Protest Details – 04/05/2022

Saturdays Protest

We are now in a position to announce details for the pre-game protest on Saturday. Ideally we would have liked confirmation that the game would definitely be going ahead with supporters in the ground, but we can’t afford to wait any longer.

As things stand, there will be fans in the stadium for the game, so we are proposing that supporters gather around the main entrance for around 2pm, as per our previous protests.

We would love to see you turn out in your numbers and show the usual passion we would expect from you. Bring your flags, your banners and make yourselves heard. It’s the last game of the season and we want to be loud.

We have put a request out for supporters to address the crowd on the day about their experiences of being an Oldham fan and what this club means to them and this request still stands. There will be some guest speakers and should the urge take you, feel free to make yourself known to us on the day and we will give you a platform to speak.

This is our final game in the EFL and we are sure that emotions of all kinds will be running high. As with our other protests, we want this to remain peaceful and respectful and we have no doubts that it will. There will be media attention surrounding the protest and with it being our final game in the football league, let’s show fans around the country that our pre-game protest can be done lawfully. This is a proud club with a proud history and amazing support that has been ravaged by poor ownership. Ownership that has seen supporters banned, players frozen out, wages unpaid, court appearances and now, we have been stripped of our football league status by what can only be described as a scandalous level of neglect. The reign of the Lemsagams is a stain on our history.

For those that wish to attend the game and protest in the stadium, we encourage you to do so peacefully. For those that wish to stay outside, we will remain until the protest comes to it’s natural conclusion. We have been advised that some people will choose to walk out on a minute of their choosing. You protest however you want to.

Now that our fate has been confirmed, we want to make it abundantly clear that from this point forward, until the club is sold, the pressure will remain on the owners and we will be looking to hit them in the pocket however we can. It’s time for them to go.

We will also be collecting money for the OASF contingency fund, so please bring any spare change or a level of donation you wish to provide. The fund will be pivotal to dictating the future of the club and the say that fans have. When Abdallah has gone, we have to ensure that the same mistakes of the last 4 years are not repeated and by having fan involvement, we can not only stop these mistakes from happening again, but we can prosper as a club once again.

We hope to see and hear you on Saturday!

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Home Boycott – 03/05/2022

Boycott BP

The plain and simple fact here, following our relegation to the National League, is that a clear line must be drawn in the sand. Or perhaps in this case, a line must be drawn in the stand. We encourage people to read this entire statement, obviously, but the take-away message is clear…please consider very carefully whether purchasing a season ticket for next season is the right thing to do. We are asking fans to strongly consider a boycott of Boundary Park for the 2022/23 season.

Oldham Athletic Football Club will start next season in the 5th tier of English football, a league where some teams operate on a semi-professional basis, only training twice a week (once if there is a game) and we could even be competing against teams such as Brackley Town and Maidstone United.

Could this situation have been avoided? Yes, this 100% could have been avoided. In reality, in the vast majority of cases relegation can always be avoided in some way shape or form. Our relegation was not sealed by bad referees, missed penalties or late goals we’ve conceded. Our relegation was sealed because of a fundamental failure from the people at the top of the club. This wasn’t well intentioned decisions that turned sour, this was down to neglect, plain and simple. The decision to take an EFL loan has crippled us in the transfer market and ultimately played a large part in our demise, but let us be honest and say that given the hierarchy at the club, we were already crippled to a considerable extent.

This week, we have seen club statements released in consecutive days. The first stated how relegation represented a ‘complete failure’ and asking for support following our relegation to the National League, the second stating that any fan who ran on the pitch would be searched for, found and banned from Boundary Park. It is clear that within the club, the ability to keep their finger on the pulse and to gauge the mood of supporters is as absent as it has been at any point over the last four years.

We have also seen John Sheridan appointed as manager for the 2022/23 season. John is always a welcome face at Boundary Park for everything he’s done. He was hamstrung upon his return and the finger of blame doesn’t point in his direction, but we thank him for coming back and trying. We understand that John’s intentions are well meant and he just wants the best for the club and it’s long suffering supporters, how can you not love him for that?! We obviously wish John all the best for next season, but a line must be drawn here. We backed him in our fight, but we can’t allow John to be used as a pawn by the owner and the board, who will inevitably cast him off when it suits them. He deserves better than that. We are in this battle for the long haul and can’t be thrown off course by short-termism. A poll conducted in the week by Oldham Times reporter Suzanne Geldard, said only 46% of fans (based on 631 responses) wanted to see John back in the dugout for next season.

As we have stated on numerous occasions, it is the decision of each and every supporter to make their own decision with their own money, and no one else should judge them for that either. However, based on all the facts presented above, we feel people should think long and hard about whether the club have given us all enough confidence and satisfaction that attending home games next season is the way forward. Push The Boundary along with the Athleticos and Foundation Oldham will be boycotting Boundary Park next season to send a clear message to the owner that we haven’t forgotten his promise to sell the club and also to show that despite an up-turn in attendances and atmosphere, this was to fight for survival, and not a signal that the opinion towards him has changed in any sense.

The contingency fund has been set up as a joint measure from both OASF and PTB to raise money for a specific set of reasons and we live in hope that this will give OASF, a 3% shareholder of the football club, access to the negotiating table as and when required. We have seen a number of amazing donations in recent days/weeks and for those that won’t be purchasing a season ticket, we would encourage you to donate to this fund, as it will give supporters a much bigger voice when deciding our future. It is abundantly clear that this represents the way forward.

We’ve had another busy week with good conversations and despite our relegation, the mood amongst PTB is one of defiance and determination to finish the battle that we started in November 2019. There are great people in this fanbase, clever people who want the best for the future of the club and we have been fortunate to speak to and meet a lot of you, and it’s now time to give those people a platform to create the club we all deserve.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Blackout for Tranmere – 27/04/2022

On Saturday, our 115 year stay in the football league came to an incredibly sad end. Despite how turbulent the season was, and the glimmer of hope that John Sheridan gave us, there was an air of inevitability following years of mismanagement by Abdallah Lemsagam and the current/previous board of directors.

These people sit in the shadows, they do not take responsibility, they do not attend games in public view and they continue to make decisions that have left the reputation of our football in the gutter. They do not care about us. This proud football is nothing but a toy, that they have seen fit to ruin over a period of 4 years.

The only people who truly suffer in all of this is the passionate, loyal fanbase that have followed, supported and sadly had to endure everything that has been thrown at them under our current regime.

Following Saturday’s sad events, and the fact that the game holds no significance, as a symbolic gesture we want to make Tranmere on Saturday a blackout. We’d like supporters to wear black clothing to mourn the death of our once proud, EFL status. Kit yourself out in black jumpers, t-shirts, polo shirts, black Latics kits, black trainers, a black suit if you are wanting to go to the extreme, whatever you see fit to raise attention to our current situation. We have spoken to the Athleticos who are in agreement with this approach and they will support it on the day, we thank them for that.

We’d encourage you to spread the word all around the fanbase and try to make this is symbolic as possible. Alongside this, we obviously encourage you to make your voices heard about the current regime and to show them that the only viable solution from here, is to sell the club and move on. To show them they are not wanted and that for them to consider any u-turn over the sale of the club will only be met with more opposition and more pressure from the fanbase.

Supporters, with the help of both supporter groups, will continue to mobilise and build its own future. One that the Lemsagams were never capable of providing.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Reaction to Club Statement – 26/04/2022

Having read the club statement, we felt compelled to respond and challenge. We have been given false promises time and time again and are now being asked to put our faith in a board that have repeatedly let us down. Let us be completely honest, the season that is about to officially conclude was not just a ‘total failure’ as the club suggest but an unmitigated disaster where the relationship of trust between supporters and the club has not only disappeared, but has been knowingly vandalised by the current owner and board. Not even an apology offered.  It is tantamount to sabotage on his part. In addition to this, we have seen no intervention from previous or incumbent board members to address supporter concerns. The current situation was inevitable given the way the club was being run and it was only John Sheridan that briefly lifted the mood.

Fans, as usual, have played their part this season in giving Shez and the players everything that we promised them. We have filled grounds up and down the country and sang our hearts out. Throughout this, in return, we have asked the club for transparency and to update us on progress on the sale of the club. We don’t feel the club have held their end of the bargain and given us the best chance to stay up, something that Abdallah committed to when Shez came back.

That said, we don’t feel that the landscape would be right for Shez to continue unless specific changes were made, i.e. new ownership (and therefore the removal of Mohamed Lemsagam as the Sporting Director) and we feel it is in appropriate for the club to use Shez as an incentive for fans to essentially back the board. There should be absolutely no obligation on the part of John Sheridan at current time, and we don’t have any faith that he would be treated in the appropriate manner by those that remain, whether they are looking to sell or not. We would encourage fans not to be drawn in by the prospect of false promises. It is time for actions, not words from the club.

The events of the weekend showed us that the relationship between fans and the board is broken beyond repair and we are tired of the club continually looking to kick a problem down the road. We want to make it clear to the club that the re-introduction of any former board members/club advisors and/or U-turn in the sale of the club will only add further weight to the argument that they have no idea how to act in the best interest of the club, the supporters and the town. We would strongly advise against the above course of action.

