PTB Protest Update – 13/01/2022

Under normal circumstances, 24 hours in the life of a Latics fan is never dull and the preceding last few days have certainly been no different.

We were given the news on Monday that the OEC has had a restructure and Simon Blitz, Danny Gazal etc al had been removed as directors. While we don’t know what this means in it’s entirety but we will endeavour to find out more and report back in a timely fashion. Either way, it certainly feels like it could be a significant development.

On Tuesday we were given the news that the custodian of our club, Abdallah Lemsagam, has confirmed that the club is indeed up for sale and that he is speaking to ‘credible’ bidders. This is something that as a group, we have been pushing for, for a long period of time. We know that there are people willing to buy football clubs and you don’t have to look far around the North West region to see that is the case. It is refreshing that Mr Lemsagam has finally acknowledged that a change needs to happen for everyone to move on and for the club to prosper. The last 4 years have been a unmitigated disaster both on and off the pitch and significant damage has been caused to the club that we love so much. We still feel all of this could have been avoided if senior officials at the club would have listened to the concerns of supporters much earlier, rather than think that the level of discontent would just disappear. This ignorance now sees us fighting for our lives to stay in the football league and decisions made by the regime have left a trail of destruction that inevitably fans will have to pick up.

Once again following on from the reports made to the police on Tuesday regarding threats made we would like to reiterate that all threats and or abuse does is derail the hard work done by honest, law abiding supporters. We urge all supporters to be respectful at all times. Emotions may run high but making any form of threat and abuse should never be tolerated.

Our feelings at the current time are mixed, it is obviously music to our ears that the club is up for sale and we are obviously excited and optimistic about the future. As a group we have NEVER lost sight of the potential this club has. On the flip side, we have to remain grounded and realistic about where we are at this very point and look back over similar promises that have been made (but not kept) in the past. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball.

We therefore feel that as an independent supporters group, it is of the upmost importance to see this through to a conclusion. We have made excellent ground as a fanbase and we should not lose sight of that. Without the healthy and lawful pressure that fans (either collectively or individually) have put on the regime, we would not be in this position so for everyone that has penned an email, taken part or attended a protest, made a banner, offered a suggestion or wilfully spoken out about the desire for change and what this looks like, that statement was partly down to you.

As mentioned above, no deals have been done and we will be working, as we have been in more recent times, both independently and alongside OASF to ensure that this is brought to a successful conclusion. There are many complementary areas between us but both groups have very specific functions in how best to enforce change. We can assure you that dialogue is both constant and productive between the groups and the working relationship grows day by day in an effort to serve supporters of this club in the best way possible.

Given Saturdays game against Leyton Orient is now postponed we believe postponing our protest is the best course of action and will be done at a game later in the month or into February which would be better placed and it is our intention to see this through, with as much passion, if not more, as any other protest we have held to date.

There will no doubt be further correspondence from us in due course in relation to next steps, but for a short while let’s collectively enjoy a light at the end of the tunnel before getting back to the hard work of taking tangible steps towards a better future where this club can fulfil the potential we know it has and fans can be treated in the fashion that they deserve.

We have seen and read lots of comments and if you do have any suggestions over what happens next or have any queries you want answering, our door is always open.

Reclaim The Faith


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