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This Is The One

Been a bit of a rollercoaster of a week, hasn’t it? Broke my personal best in the seat-to-bar sprint on Saturday in my desperation to blot out yet another injury time defeat. A draw would have been a really decent result against Mansfield but once again we managed to snatch no points from the jaws of one point at the death. Supporting Latics really is one never-ending kick in the crotch. Then on Tuesday we play some of our best football of the season in the first half v Orient and Nicky Adams finally finds a player who can get on the end of his crosses. Cheers, Richie! Can we keep him? Some Orient fans think he deliberately put out a weak team to do us a favour. I highly doubt that, but if he did, he fucking owes us that for bringing on Kendai Benyu when we were desperate for a goal at Northampton. Any other supporters would be optimistic at half-time after a performance like that, but all I could think was “I’ve seen this film before, we lose 2-1”. Happily we managed to put an end to our losing win quite gloriously, with a peach of a breakaway goal well into injury time, at the right end for once. Hope (MOTM?) springs eternal, and the win couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

Saturday’s game at Stevenage may well be the biggest game in our history. I don’t care if that sounds like hyperbole. Lose, and the task of avoiding becoming a non-league club for the first time in 115 years becomes immensely difficult, our relegation fate is no longer in our hands, and without our League status, we become a much less attractive prospect to potential buyers. It makes it more likely that we’re stuck with the Lemsagams, and the future looks bleak. Win, and we give ourselves a fighting chance of staying up, we’ll be rid of the current regime sooner, and it’ll be easier to turn this shitshow around and stop our club’s inexorable decline. No pressure, lads. And I’m sure if we get a penalty, you definitely won’t miss this one.

Off the pitch, the need for regime change remains as clear as day. Kieran Maguire confirmed what we all pretty much knew: the club is technically insolvent (as are over half the clubs in English football), owes over £4m, and there might be an £882k tax bill coming that Abdallah claims he doesn’t need to pay and is the responsibility of the previous owner. If only one of the club directors who were around when he bought the club had helped him carry out due diligence. “There’s nothing terrible, but there’s nothing good either to draw from these”, Maguire says. You hear that? There’s nothing terrible in our bare-minimum-as-legal-requirement accounts! Come on, think positive, people. Let’s take the small victories where we can.

The club also announced that season tickets for 2022/23 are on sale, and the ‘first 500’ will get a £70 discount. Bold of you to assume you’ll sell more than 500, lads. It’s everyone’s choice what they do, and I’m not going to have a go at anyone for buying a season ticket. Personally, giving money to the current owners, potentially discouraging them from finding a buyer as soon as possible, by renewing my ST when we’ve no idea what league we'll be in doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve donated the money I would have spent on a ST to the 1895 fund to try and put us in a stronger position to get our club back, and if you’re in a position to do so, I’d urge you to consider doing the same. I’ll continue to get behind the team this season, because relegation would be an utter disaster for us, but the Lemsagams and their useful idiot need to go.

Having said all that, I won’t be travelling down to the game on Saturday, because quite frankly I don’t want to spoil my birthday weekend by spending it in Stevenage. Also, this isn’t the only relegation battle I’m involved in, so I’ll be heading to Glossop to cheer on Prescot Cables, who are currently 18th in the Northern Premier League West. Good news from down south would be the best present I could ask for. Cheer the lads on for me and safe journey if you’re going. Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.

Written by Arlene Finnigan

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