Chairman on ten years of highs and lows
In the latest of a series of exclusive reports, Latics’ chairman Simon Corney looks back on his ten years in charge at Boundary Park.
It provides a unique perspective on the struggles of owning a lower-division football club and the rollercoaster of emotion, the highs of beating the likes of Liverpool and Everton in the FA Cup to the financial challenges.
Here Mr Corney recollects the highs and lows of his time at the club.
Obviously there have been quite a few, but I would have to say beating Liverpool at Boundary Park last season in the FA Cup.
We have had other great results like beating Manchester City, though they were not the team they are today and certainly not as big as the Liverpool team we beat. There was also winning at Everton through Gary McDonald’s goal which was a great high.
I wasn't there for the win at Everton, but beating Liverpool in front of our fans was far more special and even trumped Matt Smith’s last-minute header to equalise against Everton here last season to earn a replay.
When I looked at Liverpool’s team sheet that day, I honestly thought we would get tanked 6-0 with Suarez and Sturridge up front, Carragher and Skrtel playing with Gerrard coming off the bench.
It was one of those phenomenal moments, not just in football but in my life so that has to be the overriding high.
The debacle over Chris Porter leaving made me question what I was doing at the club when we we can be treated like that by players and agents.
It was through no fault of our own, even though others said we should have done this or that.
The situation was different with Chris Taylor as we turned down a lot of money for him several times because the manager wanted to keep him.
Chris got the benefit with bumper contracts at Millwall and later Blackburn Rovers because he was a free agent.
I accept that because it is a decision we made and knew what road that was going down.
In the case with Porter it was a cool and manipulated plan and there was a lot of wrong with that. We cannot go public with how it all transpired and that was my biggest low.
In terms of disappointments on the field, it would be losing to Chesterfield in the Northern Area Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. We had beaten them 5-2 at Boundary Park in the league not long before when we were clearly the better team and they were bottom of the table.
To lose both games in the Northern Area Final was disappointing as I have always wanted to take the club to Wembley and it was my lowest moment. It wasn’t through a lack of effort as their goalkeeper was man of the match in both games – it just wasn’t meant to be.
We have had some terrible results, but that’s football and something you have to live with. In terms of missing out on the opportunity of going to Wembley, that was the lowest point.
Tomorrow in the final article, Mr Corney looks ahead and to what the future may hold for Latics.