We think it is unfair that supporters are blindly being asked to support the actions of the board and are very disappointed by the statement released. From our perspective, there will be no allowances or leniency for the board and we would urge all supporters to NOT purchase season tickets until the club can actually give us SUBSTANTIAL proof that they are doing what they said they would do…selling up and moving on. We are tired of being taken as fools and as a result, all the statement is to us is empty words written by a board that do not care about us. Time to go.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Relegation Protest – 25/04/2022

Relegation Protest

We can’t believe that we are even writing these words, but following our relegation from the English Football League, we feel it necessary to address the situation and what happens next.

Over the course of the last 2 and a half years, Push The Boundary have attempted to raise red flags and plead with the club to listen to the concerns of supporters. Initially we gave the owner, via the canvassing of the fanbase, every opportunity to engage and turn (what we saw as) an inevitable conclusion to his ownership into something more positive. He chose to ignore us. Time and time again. In the end we felt we had no other option to turn against him.

Everything we did, we did with the very best intentions and we had tried various initiatives to make the owner stand up, listen and take responsibility for his actions. This included, in more recent months, stepping backwards to allow John Sheridan to concentrate all his efforts on keeping us up. We encouraged people to attend games, which was a huge change in stance, but given the landscape at the time (AL admitting he wanted to sell the club) and the fact that a club legend had come back to help us out, we wanted to give us the best chance of survival. We make decisions based on fan feeling at the time, and that felt like the right thing to do. We stand by this and Shez is potentially the only person that could have prompted this change in stance.

As fans today, we are hurting beyond belief. This club has been our life for decades. We got together as a group because we wanted to try and change our course and that if the worst happened, we could say that we did everything we could. We know we are there to be shot at and we accepted that from day one. What we can say is that we tirelessly fought to stop this from happening.

We want to place on record our gratitude to John Sheridan for piling all his efforts into keeping us up, and despite this not happening, his legend status at this football club will ALWAYS remain.

We will NOT allow Abdallah and the board/advisors to make a u-turn on their decision to sell the club. It is more important now than it ever was. This outcome was inevitable under their ‘leadership’. The treatment of players, fans, staff, sponsors, the mismanagement of the North Stand, their attempts to ban supporters, to withhold rent payments and wages. The finger of blame solely and firmly points at the current custodians who are not fit to run our club. Something they have proven time and time again. Fans can be expected to do no more and have already endured far too much.

Now that our fate is confirmed, that we will start next season in the National League, we feel it’s right to step up the pressure on Abdallah Lemsagam and the remaining board to sell the club and move on. This will start with a peaceful protest prior to the final home game of the season against Crawley. The clear intention of this protest is to let the owner know that he needs to go and that this situation is all of his own making. There will be certain quarters who will always look to point the finger of blame whenever possible so let’s make sure the same behaviour is applied from the outside the ground protests previously held. It is yet unclear if this game will be played behind closed doors, but in the event of this, the protest will still take place before the game and more detailed plans will be announced in due course.

In recent weeks, it has been made abundantly clear that there are people willing to buy the club. This is undeniable and it’s time for Abdallah to start listening to offers for what the club is worth, which is considerably less than when he took the club on. He bought us as a lower/mid-table league 1 club and he looks to sell us as a non-league club. He does not hold the cards when trying to offload and negotiate. It can now only be about finding the right person and this is something we are striving to do, alongside OASF.

We are concerned that the ongoing litigation regarding the North Stand will prove to be an obstacle for any new owner. Therefore, the timing of this is preventing any potential sale and only adds an extra layer of complexity to an already complex situation. Based on research that we have conducted, we feel that any benefit of this action will be minimal in the long term and that the chances of the North Stand being ‘returned’ to the club are very slim.

We would encourage you to join us on the last day of the season to make our voices heard, to let Abdallah know what the last four years have done to us and to show him that as fans, we DO NOT support him and the pressure will intensify until he sells the club.

Abdallah Lemsagam, the blood of this club is on your hands.

Reclaim The Faith

Push The Boundary

Fans Group Update – 23/04/2022

Please see below our joint full statement following the latest article today in the national news L, highlighting the clubs demise;

As three groups, each filled with lifelong supporters with the Club’s best interests at heart, we are of one mind that there is no future for our club under this regime and they must go.

This historic, family club of ours has been shattered by the Lemsagams and it has taken just four painful years to reach this new, lowest point.

In recent months, our three groups have been working hard to develop a mutual trust and understanding and have held initial discussions to explore how we could work successfully together.

The only way to draw a line under this disastrous regime, that still fails to acknowledge or rectify their mistakes, continually break their promises and blame the fans, is to find solutions in a completely unified fan base who share the same vision for the future of Oldham Athletic.

Salford Game – 19/04/2022

Salford Game

We are on the brink. 126 years of the football league comes down to Saturday.

The 2-0 defeat against Forest Green has left us all but relegated. When the club has been run the way it has over the last 4 years, there is a  feeling that this was sadly inevitable, but it hurts all the same. Really hurts. The feelings of anger and frustration really hit hard and it’s incredibly easy to make knee-jerk decisions based on that.

We do not feel that while we mathematically have a chance to stay up, that it’s appropriate to hold an ‘official’ protest. While we can stay up, our efforts must go into that fight, backing Shez and taking this to the last 2 games of the season.

Should the unthinkable happen, details of further action WILL be announced, but for now we feel it’s unfair to embroil Shez in these politics when he has a job to do. That said, we would never discourage people to voice their opinions however they see fit, as long as they stay within the law. There is no doubt that there are a large number of people with blood on their hands following the demise of this club, and they will be held to account.

Given the importance of Saturdays game, we have emailed the club and implored them to do the right thing and make the game free of charge, or if that isn’t possible, to at least to charge a minimal fee for a match ticket. We HAVE to fill Boundary Park, beat Salford and take the fight to Prenton Park against Tranmere.

There is a lot of work happening behind the scenes and tireless efforts from both PTB and OASF to bring new owners to the table and to find a solution to this mess that has been brought upon us. That will continue through this week and beyond, but we appreciate that fans will want to air their views/frustration about everything that has led us to this point. we feel exactly the same way, as with the willingness to listen to supporters over the last 4 years, this situation could easily have been avoided.

We’ll provide a full update on the situation as soon as we have one.

Reclaim The Faith

Push The Boundary

Royle Interest – 17/04/2022

The news about potential interest from Darren Royle only reiterates our view that there are people out there that want to buy this football club. The Royle name is synonymous with the club and evokes memories of more successful times. We would have no doubts that he would have the best interests of the club at heart given his fathers legacy.

It is concerning and sadly of no surprise that the forthcoming litigation will add an extra layer of complexity to our situation and any potential sale of the club. We were made aware of ongoing investigations a few months ago via a former director and expressed our concern that in the short-term, we didn’t feel it was the best course of action.

In early 2020, the owners used the same North Stand issue as an reason for rent repayments not to be made on the ground and this ended up in a courtroom. Just over 2 years later, we find ourselves back in the situation where the resolution of the North Stand ownership issue is now a  reason there is a delay in any meaningful progression in selling our club.

We see no quick conclusion to this, which only leaves Abdallah free to continue with the inherently poor ownership and to cause yet more long term damage to a club who’s football league survival hangs in the balance. It’s imperative as a group and a fanbase that we reiterate the message to the chairman that his time is up and he needs to start listening to these credible and reasonable offers for the club.

Website Upgrade – 08/04/2022

For the next few weeks you may see some changes to the PTB website. This is so essential upgrades can be carried out.

The layout at present is a temporary fix to ensure the planned works can be carried out.

Please bare with us.

Joint Statement – Club Ownership – 08/04/2022

Abdallah Statement

On the 11th January 2022, Abdallah Lemsagam announced to long suffering supporters that he was looking to sell Oldham Athletic Football Club. This breakthrough came after years of pressure from disgruntled supporters about the direction of the club. A direction that has seen our football league survival hanging by a thread. This message was met with relief but also a healthy dose of scepticism after numerous unfulfilled promises and misdemeanours from the man at the helm of our football club, including (but not limited to):

– Ignoring a petition signed by 3,000 supporters asking him to sell the club
– A transfer embargo after taking an EFL loan
– Banning supporters for speaking out against his reign
– The failure to deliver his updated plan for the football club
– The performance of his brother, Mohamed, in the Sporting Director role

As supporter groups, both OASF and PTB combined all their efforts into working behind the scenes and also getting behind the team to try and ensure that we have every opportunity to secure our football league survival. This involved ceasing pressure on the owners to allow John Sheridan to focus on keeping us in the football league. However, the same questions remained, was the owner looking for a way out? Was progress being made towards a sale? The answers to both of these questions remain unclear despite our efforts.

‘Shez’ has come back and done what was unthinkable after the Harrogate game, and given us a fighting chance to retain our football league status. There are 6 games left as we write this and after a great week, including an epic, nail-biting win against Stevenage, have taken us out of the drop zone and left our destiny in our own hands.

