carefully measured over years of watching the club.
Lemsagam’s announcement will soothe the silently worried somewhat, but they will need the reassurance of a few wins when the season starts to be won over properly. These people aren’t stupid either and shouldn’t be leapt upon if they offer an opinion that differs from the next group.
The Fiercely Opinionated
The Internet has a lot to answer for and giving a platform to all and sundry to spread lies, guesswork and unsubstantiated rumour is just part of its problem. Lemsagam’s vision for the club will be picked apart and largely ridiculed, despite it being just what has been asked for less than a week ago.
The keyboard warriors have been guilty of spreading rumours that have been little more than opinions shared over a pint, and the sad fact is that these stories are pounced on as being true. Anyone who asks for proof is met with a rebuff for having their head in the sand, and when the stories are proved to be untrue the original post is revisited and deleted.
Declarations that they have no intention of watching the team again occur daily. There are fewer shows of petulant behaviour in a nursery playground but as always, a run of decent form will change the mood on social media and signal a mass deletion of past messages.
Lemsagam’s words might be lost on these fans but they are not stupid either, and amongst the nonsense there exists the odd lone voice of reason which gives some measure of hope.
The Waste of Space
Hardly worthy of a mention are those who will never accept Lemsagam or anything he says because of his race. These people are the ones we don’t want at Boundary Park because their views are indeed stupid. Exceptionally so.