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The Second (OK, sixth) Coming

Well, fair play, we asked, and he delivered. We begged, pleaded, screamed at him to take Shez up on his offer, and he did. Bought a half season ticket at 9am on Sunday. See you all at the Rochdale game.

What a difference a week makes. What a joy the #oafc timeline has (mostly) been this week. Ed Walker from the D3D4 podcast tweeted "I think Oldham Athletic is the only club where a John Sheridan appointment is seen as a good one." Yes. THAT'S THE POINT. He's ours. He gets us. We get him. I particularly enjoyed the videos some Swindon fans have been sharing of a game during his time there in lockdown, in an empty ground, every word audible. Oh no, you mean to tell me he shouts and swears? I must now reappraise my opinion of him. While wearing my 'my kids aren't getting any fucking Christmas presents because of fucking you' t shirt.

Yes, I know it might be too late to make a difference. Yes, I know he's still working with Mo's players and we're still deep in shit. No, I won't be buying a season ticket for next season until we're sure that new owners will be in place. But Abdallah is finally showing some signs of common sense, of recognising that having a non league club on his hands to sell in a few months time is in no-one's interests, and if us getting behind the team gives Shez the best chance of pulling off a miracle, then I'm happy to do that. And I absolutely can't wait for Saturday. It would have been a big game anyway, what with it being the 409 Derby (no YOU piss off). Imagine if, in this shittest of seasons, we managed to do the double over Rochdale. How funny would that be?

Off the field, Rochdale have had issues of their own. The club saw off a hostile takeover bid by Morton House MGT and First Form Construction Ltd last year, led by Andy Curran and Darrel Rose, two businessmen with no links to the town or the club. Andy Curran was recently banned from all football activity for 63 days by the FA for using abusive and insulting language during a bizarre Zoom meeting, when he called Rochdale people "small minded", their current board "nancy boys", and offered to settle disputes in "a fight in a boxing ring". Morton House have since filed a High Court claim against the Rochdale board.

In the spirit of solidarity in the face of adversity, Dale Supporters Trust have invited supporters of all clubs to join them in a walk from Spotland to Boundary Park ahead of the game on Saturday under the banner 'Fans Together'. Don't pull a face, the more cynical among you. This isn't a love in. I hope we batter them on the pitch. I haven't ruled out singing 'fuck the Dale' while walking through Royton. (I'm not singing that 'drive your car' song though - it's horrible, pack it in.) But however much I want to see a team fail in the pitch, I don't want fans of any club getting screwed over like we have off it. We'll be doing the walk to raise money for Overgate Hospice, who looked after our friend and Push The Boundary founder Will Gough's mum in her final days. If you can spare a few quid, it'll be very much appreciated.

When we agreed to do the walk a few weeks ago, I was resigned to not going to the match at the end of it, which felt really sad. I've not been going for a long time now, but it felt like not going to the game after a fans' walk between the grounds would be a weird anti climax. Now, there'll be a perfect end to it. I hope. Welcome home, Shez. We're all right behind you.

Written by Arlene Finnigan

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