Aside from the battle for survival, our focus as a group must turn to next season. What league we will be in? Who will be in charge of the team? More importantly, who will be at the helm of the club? We cannot lose sight of the fact that Abdallah Lemsagam has taken us to this point, along with this brother and the current board of directors. With no John Sheridan, the situation has not changed and would remain as bleak as ever. We MUST NOT and WILL NOT allow this man to go back on his word. We cannot face any more time fearing for the fate of our club. We want to make it abundantly clear that if signs of progress are not seen and if any potential U-turn is taken with regards to the sale of the club, then the pressure that has recently ceased, will return, and with more focus and intensity than ever before. It is clear that while the custodian of our club is left to his own devices, our fortunes are unlikely to change and there may not be another John Sheridan out there to fully get behind if we find ourselves in the same position.

Progress has been made (and continues to take place behind the scenes) on the Contingency Fund and we thank each and every person who has donated to the cause so far. Work is taking place to fundraise and ensure that we, as fans, can have a say regarding the future of the club. As we have seen with other clubs in the area, with money, we have a voice and can dictate what happens next. We would implore supporters to back this initiative and give what they can. Both groups are working incredibly hard at bringing potential investors to the table and to gain the ear of influential people that can provide assistance, whether it be local businessmen, OMBC, MP’s, other supporters Trusts, or even the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

The club have recently announced season ticket prices for next year, which would suggest that the owners intention to sell may not be as urgent as previously suggested. This is obviously a massive concern and something that will be addressed. While everyone is free to make their own decisions regarding next season, we would certainly urge fans to consider very carefully whether they feel that funding the current ownership is the correct way forward, in light of everything that has brought us here to date.

This is our club regardless of who’s name is above the door and it is our right and our duty as supporters to be a key voice in shaping our future. The current custodian, board and advisors he has hand-picked have proven on numerous occasions that they are not fit to undertake this task. Our fanbase is wide reaching and has an abundance of the skills and passion that is required to steer the club into calmer waters. We would call on anyone who is willing to get involved, to contact OASF as soon as possible.

Both supporter groups intend to host fans’ forum prior to the end of the early bird offer, where supporters will be encouraged to speak freely about the situation at the club club and what they feel should happen next, and more details will be announced regarding this in due course. We would encourage fans that are undecided about what to do, to wait until this before making a decision. Our message is clear that survival is key, but the time is coming where we will need to stand together and show Mr Lemsagam that he and the people he chooses to associate himself with, have no future at this football club.

Over the last two years, both Independently and collectively, OASF, PTB, the Athleticos, BPAS Podcast and other key supporters of Oldham Athletic, have worked incredibly hard trying to inform and unite our fan base. We’ve raised countless concerns, many mistakes and failures, endured a litany of broken promises and myriad of disappointments, yet we still turn out in our thousands to back our team in this fight for our EFL survival. We didn’t cause this mess yet those who did are once more silent, absent and as woefully inconsiderate of the needs of our fans as we’ve come to expect. We kept our part of the bargain, we backed Shez and gave you space – but let’s be perfectly clear; we do not have any faith that Mr Lemsagam, his board and his advisors are capable of leading this club any higher than we are now. If we don’t go down this season, it could be next. We implore you to make your exit strategy your short term priority, make it clear and do not string our long suffering, passionate fan base along any more than you already have.

It’s time to go.

Shez Returns – 23/01/2022

Following on from the announcement by the club yesterday evening that club legend John Sheridan has agreed to rejoin the club as Head Coach, we feel John and the team deserve our full backing and support for the remainder of the season on the understanding that Mr Lemsagam remains in talks to actually sell the club as quickly and responsibly as possible. We would also expect John to be left in sole charge of the team, without outside influence from the owner or sporting director. This appointment is obviously a hugely positive move from the board but we still need to see evidence of the sale progressing and will be keeping a watchful eye to ensure this happens.

John has more experience of fighting off relegation than any manager/head coach in our club’s history and needs free reign for this to happen. We ask the club to now give John the chance to recruit players of his preference to help us fight for the remainder of the season.

We wish to make it perfectly clear that PTB still have grave concerns (as do the majority of the fan base) over how the current ownership, board and directors past/present, may affect us in the long term should they remain involved. Because of this we will remain in talks with the Foundation, EFL, FSA and MPs over the clubs running privately, but publicly on-field matters will take precedence from now until the end of the season and we will do whatever we can to promote each fixture. We also appreciate some fans may find Sheridan’s appointment and a relegation battle not enough to warrant returning to which we completely understand and respect your reasons for staying away.

Finally to the long suffering supporters of our club, whether you are Abdallah Out or otherwise, for the remainder of the season our club needs your support to remain in League 2, something that is absolutely vital for our future. We know Shez will get the lads fighting for the badge, fighting for every ball and fighting for each and every one of the 63 points still up for grabs. Let’s show Shez what this club’s fantastic fan base is all about once again.

We will leave this one here to get you in the mood…

Shez Returns

PTB Protest Update – 13/01/2022

Under normal circumstances, 24 hours in the life of a Latics fan is never dull and the preceding last few days have certainly been no different.

We were given the news on Monday that the OEC has had a restructure and Simon Blitz, Danny Gazal etc al had been removed as directors. While we don’t know what this means in it’s entirety but we will endeavour to find out more and report back in a timely fashion. Either way, it certainly feels like it could be a significant development.

On Tuesday we were given the news that the custodian of our club, Abdallah Lemsagam, has confirmed that the club is indeed up for sale and that he is speaking to ‘credible’ bidders. This is something that as a group, we have been pushing for, for a long period of time. We know that there are people willing to buy football clubs and you don’t have to look far around the North West region to see that is the case. It is refreshing that Mr Lemsagam has finally acknowledged that a change needs to happen for everyone to move on and for the club to prosper. The last 4 years have been a unmitigated disaster both on and off the pitch and significant damage has been caused to the club that we love so much. We still feel all of this could have been avoided if senior officials at the club would have listened to the concerns of supporters much earlier, rather than think that the level of discontent would just disappear. This ignorance now sees us fighting for our lives to stay in the football league and decisions made by the regime have left a trail of destruction that inevitably fans will have to pick up.

Once again following on from the reports made to the police on Tuesday regarding threats made we would like to reiterate that all threats and or abuse does is derail the hard work done by honest, law abiding supporters. We urge all supporters to be respectful at all times. Emotions may run high but making any form of threat and abuse should never be tolerated.

Our feelings at the current time are mixed, it is obviously music to our ears that the club is up for sale and we are obviously excited and optimistic about the future. As a group we have NEVER lost sight of the potential this club has. On the flip side, we have to remain grounded and realistic about where we are at this very point and look back over similar promises that have been made (but not kept) in the past. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball.

We therefore feel that as an independent supporters group, it is of the upmost importance to see this through to a conclusion. We have made excellent ground as a fanbase and we should not lose sight of that. Without the healthy and lawful pressure that fans (either collectively or individually) have put on the regime, we would not be in this position so for everyone that has penned an email, taken part or attended a protest, made a banner, offered a suggestion or wilfully spoken out about the desire for change and what this looks like, that statement was partly down to you.

As mentioned above, no deals have been done and we will be working, as we have been in more recent times, both independently and alongside OASF to ensure that this is brought to a successful conclusion. There are many complementary areas between us but both groups have very specific functions in how best to enforce change. We can assure you that dialogue is both constant and productive between the groups and the working relationship grows day by day in an effort to serve supporters of this club in the best way possible.

Given Saturdays game against Leyton Orient is now postponed we believe postponing our protest is the best course of action and will be done at a game later in the month or into February which would be better placed and it is our intention to see this through, with as much passion, if not more, as any other protest we have held to date.

There will no doubt be further correspondence from us in due course in relation to next steps, but for a short while let’s collectively enjoy a light at the end of the tunnel before getting back to the hard work of taking tangible steps towards a better future where this club can fulfil the potential we know it has and fans can be treated in the fashion that they deserve.

We have seen and read lots of comments and if you do have any suggestions over what happens next or have any queries you want answering, our door is always open.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

PTB Statement – 11/01/2022

PTB would like to place on record our disgust at the reports this afternoon that the owners of the club have both received death threats.

PTB resolutely condemn any kind of threat or abuse and we would expect Greater Manchester Police to come down hard on the person(s) involved in the strongest possible manner, this type of behaviour towards another person has no place in society. All this behaviour does is derail the hard work done by honest, law abiding supporters. The club had already admitted in their statement that talks were ongoing with credible people.

As we have stated numerous times previously, we urge all supporters to be respectful at all times. Emotions may run high but making any form of threat and abuse should NEVER be tolerated.

PTB will work with the club, if required, to assist in identifying the person(s) involved.

Protest – 10/01/2022

Over the past few weeks we have seen increased coverage given to the club by media outlets up and down the country regarding the running of our club. We feel at this stage it is vital we continue to keep our plight in the public eye and not take our foot off the pedal to ensure that fans, media and the football authorities remain aware of the discontent amongst Oldham Athletic supporters due to the of handling of club affairs and the fact we sit rooted to the bottom of the entire football league. There is no doubt that this attention and pressure is making a difference, with every poor decision the club continues to make being scrutinised. The most recent example of this is the bans given to three supporters being rescinded.

