Relegation Protest

We can’t believe that we are even writing these words, but following our relegation from the English Football League, we feel it necessary to address the situation and what happens next.

Over the course of the last 2 and a half years, Push The Boundary have attempted to raise red flags and plead with the club to listen to the concerns of supporters. Initially we gave the owner, via the canvassing of the fanbase, every opportunity to engage and turn (what we saw as) an inevitable conclusion to his ownership into something more positive. He chose to ignore us. Time and time again. In the end we felt we had no other option to turn against him.

Everything we did, we did with the very best intentions and we had tried various initiatives to make the owner stand up, listen and take responsibility for his actions. This included, in more recent months, stepping backwards to allow John Sheridan to concentrate all his efforts on keeping us up. We encouraged people to attend games, which was a huge change in stance, but given the landscape at the time (AL admitting he wanted to sell the club) and the fact that a club legend had come back to help us out, we wanted to give us the best chance of survival. We make decisions based on fan feeling at the time, and that felt like the right thing to do. We stand by this and Shez is potentially the only person that could have prompted this change in stance.

As fans today, we are hurting beyond belief. This club has been our life for decades. We got together as a group because we wanted to try and change our course and that if the worst happened, we could say that we did everything we could. We know we are there to be shot at and we accepted that from day one. What we can say is that we tirelessly fought to stop this from happening.

We want to place on record our gratitude to John Sheridan for piling all his efforts into keeping us up, and despite this not happening, his legend status at this football club will ALWAYS remain.

We will NOT allow Abdallah and the board/advisors to make a u-turn on their decision to sell the club. It is more important now than it ever was. This outcome was inevitable under their ‘leadership’. The treatment of players, fans, staff, sponsors, the mismanagement of the North Stand, their attempts to ban supporters, to withhold rent payments and wages. The finger of blame solely and firmly points at the current custodians who are not fit to run our club. Something they have proven time and time again. Fans can be expected to do no more and have already endured far too much.

Now that our fate is confirmed, that we will start next season in the National League, we feel it’s right to step up the pressure on Abdallah Lemsagam and the remaining board to sell the club and move on. This will start with a peaceful protest prior to the final home game of the season against Crawley. The clear intention of this protest is to let the owner know that he needs to go and that this situation is all of his own making. There will be certain quarters who will always look to point the finger of blame whenever possible so let’s make sure the same behaviour is applied from the outside the ground protests previously held. It is yet unclear if this game will be played behind closed doors, but in the event of this, the protest will still take place before the game and more detailed plans will be announced in due course.

In recent weeks, it has been made abundantly clear that there are people willing to buy the club. This is undeniable and it’s time for Abdallah to start listening to offers for what the club is worth, which is considerably less than when he took the club on. He bought us as a lower/mid-table league 1 club and he looks to sell us as a non-league club. He does not hold the cards when trying to offload and negotiate. It can now only be about finding the right person and this is something we are striving to do, alongside OASF.

We are concerned that the ongoing litigation regarding the North Stand will prove to be an obstacle for any new owner. Therefore, the timing of this is preventing any potential sale and only adds an extra layer of complexity to an already complex situation. Based on research that we have conducted, we feel that any benefit of this action will be minimal in the long term and that the chances of the North Stand being ‘returned’ to the club are very slim.

We would encourage you to join us on the last day of the season to make our voices heard, to let Abdallah know what the last four years have done to us and to show him that as fans, we DO NOT support him and the pressure will intensify until he sells the club.

Abdallah Lemsagam, the blood of this club is on your hands.

Reclaim The Faith

Push The Boundary