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Hands tied over big money transfers - Corney

Date online: 27 March 2014

ATHLETIC chairman Simon Corney has revealed that a major factor in both star departures this season was agents heavily encouraging moves to rival clubs.

James Tarkowski returns to Boundary Park for the first time on Saturday with Brentford, after a deal that took him to the Sky Bet League One high-fliers in exchange for an undisclosed fee two months ago.

It followed Jose Baxter joining League One rivals Sheffield United in August, again for an undisclosed fee. The destination clubs of both former Athletic stars are heavily bankrolled by rich directors.

Corney told the Chronicle a club with Athletic’s resources will always struggle to compete.

“When clubs come in and offer big money because they have a benefactor, then players and particularly their agents — and in both cases, this happened — have their heads turned,” said Corney.

“Agents make no money if a player stays at a club. They make plenty if a player goes and the player can double or treble their wages.

“It is not a case of Oldham don’t pay. Even if we doubled their salary we wouldn’t be able to keep them.

“When players get offered three or four times what they are on, they are going to leave.

“If Arsenal can’t afford to hang on to Robin van Persie at £150,000 a week, what can you expect?

“It is football and it’s not just at Oldham but at all the other clubs too. Your hands are tied sometimes.”

Corney said that in the event of Athletic being relegated this season, he is not sure he would “have the will” to continue as chairman.

He also said the money-making FA Cup runs in recent years only served to reduce losses: “Realistically we’re a League Two club playing in League One,” added Corney.

“If you look at our crowds, we have an amazing hard core there, but people have to wake up and realise that our support is at League Two level. We keep ourselves in League One artificially and it is a dangerous game to play.”

Corney hopes to have the new North Stand in use by the start of next season: steelwork arrived on site this week and is already being erected.

“Every day we are paying down bills and trying to get a bit more done,” he added. “There is a long way to go. It won’t be easy to finish it, but we will get there,” he said.


whose fault is it that the support is at league 2 level. You have lost 25% of the crowd with your inability to provide a ground where business could entertain their clients or come up with other idea on how to generate income. Statements saying baxter was surplus to requirements also does not help when he was the best player the club had. I could go on, but I live in hope that some one comes in with deep pockets

we need a new owners in mate,you taken us as far as you can mate. We are a selling club sadly.

on our gates we are very fortunate not to have had at least a spell in league 2. it might not be exiting, or up there with the giddy heights of supporting man city, but it is a reality.

It's time Corney realised that the crowds would likely return should our fortunes change on the pitch. Several season ticket holders sit around me who have stopped coming to due the consistent mediocre seasons that we have. Managers come in and talk the talk but nothing changes,when its over £20 per game people are more likely to spend their hard earned money on something else rather than the same old. I like LJ and the team had promise early season but realisticly nothings changed since Penney

I understand fully Simon. Unfortunately there are a few who expect the unexpected. Stand looking good already

Now you've heard the truth ''we are a league 2 club ''. And you know what he is right! If the ticket prices are dropped to 15quid would it increase attendance? No chance. We can not compete at this level. The club is practically bankrupt and the fans blame him.... its not his fault for lack of funds, but he shouldn't of bought the club in the first place. If the club becomes a fans Co-operative then thats the end for O.A.F.C

one way to win the fans trust is honesty,undisclosed fee in my mind means give away

Part of what Mr Corney say's is true about players wages etc, but lets stop and look at facts, when he took over crowds was 7k and we was playing well, and could have been promoted except for the dithering and the lethargic reaction of the so called three amigo's, and since they took over every season we have declined that little bit further, it is he who has made us a Div 2 club through bad stewardship of the club, not the fans or any other outside forces!, and that in it's self is fact!.

Fortunately Simon, the agents only control the players and not the fans. The fans are here to stay. The players will come and go. KTF We are.

thats why its important the stay away fans turn up and support us.

How can corney complain of low crowds when he sells the best players for peanuts and then replace with poor quality lower league players.koukash should have been allowed to take over and he was willing to invest.why have a new stand when the crowds can't fill the existing stands.corney can't pull the wool over my eyes.if he sees are future in div2 then there's no point anymore.we need a new owner and corney out.after 30 years of support I am not putting up with this anymore. I feel conned.

