Blitz speaks out

Last updated : 19 January 2004 By Dave Moore
Simon Blitz has been explaining how his dream of owning a football club is finally coming true after bringing the Latics back from the brink of bankruptcy. Blitz is a Chelsea fan but the Latics are unlikely to be following suit with the big money. Still not technically out of administration, his new club will be known as Oldham Athletic Football Club (2004) Ltd. His long time pals Simon Corney and Danny Gazal are fellow directors and the new management team are hoping, with the help of the supporters, to boost crowd levels up to an average of 9,000 to help turn the Latics into a successful First Division club.

One of the first jobs will be to appoint a successor to Iain Dowie who recently left to join Crystal Palace. Blitz said, “There will still be exciting times ahead. We can't afford to get it wrong. It will be a thorough process and he will have to fit my bill. We have done our research and been in touch with people with more experience than us and who know what is needed. We know what we are looking for and we must get the right man. I do know that whoever the new manager is, it is not going to please everybody. There will be critics. But I will put my money where my mouth is. It is a vital appointment and a decision I will not be afraid to make. I won't be held to ransom but, believe me when I say that we are going to take this club forward.”

“We have talked about owning a football club for 10 years or so, and we are not going to rush into decisions which are going to be vital for the future. It will be a business run on a firm financial footing and we will definitely not be putting the cart before the horse. I am not in this for my own ego and I can't afford to experiment with Oldham Athletic.”

The first target will be to ensure that Athletic maintain their Second Division status and, although no promises were given, it is hoped that the Latics will be promoted within three years. When quizzed about an eventual return to the Premiership Blitz commented, “That's another dream but I would not risk the future of Oldham Athletic just to get there. But never say never.”