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Pizza and Punchlines

I’ll be honest, I’d completely forgotten we were playing Sunderland on Wednesday. I really couldn’t care less about the pizza cup. I was, as it happens, enjoying a Vegetariana from Theo Dore’s – sod Papa John’s, support your local takeaway – while watching the Merseyside derby. So, it was quite pleasant surprise to find out that we’d got one over Lee Johnson’s League One side, at their place, and even nicer to find out that it was 12-year-old Harry Vaughan who got the winner. A mixed night for Sunderland fan Jordan Henderson, then. Not so much for Jordan Pickford. The post-match interview with Benitez was absolutely painful. There’s always someone else worse off.

Except, even when we’re basking in the glow of a rare victory, that someone worse off is always, unremittingly, without fail, us. One day. One day of being to enjoy the football without having to worry about off-the-field shenanigans. That’s all I ask. Will never happen.

While we were trying to enjoy a tiny crumb of happiness in this abyss of a season, the news broke that Oldham Athletic (2004) Association Football Club Ltd and Brandsmiths have launched a legal claim against Brass Bank Ltd, Daniel Gazal, Simon Blitz and Simon Corney. Lol. Top bantz. Did not see this plot twist coming. Well, we should have seen it coming, shouldn’t we? Our clueless fuckwit of an owner suing the clueless fuckwit previous owner and the landlords was exactly the direction this soap opera was going in.

I don’t know the exact details of the legal claim, but apparently it’s a ‘part 7 claim’, which is a dispute over facts, and it’s being widely reported that it’s about ownership of the North Stand. I’m not going to attempt to start unpicking the North Stand saga, but there’s already been a police investigation shelved into allegations of ‘financial conduct’ surrounding it. Clearly someone at the club is confident that a court will take a different view to Greater Manchester Police, but then someone at the club didn’t bother reading the terms of the EFL loan before drawing up player contracts.

The role of Brass Bank in our decline is something that’s been discussed at length elsewhere, and they’re clearly far from blameless, but I don’t really know enough about their behaviour as landlords to have a definite opinion on them. Everyone is well aware of the failings of the previous owners, and the club was certainly a sinking ship in the last couple of years of Corney’s tenure, but the point is that they are exactly that – previous. Dissecting their mistakes in the past shouldn’t be the priority when we’ve got more serious and urgent problems in the here and now.

Maybe this will all get settled quietly out of court, like when Blitz threatened to put the club in administration over unpaid debts. Maybe, if we’re really lucky, Barry Owen will have to give evidence. Get the popcorn out for that. He has, of course, been furiously tweeting about his ‘investigation’. “InveStigated [sic] and researched this for last three years. If you want to take me on please get your facts right.” Cheers Poirot, if only the club directors at the time that all of this was allegedly happening had been as diligent as you.

An unexpected punchline to this latest joke of a week at OAFC was Mo Lemsagam being pictured at Old Trafford chatting to Ralf Rangnick. We can only hope against hope that Rangnick offers him a job and they were talking tactics. “Cristiano Ronaldo is 36 years old, my friend. And what is wrong with Fred?” God it’d be a match made in heaven, wouldn’t it?

This could potentially get very messy, especially if there’s a counter claim. Get ready to pick up the pieces, whichever way this legal action goes, because as per usual it’ll be us, the fans, ultimately getting shat on, seeing our club dragged through the mud by people who haven’t got its best interests at heart. If you can, donate to the 1895 fund, because it looks like a war chest might be needed sooner rather than later, and please join in with the boycott of the Forest Green game on December 11th. It’s more important than ever to keep the pressure on the owners and to highlight what an utter mess we’re in.

Happy Christmas, your arse. I pray God it’s our last (with the Bollock Brothers in charge).

Thank you to Arlene for submitting this week's post

You can follow Arlene, the glory hunter, on Twitter @arlenefinnigan.

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