The most recently formed independent fans group, Push The Boundary, are planning to meet with the Fan Led Group to discuss where they currently stand with their current plans to purchase the stadium. They have issued the following statement after the FLG Meeting on 25th November 2019:
The current impasse between the club and the OEC regarding the use of the North Stand needs to sorted out to maximise the revenue within the club. We are aware how 1 week can turn to 2 weeks, 2 weeks can turn to 3 weeks and as a group we don’t want this to happen. As a result, we took the opportunity at very short notice to attend this meeting so we could report back to fans at the nearest given opportunity. A big thank you to all who submitted questions, we took note of them all and put them to the group and we hope you find this interesting and informative. There was an overlap with a few questions so if you don’t see your question on the list below, it is because we felt it had been picked up and answered as part of another question that had been submitted. We want to make it clear that these minutes have been produced from our own notes taken on the evening.
As always with the group and anything we post, if you have any queries over anything you read, please feel free to contact us. I guarantee that we read all comments.
PTB / FLG Meeting – 25/11/2019
✓ Does the FLG have the capability to takeover the club if Abdallah pulls out or is forced to sell?
As it stands the plan is to secure the stadium. There is absolutely no plan or desire to take over the club
✓ What is your overall aim and is there a timescale as all the rumours and in-fighting with our current owner (who I think is the biggest problem) are killing the club.
The overall aim is to secure the stadium so that this club can play at the stadium for the next 100 years. We also want to ensure that the club has the maximum funds possible to invest within the football club as a result of maximising the potential of the North Stand.
✓ Current state of play regarding suggested purchase of shares over a month ago and status of said shares
The FLG have an agreement in place to purchase the shares after they were approached by a third party. The current situation is that it is with solicitors. There are 2 reasons why this has been delayed. Firstly the Solicitor for the vendor has been off ill and secondly following the recent share issue by the club, they have to check the issuing of those shares was correct and this has therefore delayed the finalising of the deal.
✓ When will the FLG reveal who they really are, plans for club, stadium, surrounding land etc should they get involved in the club
The full plans were released on 31st July 2019 and there has been no further amendment to those plans since that date. These plans are in the public domain. There are legitimate business reasons why there are people who have not been named and while frustrating, we want people to respect that, but we can confirm that the parties in the background are all Oldham Athletic fans and they are looking to contribute substantial funds (and we are talking up to and in excess of £100k). None of these people have ANY ulterior motive to this investment. Some people simply don’t want any limelight that comes with donating money to the Purchase of the stadium.
As long as we (FLG) are involved in this purchase, there will be nothing built on the footprint of Boundary Park. We want to see football played at Boundary Park for the next 100 years.
✓ What is currently happening with the profits made by the FLG on match days
The OEC operate the corporate areas of the stand, this includes match days and in the short term, we oversee the day to day running of the OEC which gives us a good overview of the business so that we can work to maximise it’s potential. All monies currently go back into the running of OEC.
✓ What is the current situation regarding the suggested purchase of the North Stand announced some months ago
The North Stand is just one part of the overall purchase and we are just going through the relative due diligence which includes outstanding substantial liabilities between the landlord and the tenant which need resolving before the purchase can be completed
✓ What are their intentions once they have purchased the ground? Worried as they have construction experience in their ranks
The future plans following the purchase have not changed since the public meeting on 31st July 2019
✓ Will they only be custodians of the ground whilst a new owner of the whole package is found? (Should AL decide to sell)
In an ideal world, we (the FLG) would rather see the Club and Ground under a single/joint ownership. We (the FLG) believe that if it was under Joint Ownership this would consist of an owner and the wider supporter base.
✓ In 2013 Simon Corney handed over construction control to PW’s Holroy development. Knowing that PW, SC, SB & DG were until recently business associates are any of the 3 Amigos financial backers of the FLG’s plans?
No, it’s never been proposed and that won’t happen
✓ If they do get control of the ground and buildings, how does that help with removing AL? Does it help at all? Is there a risk he will move us from BP?
We want to secure the ground first and foremost and can’t really comment on the position of the chairman and his future plans as that’s down to him. We can say that the club has a lease. As security of tenure is in place until 2031 (and the right to extend to 2051) and we don’t believe the EFL would sanction a move with this length of time remaining on the lease. We would look to extend this beyond 2051 once the purchase has been completed thus making it less likely a move from Boundary Park will happen in the future.
✓ If there was another fans forum would some members of the FLG attend? That way we can publicly see them ask the questions to Abdallah as well as us fans.
The FLG attended the last fans forum and as fans, would be happy to attend another forum in the future, but we are mindful that we are essentially engaging in a transaction with the landlord and therefore a fans forum may not necessarily be the platform to ask the club questions relating to this purchase
✓ You’ve said you’ve agreed in principle a price to buy the footprint of BP from Blitz/Gazal, is this a) Completely funded by members of the FLG? b) Part funded by a loan/mortgage that will require repayment inc. interest? c) Funded only if money can be raised from the wider fan base?
PTB have seen proof of funds (shown to us on the evening by the FLG) that would allow the purchase to be completed without any contribution from the wider fanbase.
✓ Any news on a completion date for this purchase?
As part of our due diligence we have established that there appear to be issues around substantial outstanding liabilities from the club to the landlord and we would prefer these to be resolved prior to completion of the deal
✓ Are you concerned Blitz/Gazal are playing you and the rug will be pulled from under your feet for the benefit of the vendors?
As with any deal and purchase of property, there is always this possibility before the ink dries for this to happen, but we are fully engaged with the current landlord and are conducting due diligence
✓ You’ve said you have agreed in principle to purchase A shares in the football limited company, is this: a) As a result of an unsettled debenture following sale of the club to Mr. Lemsagam? b) Affected by the recent share issue by the majority shareholder? I.e Has the %/value been diminished?
No it is not the result of an unsettled debenture following the sale of the club. As mentioned previously, it is currently with solicitors following the recent share issue by the club.
✓ Why did Pivotal Friday prove not to be so pivotal? Or was it indeed pivotal, just not the way some people expected it to be pivotal?
We didn’t see the 22nd November as anything “pivotal” as these comments seemingly came from people associated with the football club. The 22nd November was Paul’s wife’s birthday and was also 30 years since we beat Arsenal in the league cup.
✓ What is the up to date position on the SLA?
We met with the Financial Director & Managing Director on 18th October (following the fans forum) regarding this and once we had reviewed their agenda and discussed the items they had raised it became clear that there had been a misunderstanding of the structure of how the SLA worked and it was at that point they accepted that the deal was financially beneficial to the club. Our understanding was that they went away to recommend the deal was signed. We have since had feedback that the deal is unlikely to be signed this season. We remain open to dialogue to finalise this as we believe it is of benefit to the football club and it’s supporters.
In terms of the issue raised about outstanding liabilities from the OEC to the club it is now accepted that the OEC does not owe anything to the football club. The only outstanding liabilities between the Oldham Athletic and the OEC are £12,000 owed for meals etc. provided by the OEC for corporate hospitality and match day stewards etc. for March and April last season. The claim that the OEC owed the club for the provision of electric and gas is incorrect. The new stand has its own new suppliers, which we understand from our investigations, are billed directly to Brassbank. Any other matters are between the club and Brassbank and it is not for us to comment on those matters.