Supporters such as Mark Mills, who turned up outside Boundary Park on Saturday and protested following the postponement of our game against Sutton United and Jason who stood outside Boundary Park for a full day with banner displaying his displeasure, both lads have started to take it upon themselves to organise legal and peaceful protests of their own. This is something we encourage as it keeps the momentum going and once again highlights that we all have a part to play in the future of our club.

On that subject, we now wish to announce the next peaceful protest outside the main entrance of the club on Saturday 15th January from 2pm prior to the Leyton Orient game. At the last protest there was in excess of 800 people. Let’s ensure we maintain significant numbers so that the custodian, board members and senior officials cannot ignore our dissatisfaction and the path that we have been taken down at no fault of our own. As with other protests, whether you are there to chant or to just stand back and just be part of it, we as a fan base need to consistently stand as one until there is change in the ownership of our football club.

It was back in 2019 when we were first formed as a group, that we carried out a protest prior to the Leyton Orient game, and their trust and fanbase stood shoulder to shoulder with us to highlight the issues we faced. They have reiterated a similar message once again and will be fully supportive, having suffered at the hands of inept ownership.

As always, we encourage everyone to ensure that they are passionate but that the protest is peaceful and lawful to ensure the credibility of supporters is maintained.

As part of the day, we are also asking for willing volunteers to hand out leaflets at the ground to both home and away supporters to spread the word further. If you are interested, please contact us via the usual means (Twitter, Facebook, email etc)

We hope you can make it, whether you come to the protest and then into the ground or come to the protest and then go home we need everyone to turn out in numbers to show our current custodian and the wider footballing community that we aren’t going anywhere and that we will fight for the future of the club we love.

Keep fighting for YOUR club.

Reclaim The Faith.

Merry Christmas – 24/12/2021


Good Evening Latics Supporters,

We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from the four of us at Push The Boundary!

To say that this year has been a challenging one on many fronts would be an understatement. Starting the year with games remaining behind closed doors which produced uninspiring results, but brought about many high scoring games.

We have seen across the year, a further 3 head coaches at the helm in Harry Kewell, Keith Curle and Selim Benachour. Despite the managerial changes, we find ourselves once again in a precarious position, placed in the bottom 2 of the basement division of the EFL, which cannot and should not be accepted.

However, over the past 12 months and highlighted more so in recent days, supporters have power! Supporters who are unified and together will reach the end goal and it’s not a case of if but a case of when we achieve the shared aims.

The last few days has shown Oldham Athletic supporters once more, the contempt that the club hold our fan base in. The wider footballing community heard our owner on TalkSport, they are now well aware of the current state of Oldham Athletic.

This has been and will continue to be an almighty battle in the quest to reclaim the faith and restore pride, ambition, trust and optimism in our beloved football club.

Our actions and our motivation at PTB is driven by you, the loyal and passionate fan base and we will continue to push forward and explore all options in our aim to get a bigger, better and brighter future for Oldham Athletic.

Thank you once again for your support throughout 2021. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Adam, Dan, Ste and Will
PTB

PTB Response to Steve Brown – 23/12/2021

Steve,

We have just read the statement from the club (here) regarding the decision to rescind the 3 year bans handed out to 3 supporters. We are astounded by the lack of apology/ remorse towards the three lads involved and to then issue final written warnings would indicate that these supporters did something wrong which we all know is not the case, at best some of the hearsay evidence is purely slanderous without any facts to back it up. To be told that you can no longer attend your clubs matches based upon accusations of which no factual evidence can, or has been provided, is completely and utterly abhorrent and for that, the people involved in the original decision should be ashamed.

All the club has served to do in the last 4 days is truly cement in the minds, not only of Oldham Athletic fans, but of football fans up and down the country, what a laughing stock we are and highlight the sheer incompetence of the people that are in charge of running the club. You had a loyal, passionate fanbase at your disposal, and you have seen fit to not only alienate them, but to actively turn against them and suggest that they have been involved in the decline of the football club both on and off the pitch. The mere suggestion of this reeks of a lack of self-awareness and unwillingness to stand by the action taken by the custodian and board in the last 3 and a half years.

Upon consultation with these supporters, we would like the following action to be confirmed at your earliest opportunity:

– That the data of the 3 fans involved has not indeed been passed to either football league clubs and/or GMP, as given the reasons behind the bans would be unlawful.
– Removal of the final written warning for these supporters. To issue this is to suggest they did anything wrong, and it is abundantly clear that this isn’t the case as the club have provided no factual evidence in support of these accusations and therefore we don’t see how any form of warning can be given?
– An apology to all 3 supporters in question, from a senior club official for the hurt and distress that has been caused. Arguably you have tarnished their reputation by merely issuing these bans in the first place and for that, they deserve an apology.

Just for clarity, by not responding to this email, we will automatically treat it that you are not willing to comply with the above requests and we will take this to local/regional and national media sources to yet again highlight the contempt with which you hold both supporters and supporters groups.

Finally, as a group, we would also like to reiterate our stance that Abdallah Lemsagam is not the man to take this club forward. He has shown time and time again a severe lack of business acumen and following this action, has completely alienated not only supporters of this club, but he has tarnished any future involvement in football in this country, because of his actions.

We request that the club is formally put up for sale and that Mr Lemsagam listens to his advisors and entertains serious offers for the football club, based upon it’s current league position, assets and reputational value, all of which have been negatively affected to the decision making of the chairman and the board in his time as custodian.

The conduct of the chairman live on national radio yesterday only serves to strengthen that view and as Trevor Sinclair mentioned afterwards “If I am an Oldham Athletic fan, I would be concerned about my clubs future”.

Well Mr Brown, we are Oldham Athletic fans and we are VERY worried about our clubs future.

We await your response.

Danny, Steve, Will & Adam

Open Letter to General Manager – 20/12/2021

Steve,

You will no doubt be aware of why we are contacting you. We are at something of a loss as to how and why the action of banning two supporters has been taken. The timing, not only is it a few days before Christmas, but also a matter of days before the biggest game of our season against Scunthorpe on Boxing Day.

The club have advised that they want to work alongside supporters and not against them, but (yet again), the action taken does not back up the words of the chairman. You will not need reminding that this action has also been taken against a director of OASF, who are a 3% shareholder in the football club.

Your action to date as General Manager has been to cancel 2 meetings with OASF (one at short notice when 2 directors were stood outside the stadium) and to issue these bans (as well as others). We fail to see any form of a collaborative approach to working with supporters to try and improve the situation, as purported by the Chairman. As far as we are concerned, the situation is far beyond recovering due to action taken by the current owner and board) in their tenure and we have made this clear. If the club think they can work with supporters, then take tangible steps to do so. If you do not think the situation is recoverable, then you should be taking every possible step to find alternative ownership and give fans a shred of hope.

What you cannot do (but are attempting) is to obliterate any form of free speech and opposition to the current regime, in an attempt to silence supporters. This has been done by banning flags & banners in the stadium, by taking tickets off sale for the Hartlepool game, attempting all ticket games for away fixtures and now this. The question is, what do you think that this will possibly achieve and how do you think this will be perceived by our fanbase as well as the wider footballing community?

In the Supporters Code of Conduct on the clubs website, it states the following “It is recognised that football is a passionate game and supporters will have their own way of expressing their support and reactions. This is acceptable and welcomed as it often adds positively to the matchday experience”.

You define ‘unacceptable conduct’ as “conduct considered to be violent or disorderly. Violent conduct includes any actual, attempted or threatened physical violence against any person or intentional damage to property.” This seemingly relates to conduct at home & away games, and not via social media. We fail to see, based on the justification in the letter, how the actions of both supporters can be seen to be fall under the guise of ‘unacceptable conduct’?

With regards to entry to away stadiums, we don’t believe the club can enforce such a ban unless a court order is obtained. After consulting the club’s customer charter, under the heading of ‘DATA’, it states the following:

Under no circumstances will Oldham Athletic disclose supporter’s personal data to any third party unless required by law.

As no criminal offence has taken place, we fail to see how passing details to other clubs in the division can be required ‘by law’. If you do this, it would constitute a GDPR breach so we would therefore encourage you to re-think this course of action in the event that this may come back on the club.

Your letter also states that you have been asked by the Board of Directors to review ‘actions of individuals’ and this forms part of this action. We have had verbal confirmation from a director, Richard Bowden, that he was not aware of the action being taken. Therefore, if this is indeed the case, the action taken is not unanimous? We understand that following this, said director has tendered his resignation to the board. This only adds weight to the concerns that the current board is not fit for purpose or indeed not even working towards a common goal.

As a group, we will work alongside both individuals and OASF to ensure that this decision is broadcast as far and wide as possible so that the club can be held to account for what it is doing. We have been in touch the Football Supporters Association, Fair Cop, local/national media as well as notifying the EFL of the conduct of one of it’s members.

On a final note, how much longer can this seriously continue? Whether people in the football club care to admit this or not, the situation is unrecoverable, and the position of the board and majority shareholder is completely untenable. We therefore ask all parties to come together and do what is required, to find an alternative owner before a community asset is destroyed once and for all. We would like to assume that given your previously involvement with Blackpool, that you would want to avoid a similar chain of events at another football league club.

