Ta Ta to TTA?

Last updated : 14 September 2006 By Dave Moore
Barry Chaytow has stepped down as Chairman of Oldham Athletic and is hoping to launch a takeover bid to buy the club. He hopes to buy out the current owners, known affectionately as TTA (The Three Amigos) and move on with the constantly stalled plans to develop Boundary Park into a state of the art stadium. TTA have made no bones about expressing their disappointed by the lack of support from Oldham and have previously stated that they have been “banging their heads against a brick wall.”

Mr. Chaytow's (pictured) plan includes the development of Boundary Park and its land with an investment of £120 million. Fans will fear the fact that his plans include some housing development. In the meantime Simon Blitz will take on the role of Chairman.

Simon Blitz, Simon Corney and Danny Gazal are all prepared to listen to Mr. Chaytow's offer. Simon Blitz said, “We have not been looking to sell but we are business men and it's only right to listen when someone approaches you with a deal. We have a responsibility to wait for Barry's offer and see what it entails. If we feel there's somebody who can do a better job than us, we've got to consider it. That doesn't mean we want to leave, and there have been a million occasions in the past when the opportunity has been there to sell up. A lot of people have approached us, but we would only sell to someone who could give cast-iron guarantees about the club's future.”

“It has been a hard three years, so maybe some fresh blood would help to rejuvenate the project. If anyone can meet our strict criteria for selling, it's probably Barry, and I want to stress we have nothing but respect for his work here but we'll need to be sure the club's future is in the right hands. I would like to thank Barry for all the hard work he has put in since we became owners of the club three years ago. However Barry has expressed an interest in acquiring the club from us and developing the stadium and land along similar lines to our own plans and because of this it was felt that he should step down from the Board so that there was no conflict of interests. Since we announced our plans for Boundary Park last February we have been disappointed with the lack of support from certain organisations in the town but our commitment to the club has never waned. We are still working with our design partners in coming up with a sustainable development for the site and working towards submitting a planning application very soon."

Mr. Chaytow commented, "I will resign as Chairman and as a Director, but I would hope it to be only a temporary state of affairs. If the deal goes through, then I will be back very soon. In the circumstances we feel that for me to stay on as a member of the Board at present would be a conflict of interest, so it is my intention to make a formal offer to purchase the football club along with the freehold land."

Blitz continued with his vision of the future when he told the official website, "We're aiming for stability this year. Then we'll look to kick up the league. With regard to bringing players in in January, we're always flexible, but aren't just going to spend money for the sake of it. It's very enjoyable (being an owner), but harder than I thought. It's all about a balancing act. There's three parts to the triangle. You've got to balance the budget, keep people coming in through the gate and put a decent product on the pitch. If the harmony isn't there in one area, then the other two suffer. We're still problem solving and learning every day. Keeping the balance between the business (in America) and the club isn't easy. I've had a lot of work on in the States recently but I'm hoping to be here a lot more in the future."

"The stadium development is progressing slower than we expected, with a lot more hurdles. We are fully committed to the project although we're not going to just throw money at it. In five years, I hope that Oldham Athletic will see the stadium development completed, a top-quality product on the pitch, and the club in the Championship at the very least. The idea of sustainability is central, the club must be able to stand on its own two feet."