Latics fans have always had mixed opinions of our current chairman. In one corner there’s the fans who look at what he’s put into the club and feel he can do no wrong, in the other there’s those who, for whatever reason, wait for him to slip up so that they can lay into him. Personally I like to think that I take a more measured line on this, without him the club wouldn’t have advanced in the way it has and he deserves credit for it. While that may buy him some leeway where newspaper columns, merchandising and the like are concerned there has to be a line drawn somewhere and he may just have crossed it.
Under the auspices of ‘bringing the clubs closer together’ our vice-chairman plus one have joined the board of directors at the Warriors and in return everyone’s favourite bookmaker has officially joined the party at Latics. My first, and so far probably only, reaction is one of shock. The only indication from within the club that this may be an unpopular decision is a quote from Paul Jewell recognising that there may be “rumblings” about the situation. Too right there will be.
The once vocal majority within the Latics faithful are now very much a minority group at the JJB. Many of the 27,000 at the Millennium Stadium will know, and probably care, little about the lead up to the FA Cup quarter final in 1987, the events ahead of the Liverpool League Cup tie the year after or the general feeling of animosity that surrounding the clubs during this period. Another significant portion will know about it, and laughed at the clubs expense during these dark times for Latics.
Now this feeling didn’t originate with the Central Park board, but they could have done something about it at the time. Instead the figurehead of our more successful cousins went to pains to belittle our club, to tell the world that his club were the big boys around here and that the people of Wigan didn’t really care about football. Was he actively encouraging the attitude that those who had the temerity to choose blue and white over cherry and white faced, at school, at work, in the pub, on a daily basis?
Are we expected to believe that he has changed? The official line is that Mr. Lindsay has been following the Latics’s fortunes for some time now. Good for him, it still makes him one of umpteen thousand Johnny come latelies who are changing the face of our club. What gives him more of a right to play a role in the future of it? I’ve seen a lot written about his supposed successes in charge of the Warriors. He may have overseen their most successful period, but the effects of that success were to take the club to the brink of financial ruin. Since his return fortunes have been mixed to say the least, and then there’s Orrell – the least said there the better.
One important thing is not to think that any silence from within the club means that they are to have the little man around. Some time ago I was ‘lunching’ at Rigalettos, Lindsay was there lording it up over two antipodean gents. I think it must have been a Friday as at various stages Latics’ employees were in and out, checking things for match day. I’ll not name names but we aren’t talking bar staff or stewards. Each one of them either failed, or never bothered to hide their contempt for the man.
So there you have it. He’s had a mixed career as a chairman, no one seems to like him and he’s got a history of slagging the club off. Does that sound like a man you’d want anywhere near the running of the club that you love? Thought not.
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