You will no doubt be hearing further from us in due course.

PTB

Supporter Respect – 17/12/2021

In recent weeks we have witnessed a number of incidents that we see are causing an increasing divide in our fanbase.

For every argument, disagreement that as a fanbase we get involved with, it takes the focus away from what is truly important…the survival of the football club.

We will continue to try and represent our membership and the rest of the fanbase as best we can by taking action that will help ultimately allow us to reach our goal. We would like to reiterate that whatever action we take, or others wish to take, it is done of their own accord and freewill and that should never change. People should not be chastised for the decisions they make.

While we actively encourage healthy debate, it’s crucial that we ultimately respect each other’s views in the same manner. As a fanbase, we should not tolerate any form or discrimination or abuse of others and should look to challenge appropriately and stamp this behaviour out at the earliest opportunity.

We have seen with other clubs, that whenever there are ownership issues, never far behind is a divided fanbase. It is very rare that opinions and ideas are universally agreed upon, whether it be to attend games, or not attend games etc. Everyone has their reason for going and for not going and these reasons require no justification to anyone else.

We all support the same club and a unified fanbase is the only thing that will see us through what are unquestionably tough times. We all want the same thing, a healthy, sustainable football club and we all have views about how to get there.

We love the energy and passion people have for this club, but let’s ensure that this is channeled in the right manner.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Thank You! – 13/12/2021

Empty the Park – Follow Up

Firstly, we want to thank every single one of you that took part in ‘Emptying the Park’ yesterday. We received a lot of messages from existing season ticket holders who were taking part in this, and fully understood the intention. It was always a 2-part action following the “pack the park” for the Port Vale. We felt this was the best way to get as many people on board as possible and based on the results and feedback, we feel this was the correct approach. It was a fantastic response from supporters of PTB, The Foundation and The Athleticos. Unity amongst the fan base will make us stronger and make us harder to ignore.

It was definitely typical Latics that the game would finish 5-5 after being 4-1 down early in the 2nd half. It was a fantastic fight back from the players and a well earned point against the league leaders. That being said, this action was always taken with a long term view in mind and we want to put on record our appreciation to all the existing season ticket holders and remaining supporters who took part. We know from experience how difficult it is to not attend games, and we are incredibly grateful for the sacrifice you made to support the cause.

We know there is no silver bullet here and that this action alone was never going to make the owner sell the club and we know that protest needs to be varied and imaginative. This action was never about “missing the Forest Green game”, it was to show what Abdallah has done to the club in his time and the continued trajectory both him and his brother are taking us on.

The club have recently advised publicly that we have 2,690 season ticket holders. This is still circa 1,000 down on the figure we had upon entering league 2 and on the back of the cheapest season ticket prices in living memory. The number of ST holders reported is questionable given Karl Evans update back on 8th August 2021 after the early bird offer had finished, which suggested 2167 season tickets had been sold. To suggest another 523 tickets had been sold at full price is hard to believe. Whether the current pricing can be sustained is up to the club and will be heavily dependent on league status but it would be optimistic to expect the same level of ST sales given how the club is being run and the sentiment amongst supporters. In the last 2 seasons, the announcement around Season Tickets has been made in February, a date that is fast approaching and the number of existing ST holders who chose to stay away for the Forest Green game will not go unnoticed. It is great to see how fans responded and also swelled the gate for the Port Vale game and roared us on to a win.

This is also in light of the recent news from OASF, where they confirmed the club had at short notice cancelled their last 2 planned meetings as well as offering a non-club employee as a point of contact for supporters. If the club are looking to work closely with supporters to recover this situation, it is certainly not being shown by their actions. Something we have sadly become accustomed to.

We have 25 more games to save our football league status and it is clear we are in the group of teams who have a fight on their hands, unless there is a drastic turnaround in fortunes. Attention turns to the massive period over Christmas and in particular, on Boxing Day at BP against Scunthorpe United.

This campaign has gained even more media exposure but it’s obviously about what happens after this. We are still exploring more avenues behind the scenes and discussed further action that can be taken to maintain pressure on the owners and more importantly keeping the concerns of the club in the National media for all to see. Again, if you have suggestions then feel free to share them with us and we will consider all options but we call on all supporters to do everything we can to keep this momentum going and to ensure that you voice your concerns where possible. It is becoming increasingly clear that this could be the most pivotal season in the clubs history.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Club Update – 01/12/2021

Following on from information received this evening to suggest the club is taking legal action against Brassbank, the owners of Boundary Park, we will make our own enquiries and provide supporters with an update as and when it becomes available. Given this is a live case information may be limited.

This is just another piece of evidence to add to the long list of concerns raised in the last few years.

We will continue to monitor but would advise against supporters jumping to any conclusions at this time.

Northampton Away – 11/11/2021

Oldham fan Tom Poole has written a guide to Northampton away for Oldham supporters making the journey down. If you require any further information let us know and we can ask the question!

Travel
Trains would be a 2 hour journey to Northampton from Manchester Piccadilly, and anytime after 10am, the cost of this if you’re planning to head back after the game would be £40, however, the last train that arrives back in Manchester the same night leaves Northampton at 22.18, which would be pushing for time to get back to the station as it’s a half hour walk. If you wanted to arrange a cab, I would contact Speedline and preorder on 01908260260 and arrange this before the game. This would make a 7 minute journey back to the train station, depending on matchday traffic.

Alternatively, if you aren’t working the following day, or plan on staying the night in Northampton, they have plenty of hotels near the centre of town for around £70 for 2 adults. The Ibis hotel is located close to the train station, and this is £75 for that night (as of 08 November).

By Car
Driving would be a 152 mile trip to get to Sixfields Stadium, taking roughly 2 and half hours. You would exit at Junction 16 of the M1 and it’s around 4 miles before you get to the stadium, most of which is signposted to help you get there. The postcode for the stadium is NN5 5QA should you use SatNav.

Pubs/Restaurants
There are a number of restaurants and a pub located on the retail park opposite the stadium, however, I am unsure as to whether they allow away fans in before kick off as I know some clubs will do that. However, should you arrive earlier in the day to Northampton, the town centre has lots of places to eat and drink should you need, including a Wetherspoons, a Turtle Bay, as well as several smaller establishments, some of which do homemade food. The smaller places are located on St Giles Street, a 10 minute walk from the train station. While Turtle Bay is on the walk to the town centre, and the Wetherspoons is located in the middle of the town centre on The Ridings.
Just to make you aware for prices in Northampton, a pint of bitter in a Wetherspoons is £2.10, Lager varies from £2.10-£3.19 and cider is £2.10-£3, depending on which drink you’re having.

Ipswich Away – 05/11/2021

We have been asked to pass the following details by Suffolk Police to supporters heading down to Ipswich.

The Away pub for OAFC supporters is the Station Hotel. It has plenty of capacity and is a 5 minute walk from Portman Road.

It is also right opposite the railway station and only a 3 minute walk from the coach park.

The pubs in the town centre are predominantly home only (with a limited few exceptions) but are at least 15 minutes – walk from the stadium.

The coach park is on West End Road. It is the unmade area to the right hand side of the main car park driveway. It will have a sign saying “COACH PARKING” in place. The drivers should pay the charge at the meter nearby in the main car. They will get ticketed if they don’t.

For anyone travelling in private cars there is parking at West End Road. There is also a large car park NCP in Portman Road but it is a nightmare to get out of at the end of the game. They are other public car parks in Ranelagh Road and Burrell Road, which are a 5 – minute walk from the stadium.

The stadium will open from 1330 hours. The entrances to the Upper Cobbold Stand are in Portman Road, Blocks V1 and V2.

Protest Update – 04/11/2021

You will have hopefully heard our announcement on The Boundary Park Alert System Podcast, regarding our latest course of action to add pressure to the custodian of our club.

You will note that we recently surveyed the fanbase about our next course of action. This was an attempt to see how fans were feeling about the most effective way forward. We specifically wanted to know whether boycotting fans would return to BP and also whether current ST holders would willingly miss a game as part of a one-off organised protest. We feel that the results were positive enough to press on with this initiative.

Therefore, for our next course of action we are announcing strategic action across 2 games. This is an attempt to find a level of compromise across a fanbase that is unified in terms of what it wants, but somewhat split in how it sees the most effective way of getting there. Therefore…

Port Vale (Home)
Saturday 20th November
3pm

For this game we are asking supporters to purchase a ticket and attend the game. This would be with a view to supporting the team when they need it most, but also letting the board, the chairman and sporting director know that they need to sell the club and move on. All of PTB are willing to make this sacrifice and enter the stadium, something we vowed not to do until the chairman had sold the club. However, it is clear that the situation is now critical and we appreciate that momentum must be driven by us as a group.

The match day atmosphere has all but dried up at Boundary Park which is heartbreaking to see, but supporters cannot be blamed for this. The finger of blame can only be pointed at the man at the helm of the club, who with his ownership has driven fans away in their droves, potentially destroying the next generation of Latics fans waiting in the wings to take the club forward. He has to be stopped before any chance of a positive future for us all as supporters is lost.

