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Simon Corney statement

31 January 2013

Chairman's message to fans

Latics' Chairman Simon Corney has issued a statement to fans.

Dear Latics Fans,

No doubt you will have heard a lot about Oldham Athletic over the past few days following Sunday's fantastic victory over Liverpool.

A lot has been said about the future of our manager Paul Dickov which has threatened to overshadow what was one of the greatest days in the history of the club.

Let me start by saying that Paul and I are great friends. I see the tireless work he puts in every day and, on a personal and professional level, I would like nothing more than to see him succeed here.

However, as we all know, football is a results-driven business and it is no secret that those results, aside from the cup run, have not been good enough recently.

League One is our bread and butter and with the talented squad we have managed to assemble we should not be languishing in 19th place with one point from the last 24.

I cannot stress how important it is for the future of the club that we remain in this division.

With attendances already well below what we need to break even, relegation would - in no uncertain terms - be a disaster.

Bearing that in mind, things have to change and I would not be a responsible chairman of a football club if I did not realise this.

The victory over Liverpool, which Paul and all the players should take credit for, showed the world what they are capable of. It also breathed new life into the club.

As I approach a decade at Oldham, I have to admit I had wondered on numerous occasions before Sunday if the town still wanted a football club.

I cannot begin to explain how much it meant to me to see a packed Boundary Park with fans young and old celebrating a famous Latics win.

Crazy afternoons like that are why I came here all those years ago. I believe the Liverpool match can be a turning point, not just for Paul Dickov, but for Simon Corney, Oldham Athletic and the town of Oldham.

But things need to change, and that change needs to be kick started by the players.

On Saturday we go to Walsall. People may not think it, but this match is as important as the one with Liverpool.

We know the players have the ability. They now need to repeat that relentless effort and determination we saw against Liverpool in the 17 cup finals we have remaining.

They need to understand that if they don't, there will be consequences.

I am forever hearing about how they love their manager. Now is the time to prove that.

It is not just the players. The atmosphere on Sunday was incredible and I am sure that the backing of the fans dragged the players over the line in the last few minutes.

They need your support, Paul needs your support and I need your support.

Trust Oldham can play a key role in the rebirth of this club. I want to see fresh ideas from them and more interaction.

This is your club - and you can help it.

This town has not had much to cheer about for a long time. I believe it needs a football club and we can put a smile back of people's faces and restore some civic pride.

Oldham Council now has a leadership team with Council Leader Jim McMahon and Chief Executive Charlie Parker who want to get things done and who have impressed me.

With a new stand on the horizon, a bright young manager and a talented squad, this could be the start of something big.

May be in a few years' time Sunday's game might be viewed as the day that the Mark Hughes volley was finally put to bed.

It can happen but, as I said, things need to change and that change needs to continue at Walsall on Saturday. See you there and keep the faith.


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