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See I've already waited too long....

It seems daft really, doesn’t it. We all ended last season utterly despondent, not expecting anything other than a demoralising season in the National League under the Lemsagams and further decline and despair. No chance we’ll be getting a new owner until after the court case is settled, and that could take months. The current regime could be here for years, and who knows what league we’ll be in when they leave, or even if the club will still exist. And here we all are, absolutely gutted that the takeover we were told should go through in less than four weeks hasn’t been completed in a fortnight.

After the statement on June 30th stating that the aim was for the sale of the club and Boundary Park to be completed in less than four weeks, Suzanne Geldard reported on Tuesday that the takeover could be finalised this week, and hundreds of Latics fans scrambled to make space for the champagne in the fridge. AN ITK Twitter account posted “HERE WE GO SHORTLY” just before midday on Wednesday, and the club, in a hilarious act of elite shithousery, then tweeted a series of announcements about the friendly v Wigan, the fitness coach vacancy, and - LOL – the Club shop being open.

Speculation mounted that the announcement would be made on Thursday, the 40th anniversary of the appointment of Joe Royle as manager. I was REALLY hoping it would, because I’d booked Thursday off work to go to Italy v Iceland in the Women’s Euros, and it would have been lovely to have been able to crack open the bubbly on Furtherwood Road before setting off. Just to really torture us all, Twitter went down on Thursday afternoon, possibly because we all broke it. I had to settle for marking Bastille Day with a can of Kronenbourg on the 182 on the way to the City Academy. And I missed Iceland’s goal. Gutted.

I was working from home on Friday, so we had a bit of a mooch about Boundary Park on our lunch break to see if we could spot any activity. Alas, all we saw was a senior steward leaving the main entrance and some cones outside the OEC. The gates at the back of the Rocky were open so Andy had a quick nose about before getting thrown out by a member of staff who could only give us a non-committal “we’ll see”. There was a food stall, that I mistook for a horse box. This is why I’m a clinical coder and not an investigative journalist. Oh and some cars had been given tickets on Furtherwood Road, which cheered us right up. I thought they might announce it at 5pm so I’d have to rewrite the blog, but Barry Owen has very much left the building.

So we're in limbo a bit aren't we. OASF have stated that no money from today's game will be going to the Lemsagams, and I'm an optimist and a trusting soul, so I'll take the chance and go to today's game. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite after saying I wouldn't go until the club has new owners. It doesn't make me a scab; I've never called anyone a scab for going to the match instead of boycotting, because I know what the word scab actually means and I'm a grown up. It does feel like a new era, it sounds like the deal is all but done, and if it does fall through, I'll be devastated whether I've gone to today's game or not. I hope next week's blog is more celebratory. See you in the OEC. Bring your own hard hat.

Words and image by Arlene Finnigan

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