Take your family, bring your friends, get them to bring their friends. For fans who haven’t been for years this one game is your chance to have your voice heard by the owners in the ground. This is about showing the power that supporters have to dictate the future of their club and also showing the regime the errors of their ways and how good it could have been if they actually listened to the fanbase as opposed to showing it contempt and neglect since they took over. Between us all, we know lapsed Latics fans so let’s try and round as many up as we possibly can and make our feelings heard. In short, we need all fans to spread the word.

We will be sitting in the large part of the Rochdale Rd end of the ground, please feel free to join us there so together we can create an effective atmosphere. Let’s “Refill the Rocky!”. Regardless of where you sit, we encourage you to make as much noise as you can in a lawful manner.

Now, the compromise…

Forest Green (Home)
Saturday 11th December

This game we are asking that as many fans as possible boycott this fixture. If people are willing to attend a game when they once vowed not to, we are asking as a compromise that season ticket holders as well as regular attendees do the same. For one game. We will be around on the day to spread the word and hand out flyers to both home and away fans before the game. It has also been mentioned that fans could attend the game but stage a mass walkout after ten minutes to offer a more visual boycott. We feel this would be effective and fully support this idea. We will be advising where we will be once the game has started and would be happy to encourage fans join us or other boycotters in pubs around the stadium.

We appreciate that this approach won’t work over a prolonged period of time, but we are hoping fans will see the benefit of each approach to send a clear message and to show the power of supporters to attend/not attend as they see fit.

It is up to us as a group to make all media outlets aware so that this generates yet more attention for our cause. We have already taken steps towards this happening and will keep you updated.

Further action will be planned in due course but we call on ALL supporters to believe they can make a difference. We have 31 games to turn this situation around so each week/game is massive.

There will be further communication around this prior to the event so please stay tuned but for now, we just ask that you SPREAD THE WORD.

There are numerous things happening behind the scenes still as we battle on many fronts, but we can’t allow the owner to become comfortable and think that the pressure has gone away. Some of the ongoing PTB work on top of these protests is as follows:

– Dialogue with the FSA & EFL and working towards a joint meeting
– Contingency “1895 Fund” with OASF
– Upcoming meeting with OMBC
– More press coverage
– Spreading the word around the Oldham area to reach all corners of the fanbase
– Finding people who are willing and capable of running the football club

We will keep you informed of our progress in each of these areas as we go along, in the manner we have always tried to do.

Appreciating that our recent news won’t appeal to everyone, we wanted to pull together some answers to queries/criticism we have received. We have to be mindful that we are 4 fans trying to make big decisions on behalf of a large number of supporters based on the information we receive. We will get some things right, we will get some things wrong, but we can assure you 100% that each decision is made in the best interest of the long suffering supporters of this club.

Please remember that we cannot encourage pitch encroachment or any other forms of law breaking.

FAQ

Why is there no pre-game protest versus Port Vale?

Given the lack of turnstile operators at the club this season we don’t wish to have any delays in getting people in the ground. This, along with the fact that we know the club will be looking for any reason to refuse entry to the stadium, we feel it’s best to ensure as many of us get in the ground so we can make our voices heard. There will be other opportunities to protest outside the ground.

Can the club just counter this action?

The club can obviously counter this by offering cheap/free tickets and inflating the attendance, something we have seen so far this season. This is purely at the clubs’ discretion, but again, it is clear to fans that numbers are dwindling despite what the “official” attendances may be. We would encourage fans who are offered free tickets, to turn these down for the greater good, for one game.

If the club did choose to remove any pay on the day and/or continue not to allow banners in the ground, this would only reflect badly on them, as it did earlier in the season, despite Abdallah staying he wants to work WITH supporters and not against them.

Why not just do a total boycott?

We attempted this at the start of the season and while we have seen attendances drop significantly over the course of the last 3 seasons, we believe we are approaching a level where there are few people that would consider stopping attending games. The feeling from our survey and constant feedback we receive is that people are very much in one court or the other. Therefore, we needed to find a compromise. There is no point taking action that has little effect. There is nothing visual in the stadium and we feel we need to send that message loud and clear from where we will be heard on a match day.

In short, based on the results we had from our survey, it was clear that one course of action wouldn’t be as successful as required, without the other.

Why not just do a mass walkout for the FGR game?

We think this is a great idea and are happy to promote fans doing this. We are conscious that asking “pay on the day” fans to pay £20+ to watch 10 minutes of a game is unfair. There may also be ST holders who travel from further afield and will just choose to not attend at all and we respect that.

Aren’t you just putting money in their pockets?

Technically, yes, we are. However, we also feel that the visual of protesting in the ground is something that has to be done. We have been boycotting for over 2 seasons now and stepping back into the stadium isn’t a decision we would take lightly, and without consulting our members in the belief we are taking a course of action that the “majority” can get behind. There has to be a long game in terms of what we want to get out of this.

Why not just do another protest?

We could easily have done this, but we don’t want things to get stale and while protests are good and effective, if we get fewer numbers, then it could be perceived that they are having less effect. That said, they certainly aren’t off the table for future.

If you have any other queries don’t hesitate to contact us via the usual means, we are always happy to explain our thinking if it helps fans understand our intentions.

We are excited about this course of action and we hope you are too. Let’s really make this work.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Carlisle Away – 23/10/2021

With Carlisle next up away from home we have contacted them for an update as to whether banners/ AL out T Shirts and Flags would be accepted in the ground. We have received the following information.

“After consideration of this request we are happy for you to wear shirts and to display your flags within our stadium. Flags and all Banners will have to be displayed in our Waterworks End as per our flags policy. We still reserve the right to prevent any being displayed which show derogatory/abusive comments. (We have advised Carlisle of what the message is and they agree this is not offensive and will advise their stewards). We request that all your activities are conducted within the ground, we will not allow any protests on the outside of the stadium in order to prevent any disorder. The police are attending this game so keeping everything within the stadium ensures you are able to express your message safely.
 
In return for this concession on our part, we would ask that, in return, fans behave in a sensible fashion and do not get involved in any anti social behaviours whilst at Brunton Park. We want you to enjoy your time at our ground and be able to make a peaceful protest, but we ask that you treat our stewards and employees with respect.”
 
Should fans have any concerns over treatment or issues displaying flags or banners make yourself know to Carlisles security Supervisors (in the orange jackets) when you arrive at the ground. 

As we have said before we would encourage Latics supporters to conduct themselves in a passionate but law-abiding manner whilst sending out the message loud and clear to our custodians that their time is up. We want to keep other clubs support so please ensure we are respectful of the goodwill. Fans have stood up at a critical time. We will look back on this one day and it will be a defining moment in our clubs history.

Former Rochdale CEO – 08/10/2021

We were recently contacted by Rochdale Supporters Trust (as well as numerous Rochdale Supporters) to advise that at the recent home game against Harrogate Town, former Rochdale CEO, David Bottomley was in attendance.

We are at this stage unaware in what capacity Mr Bottomley was in attendance, but we feel it’s our job as a supporters group, as it has been since day one, to raise any potential red flags that may impact the future of our club.

Having researched at length and had conversations with Rochdale supporters it is of our opinion that any appointment made would not be in the best interest of the football club or it’s supporters.

There is obviously the possibility that this information is incorrect, but given the current situation at the club and the apparent departure of current CEO, Karl Evans, we can’t and won’t leave anything to chance.

Mr Bottomley was removed as a director in June 2021 following an EGM, where 60% of members voted in favour of his removal from the board (along with Graham Rawlinson).

Rochdale’s issues have been well documented, and are indeed ongoing with regards to a ‘hostile takeover’ and the allocation of shares to Morton House MGT, owned by Andrew Curran. Mr Bottomley was the incumbent CEO at the height of this furore. It also understood that as a result of this, Mr Bottomley forms part of an investigation being undertaken by the EFL.

Mr Bottomley (who was UK Sales Director) was also referenced in the Hasbro price fixing scandal in 2002, where a £4.95m fine was imposed by the OFT and the final report referenced the following:

David Bottomley, UK Sales Director, admitted in his statement to OFT officials that he “was an instigator”. It is the Director’s view that, in the person of David Bottomley, Hasbro’s senior management was fully aware of what the Distributors’ agreements involved and actively
encouraged their implementation. (para 89).

As a result of this, we have emailed Rick Parry, who has previously been made aware of Mr Bottomley and his involvement with Rochdale, to raise our concerns.

We thank those fans that have independently contacted us with this information. The vigilance of football fans is vital when our clubs are threatened. At a critical time in our clubs history, it’s incredibly important that fans views are heard and that we act as a first line of defence. We have been subjected to far too many poor decisions and poor decision makers and we have to act with the benefit of foresight offered to us.

We will keep you advised of any progress made.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Rochdale Away – 23/09/2021

Good Afternoon Latics Supporters,

Ahead of our short trip across the A627(M) to Rochdale on Saturday for another local derby, we just wanted to address supporters ahead of what is another massive game both on and off the field.

Before doing so however, we wish to send our condolences to friends, family of and everybody connected to Rochdale Football Club following the loss of former chairman David Kilpatrick. Mr Kilpatrick helped save Rochdale FC back in 1980 along with Business Partner Graham Morris and was in situ for a total of 27 years, providing “The Dale” with a sound, solid and sustainable business plan, something that we are a million miles away from having at this current time. We would expect that a period of silence or a minute’s applause will take place prior to kick off. As such, let’s show the appropriate respect as this is an emotive time for Rochdale Football Club.

