Just registered on the forum, though I check on it regularly, but I felt that I had to write something about the defeat today and this season generally.
I've followed ORLFC for 45+years, first professional sport I went to with my dad, and then with friends etc, quite often home and away, until approx 8 years ago when I thought enough is enough the club cannot sink any further, and I won't return until significant change happens. Well change has happened, the situation is now the worst I can ever remember. That includes when Oldham folded, I owned a small number of shares, but you always thought someone would move in to resurrect the club. That person was CH and fair play to him, I supported his efforts at the time and thought if we can get going then others will move in to continue the long history and legacy that this town has provided the great sport of RL.
But Oldham are now playing in a ground that;
- Cannot attract decent players
- Would not be allowed to be promoted
And with a team of young players who may turn out to be great players, but need experienced guidance both on and off the pitch
So what needs to happen? I would say the following;
- The club need to forget this season for promotion, seeing it as a trial for the young players to see who will make the grade
- Get some experienced players in, both on and off the park (perhaps ex Oldham players for the latter) to work with the young players
- Break whatever tenuous links are in place with Salford
- Instigate immediate negotiations with Oldham Athletic/Council or whoever to get the club back to ground sharing with OAFC at Boundary Park
- Once the ground sharing is achieved CH to put the club up for sale on the basis of using BP to whoever wishes to own/invest in it, CH to walk away with his head held high for having saved the club when it folded
- Scrap the under 20s and work with the local clubs (Saddleworth, St Annes, Waterhead) to nurture local talent for feeding into OAFC
- Players to be paid a % of the gate money, once tax/expenses etc have been deducted, so that they have an immediate incentive to play better/win games to attract larger attendances. This would also mean that the club could never go bankrupt (unless gate money didn't even cover costs with players wages!, in which case the club cannot exist)
- The official club supporters club to have an elected member on the board working with the new owners and feeding back to the fans
- Once all the above are in place to apply for automatic promotion rather than go through another season in this poor division, or if that isn't possible then to make sure they are promoted automatically next season
Oldham needs a RL team, and RL needs a team in Oldham given its history and provision of great players both in the past and now.