After months of speculation, ex Manchester United midfielder and Oldham Athletic fan Paul Scholes has become the Lancashire clubs new manager. He signed an 18 month contract on Monday and is charged with getting his hometown club out of League One.
The ex England midfielder has long been interested in taking over at Boundary Park ever since he retired from playing football in May 2013. He was in the running for the job previously but the club appointed fan favourite Frankie Bunn in 2018.
There has been plenty of speculation recently that Scholes would finally take the reigns at Oldham however, there appeared to be a stumbling block over his part ownership in Salford City. Scholes has a 10% share in the National League club but discussions with the EFL ironed out any potential issues and the ex-midfielder was allowed to join the Latics. It is ironic that next season we could see both Oldham and Salford City meeting in League Two should the Ammies be promoted into come the end of the season.
At his first press conference, Scholes was delighted to join the club he supported as a boy. He said “the time is right. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel excited.”
He added “I’ve prepared well for it. I’ve watched the team play and I think they are capable of winning a lot of games. If they dont its my fault.”
Scholes was realistic about his sides chances of promotion to League One this season adding “It’s a squad that should be pushing for promotion, that might be out of reach for this season, but certainly next season.”
Latics have fallen on troubled times over the last few years after spending many years stuck in League One, they were relegated on the final game of the 2017-2018 season down to the fourth tier of English football. There is a new owner in Abdallah Lemsagam but the club have been plagued with stories of players not being paid on time and possible HMIC winding up orders. However, Lemsagam has blamed these issues on the previous ownerships and that he is trying to turn the club around financially. It is hoped that with Scholes`s appointment, this will raise the profile of the club, appease the long suffering supporters and return the club up the football leagues.
Scholes has appointed former Oldham coach Mike Priest as his assistant and their first game in charge comes 24 hours later at home to Yeovil.
Oldham currently sit 14th in the table only 9 points off the play off places.