Over many years, plenty of head to head derbies have taken place between Latics and Rochdale with fond memories of Shefki Kuqi’s 40 yard hit to equalise back in 2012, Daniel Johnson rounding goalkeeper Conrad Logan to take the lead in what was a fantastic 3-0 away win in November 2014 and Johnny Placide preserving a vital point for Latics at the time with a penalty save off Joe Rafferty in April 2018. We hope to have more fond memories this weekend, and despite recent results, the unity amongst supporters have been amazing and we want that to continue.

Emotions are running high at present with varied protests being carried out at both home and away fixtures and ahead of Saturday’s game, we would encourage Latics supporters to conduct themselves in a passionate but law-abiding manner whilst sending out the message loud and clear to our custodians that their time is up. Fans have stood up at a critical time. We will look back on this one day and it will be a defining moment in our clubs history.

As with support at both Leyton Orient and Brentford, on the whole, supporters behaviour has been exemplary despite losing heavily on both occasions. On Saturday, we urge similar acts of defiance to take place inside the stadium once more, with tangerine wigs being worn, flags and banners being held aloft in the 4th minute of the game combined with songs forcing the message home. We are expecting Abdallah to be present at the Rochdale game so make sure your voice is heard. As ever, please protest peacefully and do not enter the field of play. We have an enormous amount of goodwill from supporters of other football clubs as well as in the media circle both locally and nationally. We need to maintain this going forward in our quest for supporters to be proud of our great club once more.

We would hope, given recent days, weeks and months of Rochdale’s ownership being uncertain, with the rumours of a hostile takeover etc. that Dale supporters would stand in solidarity during our protests against the owner. Too many clubs from the North West region have been hit with hard times, which has seen Bury and Macclesfield lose their EFL status along with Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers suffering at the hands of poor ownership in recent times. Naturally, we hope that Rochdale supporters can come through this tumultuous period and we can continue to be fierce rivals for many  years to come.

We have been in talks with Dale Trust who have been engaging with Rochdale to ensure a repeat of Brentford doesn’t happen to supporters again. We have been advised;

“The maximum size flag and banner size is 7ft by 3ft no sticks on the ends! Any bigger are prohibited from the ground, A fire safety certificate is required for all banners over 3ft x 3ft. All fire rating documents should be supplied before banners can enter the stadium but must not cover advertising boards, protest T shirts are not an issue, unless it is offensive, in that case they will be asked to turn them inside out”.

As a parting message, we hope Latics supporters make up for lost time and have a great day on Saturday. Hopefully we can dispel the events of Tuesday night, get a response from the players and come away with a valuable 3 points.

Come On Oldham!

#ReclaimTheFaith #OAFC #SAVEOAFC

PTB

Saturdays Protest

We wanted to drop you a note ahead of what will be a huge day for us as fans on Saturday.
 
In the last few weeks we have had our plight thrust onto the national stage.  We have been advised recently that Abdallah wants to work with fans and not against us, only to then be told 24 hours later that we are unable to purchase tickets for the upcoming home game against Hartlepool.  This doesn’t feel like we are working in collaboration, but this can’t be a surprise given our experiences of the last few years.
 
It feels that dissenting voices are trying to be silenced in an effort to retain control of a situation that is quickly spiralling out of control. This is not unfamiliar based upon other clubs that have faced similar issues with ownership.  What we have seen in the last week is a coming together of supporters for a common cause.  The gesture from Leyton Orient to allow fans to pay on the day won’t be forgotten, as well as a show of solidarity from the stands and for those that were there to witness it, I think you’ll agree that it even caught the most optimistic of us by surprise, with how warm the reception was.
 
This week we have been in dialogue with The Oldham Times, Granada Reports, the Price of Football podcast, The Times (amongst others), so it’s clear that the momentum we have shows no sign of letting up.  More importantly, we can’t afford to lose exposure this as it really is a critical time for the club.
 
The behaviour of supporters at Leyton Orient was EXEMPLORY.  The support was passionate, before, during and after the game and largely positive towards the players in spite of the result.  It’s fair to say that our message was delivered in the right way and we want to carry that into this weekend.  We don’t want any behaviour to detract from the message we are trying to send to the club, the footballing authorities and to the rest of the teams up and down the country.
 
We have been in contact with both Rochdale and Hartlepool United’s supporters Trust. We would again ask for a show of solidarity with both sets of fans in the 4th minute, whether that be with songs and chants and/or applause.  Both clubs have recently suffered so they know how this feels and results aside, there is much more at stake than just 3 points on the pitch.
 
For the protest and to reiterate, we will be meeting at 2pm outside the main entrance to make our voices heard in a passionate but lawful manner.  We would like to see as many fans as possible, whether you are attending the game or not, to come down and show the custodians of this club, how passionate we are and that won’t stop until we get our club back.  Bring your flags, your banners and your singing voices and be prepared to show your love and support for the club in the way you feel most appropriate.  We want the mood to be passionate and positive and to show how strong the bond is between supporters, whether you have supporters the club for 6 months or for 50 years.

The protest will finish at circa 2.45pm and if you wish to go into the ground afterwards and watch the game/continue to make your voice heard in the 4th minute, we are fully supportive of this. However if you are currently not attending Boundary Park, PTB as a group we will be heading down to Chadderton FC (a 15 minute walk away) to watch their game against Campion. They are ready to welcome any fans with open arms so we’d love if you could join us.

We can’t wait to see you down there, let’s #RECLAIMTHEFAITH together!

PTB

 

Orient Supporter Update – 10/09/2021

Orient

As an independent fans group, under the current circumstances, we felt it appropriate to address all Leyton Orient fans attending Saturday’s game, and also those that can’t or won’t be there.

You will have seen footage in recent weeks of Oldham Athletic supporters invading the pitch and throwing projectiles on the pitch. We don’t condone this action but we have to fully acknowledge why this has taken place and the resulting attention it has received.

We currently have an owner who is trying to rip out the heart of our club, whether it be by poor recruitment on and off the pitch, constant changing of managers (9 in under 4 years), numerous disputes with senior players or his most recent tactic, to stop fans attending home or away games by restricting tickets.

As a fanbase, we are living our worst nightmare. The last thing we have ever had is any sense of entitlement, and this frustration is not borne out of a lack of success, it has come from seeing our club decimated before our very eyes.

We fully understand that this is now our battle, and not yours, but we want to acknowledge that you suffered and went through all the emotions that we are currently experiencing, and in some ways, the experiences we have shared are all too similar. We saw you on the brink of the Championship, only for the infrastructure of your club to be torn apart and for the unthinkable to happen, relegation to the National League. You rebuilt after amazing work from LOFT and the coming together of supporters who cared passionately about your club, and we are now doing the same.

We want to reassure you that we will be in good spirits, lawful and our intention is to not disrupt or interrupt the enjoyment of your day inside or outside the stadium. We will be passionate and we will make our voices heard, and we hope to create a great atmosphere. We know that in an ideal world we should both be challenging at the right end of the table, but for now, circumstances dictate that it’s not to be.

We ask that you join with us in a show of solidarity after 4 minutes, whether that be simply with applause or to voice your opinion against the charlatan that was the custodian of your club. Hopefully we will be good natured rivals again soon, once this nightmare is over.

See you on Saturday!

PTB

Protest Announced – 09/09/2021

Ahead of the next few games and in light of the recent news to come out of the football club, we wanted to outline our plans to give fans as much notice as possible. More information will follow but we hope that there won’t be any further disruption to these plans prior to these events. We are constantly working on more ideas after suggestions from fans so if there are any updates to plans for the day, we will advise.

Leyton Orient (a)
Saturday 11th September
3pm kick-off

Pay on the Day

We have finally had it confirmed that Saturday’s game will have a pay on the day option, which is great news and supports our cause. We have really pushed for this and we thank Leyton Orient themselves and also Leyton Orient Fans Trust for their efforts with this. We want as many fans in the ground as possible and we want to create a great atmosphere (as we always do!), especially in the 4th minute when we have a show of solidarity against poor ownership in football. For clarity, while there will be a pay on the day option, you will have to purchase tickets beforehand so please ensure that you allow the appropriate amount of time for this to avoid lengthy queues

Tangerine Wigs

We have been pushing the sale of these all week and we hope to see a number of these in the away end as a visual for supporters as we cheer the lads on. If you get the opportunity to purchase one before weekend and take it with you, that would be fantastic!

Solidarity – 4th Minute

We have also made Leyton Orient aware and we are encouraging fans to come together in the 4th minute to call for the owner to leave by being as vocal as possible. This symbolises the 4 years that the current regime have been associated with or club. It therefore makes it all the more important that we arrive early at the stadium.

