“I want the best for the club and I think the best for the club is that it is now passed on to new owners. My team is speaking to certain credible bidders and I am happy to speak to others.”
Music to my ears/eyes. Pretty much the best news we could get from Abdallah Lemsagam. But I won’t be cracking open the prosecco just yet.
Rumours had been circulating for a while that Abdallah was looking to offload the club, and that there had been credible bids. The statement this Tuesday is obviously a welcome step forward – we’ve been asking for him to go, we’ve been asking him to sell the club, and he’s stated that he’s preparing to sell the club and go. So do we end the boycott and get behind the team, as he’s asked us to? We got what we wanted, right? There’s nothing to protest about now, is there?
In the statement, Abdallah asks ‘every section of the fan base’ to get behind the team in their fight against relegation, saying – rightly – that “it is in everyone's interests that our great club wins this battle”. He claims that he’s focused on improving the squad to keep us in the league. At the time of writing, we have signed no one. We have made no statement regarding appointing a permanent head coach. And Mo, the worst director in the Football League, the man who has overseen our freefall down the league while one coach after another has taken the flak, is still in charge of recruitment. If Abdallah is serious about fighting relegation, he needs to sack his brother, send Selim Benachour back to the youth team, bring in a manager who knows this league (I hear John Sheridan is available......?), and let them sign the players we need. Do you think that will happen? I don’t. Until he does, it’s just empty words to try to get the fans back in the ground.
Local media are reporting that Abdallah is prepared to sell for less than the money he’s put in. Well, I should hope so. If I buy a house for £110k, then pay my brother £40k to renovate it, and he makes a total mess of the renovation and lets his dog shit all over the carpets, then I’m not getting £150k when I sell the house on, am I? Abdallah’s spent his money badly, and he’s going to have to accept that he won’t get it back and be realistic about what the club is worth. It’s not worth much. It’ll be worth even less in the National League.
It’s more important now than ever to keep the pressure on Abdallah to stick to his word and do what’s best for the club. This time next year, I don’t want us to be languishing in the bottom half of the National League, with Abdallah continuing to assure us that he wants what’s best for the club and he’s got every intention to sell the club when the right buyer comes in. We need to reinforce how urgent the situation is, to Abdallah, to the media and to any potential buyers. The club is staring relegation in the face. We can’t sit back, take him at his word and hope for the best.
I look to the future, it makes me cry. Free us eventually, Abdallah. The sooner the better.
By Arlene Finnigan
You can follow Arlene's rants on Twitter @arlenefinnigan