Natalie Atkinson, the Latics' managing director, has been talking about the future now that the threat of administration has disappeared, since the pay-off to Brass Bank Ltd.
She said, “The priority has always been for everyone here to make sure there will be a club to come back to at the start of the 2020/21 season. The debenture is now paid off though, thanks to Abdallah, and that means we can all move forward now. That threat of administration is no longer hanging over the football club, nobody wanted that. Abdallah doesn't want that, neither do the players, staff, the fans of course. That's all dealt with now, so this is a fresh start. I've been saying to people that this is a re-set for the football club now. We've re-set behind the scenes, on the pitch, and we can re-set a whole lot of things we've all been doing. We can come back next season in a different way. Particularly all of our staff can come back with a refresh, a different way of working, and I suppose a renewed confidence in what we all want to do as a team. It's all really positive. Through all of this I've been trying to see solutions, and I believe we will come out of it with a positive outcome.”
“Yes, football clubs across the land will have been looking at how they can reduce costs and be more efficient, but for me that is the big positive we can take out of this awful situation. We will come back organised, efficient and stronger in terms of off the field activities. All our staff now feel empowered to do the work we need them to do. For football, we'll start to see over the next few weeks some indication as to when the new season might start. I am hearing it could round about the middle of September. Whether that's with crowds I don't know, whether it's with a percentage of crowds, we're just not sure yet. A return to training could potentially see the players back on August 1st, but we've had guidance yet from the EFL. Those are dates that have been indicated to us, but again it'll all be dependent on how it goes over the next few weeks with the new reduced social distancing measures. Getting to the end of June will prove something of a milestone for us. At the moment everyone apart from the groundsman and myself are furloughed, so during July we'll look at getting the ground ready, the training facilities ready for when the players return. Saying that, we will still need to minimise risk of course, risk of players and staff engaging as we'll need to protect everybody.”