100% behind you Simon, KTF

You only have to look across at Leeds Utd to see what happens when you spend more than you can afford. Its Mr Corney that puts HIS money where is mouth is so lets hope we stay up and I have a good feeling that we will and next season with the new north stand completed...that will in itself bring a much better atmosphere at home games which intern hopefully bring better results and with more commercial income coming from the stand can only be good for Latics

Again I say - why in the name of sanity was a deal signed in January allowing JT to play against us in the return fixture? This sort of self inflicted humiliation that has happened a few times over the years and so exasperates hard core fans. Remember Allott going on loan , being allowed to play against us and scoring? Part of the reason for the low support level is sheer exasperation. As well as the state of the ground. But blame that on that buffoon planning committee chairman back in 2007.

Hi Mr Corney, I can understand what you are saying in regards to the situation with players having their heads turned and leaving for higher pay 3-4 times the amount they are currently on, however did we not turn a big money offer down for Korey Smith in Jan surely he would have also been offered 3-4 times as much than he's on already and like you say who would say no to that, so how come he didn't leave and why didn't we cash in on him if this is the case? Genuine question no sarcasm intended.

"Simon Corney has revealed" - pity he can never reveal what the transfer fees are.

"we’re a League Two club playing in League One" - well, we are now, after a decade of Corney in charge. The club has got smaller and smaller. How long before "we are a Conference club playing in League Two"?

I am sure that the majority of fans understand the plight of OAFC in connection with the their position with agents and the transfer market. What grates is the fact there is not an iota of loyalty shown by players anymore and the Tarkowski business in particular leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. You can also understand the reluctance of fans to support the club when performances dip so badly but Simon Corney hits the nail plumb when he states that our attendances are distinctly L2 standard.!

I'm sorry but as someone who has been a latics supporter for over 60 years,i never thought i would ever see the owner saying we are in division one artificially,no wonder we are where we are,i never thought i would ever say this but if Simon feels this way,maybe it is time to part company,and sell up to someone who wants to take us up not down,and to help us keep our decent players,otherwise i can see our fans, and any decent players drifting away,you need someone with enthusiasm at the helm.

Why didn't you sell us to Koukash then?
Maybe if we had a benefactor we wouldn't have to sell our best players every year, also we could be half way to a brand new stadium especially if you can only pay as you go.
Hands are tied? If they are contracted surely the ball is in your court. See Luis Suarez saga in pre-season. Told he has to stay and they could win the league.
Thanks for saving the club Simon you're a top bloke but maybe your tenure should come to an end now. PS I watch Latics.

More negative comments on the eve of a big game - way to go Simon!

Quite an extraordinary statement really - we are really a League Two club (at best ?), he hopes the new stand will be built ? We are not going to invest even to hold onto players ? With a chairman openly stating such truths we are clearly going nowhere nice. I've supported Corney and the funds he has put into the club - but when he's given up its clearly time for a change

Come on get behind the club, if he told you how much he got for the players you would want him (Simon) to spend it all instead of trying to balance the books. The new stand is looking great at this stage and I am looking forward to next season in div.1 with the help of the Fans. 65years a supporter come on OLDHAM.

"well, we are now,"

"We", ammy? 7yrs ago you said "I won't be going again, not even if things improve", adding, " you can't do this and you can't do that" referring to stadium rules. What happened to you that day, ammy? We were 4th in the league and scoring goals at the time.

Here we go again, the majority of "Brainless" have come out on day release, Bob and a few others excluded from that.
OAFC is a business not a Charity for a few football fans, how S.C. puts up with all this utter tripe amazes me, he must have the patience of a Saint to stick with our club.
And be warned if you lot continue along these same lines, he will walk away and leave the club in the hands of the fans.
So in effect if and when it happens OAFC has about 2 seasons left to survive, enjoy it !

Whether you like it or not, Corney and his other three amigos saved our club a decade ago and for that I will always be grateful. Maybe Corney's time is coming to an end and he doesn't have the drive he once had, but he has kept the club alive and we will have a new stand next season. All these people who want to know the price of transfers - leave it alone now, this is what happens with transfers at our level, it's not going to change.

Now Mr Corney you speak with fork tongue about Tarky transfer. It was you who set the ball rolling on that transfer so don't try and kid the fans and blame the agent.

SC hit the nail on the head and although fans are passionate they should realise this. Many fans say cut the prices and yes we may double the gates if reducing the prices by 50%, the gate income would be the same....but stewards and policing would go up and we would be losing even more money.
Geographical location also goes against us we have city and the 'other ones both within 45 minutes so why wouldnt youngsters go there instead?
There are many other bigger teams in a worse league postion


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