Flags & Banners

Take your banners and flags and make yourself heard. Orient have confirmed that they have no intention of confiscating these on their way into the ground but this is obviously at their discretion. Let’s remember that while we have incredibly strong feelings about the ownership of the club, we are representing ourselves and the entire fanbase, so we want to ensure that everything is passionate but also peaceful/lawful so please refrain from entering the field of play or throwing objects on the field. There is an incredible amount of goodwill around at the moment from other clubs and supporters for our cause, and we want to retain that support and if possible, even generate more by helping us spread the message. There is also the increasingly important matter of 3 points at stake the team will need our support.

Hartlepool (h)
Saturday 18th September
3pm kick-off

Your Protest. Your Way.

There will be organised a protest for this fixture and at this stage and we have notified and invited the local and national press to attend and add more weight behind our cause. The recent news out of the club regarding tickets changes nothing from our perspective and may just add more weight to the numbers inside and/or outside the ground. We have billed it as Your Protest, Your Way because we appreciate some people will be boycotting Boundary Park and others will still want to attend and make their voices heard in the stadium. We support both courses of action and don’t feel it’s appropriate to make people choose. We only want and need maximum effect with whatever we do.

The plan for the day will be to meet outside the main stand entrance at 2pm with our flags, banners and we will make our voices heard in a passionate, lawful and peaceful manner.

For those that want to go in the stadium, we encourage you to do so and to make your voices heard in the correct & lawful manner. We want as many people as possible to attend and let the regime hear exactly how we are feeling.

Thank you to those that have already confirmed their willingness to attend and help PTB coordinate throughout the day, if there are any people out there that are willing to offer their assistance, please get in touch via the usual means.

Our protest in December 2019 was a huge success and set us on our way, we want this to be bigger, better and even more passionate.

Rochdale (a)
Saturday 25th September
3pm kick-off

We appreciate that this will more than likely be an all-ticket affair, so are prepared for this. We will be looking to go down a similar route as the Leyton Orient game, with flags and banners and collective chants in the 4th minute, although we will not currently be asking for a show of solidarity in the same manner. Please keep hold of your wigs or whatever you may wish to use to show your unhappiness at the way the club is being run. We will keep you informed on this as with the current landscape things are always subject to alteration.

Finally we need you to spread the word to your family, friends and anyone else who can attend to stand loud and proud alongside us against Hartlepool. This is your club it is time as a fan base to show the owners the strength of feeling by standing together in unity. If there was ever a time for a fan base to be unified it is now.

The next few weeks are massive in terms of media attention and to show the owner that he is no longer wanted at the club. As recent as this week, he has sought to divide us and to somehow make us feel that it is OUR actions that are ‘hurting the club’. We are taking a stand for what is right and it is clear that he doesn’t like that level of opposition. He may dig his heels in, but we are Latics fans, we are resolute and we are as loyal as they come…and we will be here long after he has gone. We can deliver that message yet again, loud and clear.

Let’s Reclaim the Faith!!

PTB

Away Ticketing Update – 08/09/2021

In light of the recent club announcements regarding the ticketing situation we felt it appropriate to speak up and speak out.

The recent pitch invasions and corresponding action that has been taken by fans is something that we don’t and would never condone. That being said, fans do not take this action without the feeling that there is no alternative, especially when they see their football club being decimated in front of their very eyes. At this stage, the issues at home matches is a separate issue.

Onto away matches, it is worth pointing out the behaviour of supporters away from Boundary Park this season has been nothing short of exemplary. You have supported the team at Bradford, Bristol Rovers & Sutton and sang your hearts out when performances on the pitch did not match our expectations. This is what symbolises who we are as fans.

We feel this is yet another attempt by the custodian of our club to divide the fan base and to deflect attention away from the issues that are ongoing at the club under this ownership. The frustration that has been shown in recent times is a combination of numerous issues and is not solely born out of results on the pitch, as recently indicated. We implore fans to remain calm in light of this recent ticketing news, to stick together and keep our focus on the end goal of doing what is best all the while remembering that the right way, has right of way.

As we saw with the North Stand situation that commenced 18 months ago fans are once again being used as collateral damage in an effort to silence dissenting voices and we feel this is wholly unacceptable. We have seen similar tactics employed elsewhere and they bear all the hallmarks of a regime that is fighting a losing battle.

We have contacted the Health and Safety officer at Leyton Orient and advised that we would want the POTD option to be retained as there are many supporters who have already booked transport for the game, and there are a number of non-northern based fans (OASIS etc) that simply won’t have the time to get tickets from the ticket office beforehand. We have stressed once more that our behaviour both towards each other and Orient fans would be respectful and there have been no such murmurings of any form of physical protest for Saturdays game. We remain hopeful that this will be an option for us all.

We retain dialogue with Leyton Orient and will keep you updated.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

PTB Action – 03/09/2021

Good Afternoon Latics Fans,
 
Following on from the update issued to supporters on Wednesday regarding the outcome of the meeting with club owner Abdallah Lemsagam, Push The Boundary held a meeting of their own on Wednesday evening to discuss our next steps as a group.  We have listened to all your feedback and tried to ascertain the general consensus of fans at the current time.
 
After digesting the contents of the meeting on Tuesday, it remains clear to PTB that there was (and still is) an unwillingness and lack of desire to change the way the club is being run and a lack of both a short and long term strategy to bring a level of stability that fans could be content with.

We have seen the communication from the Athleticos this morning regarding the removal of banners and flags from the ground. It’s disappointing yet again to see the club reacting to an issue by trying to eradicate it, rather than deal with the root cause of why it’s happening to start with. It widens the gap even more between supporters and the club hierarchy.
 
On the back of this, we are firmly in the belief that the only way this club will have a stable future is with new ownership at the helm. Ownership that has the best interest of the supporters, the club and the town at the heart of everything they do. We have seen a litany of other clubs taken over in recent months, so we know that alternative ownership exists.  We have also disclosed that on a number of occasions in the last 18 months we have been approached by people willing to buy the club.  These people have only been put off by the unrealistic price tag placed on us by the owner.
 
We have to look at where we go from here.  We cannot allow ourselves to get caught in the cycle of new players and new managers that buys more time for the regime in the hope that things improve, only to end up in the same position time and time again.  So, what next…
 
Our proposed plan is made up of three logical steps:
 
1. Galvanise support
2. Provide alternative ownership options
3. Facilitate the exit of the current owner
 
To break down these in more detail, please see below what each item entails:
 
1. Galvanise Support
 
PTB have spent the last 18 months trying to raise red flags around our ownership and the trajectory of the club, this has included approaching local and national media to spread the word across the footballing community.  This has definitely worked.  We plan to use the contacts we have built up across various platforms to make sure OUR voice is louder now more than ever.  Thanks to the passion of supporters, we have seen our plight catapulted onto a national stage and it would be foolish not to build on this.
 
There will be upcoming protests, starting with action taken at the Leyton Orient game, followed by a full protest at the Hartlepool home game on Saturday 18th September. All of these will be held in a safe, law abiding manner, and when conducted professionally this will only garner more support and attention amongst the media as well as the wider footballing community.  By proxy, this will assist us with steps 2 and 3 of our plan.
 
Details of protests will be released over the next couple of days, and this will include a variety of ideas that we hope supporters will be happy with and feel they can get on board with. The theme for this will be “Your Protest, Your Way” as we appreciate that certain fans wish to continue to attend home and/or away game whereas others will choose to boycott all matches.  We therefore need an approach that allows as many people as possible to be involved.
 
Due to time constraints of contacting relevant authorities (police, media etc) prior to the weekend, we have no plans to protest prior to the home game vs Barrow this forthcoming Saturday.  We want any protest we do to have maximum effect and we don’t want to rush anything and for it to detract from our message.
 
The plan that we are providing will require a lot of support and a lot of goodwill in order for us to be successful.  As such, we plead with supporters to continue to share the word of the current state of our beloved football club.  We would also ask any supporters who would like to be involved in the planning process or would like to volunteer their services to get in touch with us via the usual means.  We are most definitely all in this together and being only 4 people, we will need as much support as possible.  Thanks to all those that have already offered their help in the past few weeks, we have made a note of everyone and will be in touch (if we haven’t already).
 
 
2. Provide Alternative Ownership Options
 
Supporters have aired concerns previously regarding alternatives if/when Abdallah leaves the football club. PTB knows that parties have been interested throughout his tenure and as mentioned previously, are aware of bids that have previously been submitted. These obviously need to be brought to the table and put in front of Abdallah once more, given supporters want the current owner to sell up.
 
As part of this point, we will be looking to meet any existing contacts we have that may bring more investors/potential parties to the table, in an attempt to provide viable & suitable alternative ownership options that would allow the current custodian of the club to step to one side.
 
PTB will be developing a wider database through gathering local company data through Companies House and look to make contact with suitable businesses within the Oldham postcode to ascertain any interest in our cause, whether that be financially or otherwise.
 
In addition to the above, and in conjunction with OASF, we will be looking to undertake a skills audit amongst supporters, where people can provide details of their personal strengths and what way they can volunteer to help.  We have seen via conversations with other clubs Trusts’ that there are generally a wide range of skills that can be tapped into by people that are only too willing to help.  We are sure the list will be endless!  We will be discussing this shortly with OASF to ensure both parties have access to any volunteers who may pledge their help if/when necessary.
 
3. Facilitate The Exit Of The Current Owner
 
The final point of the current plan will be to facilitate the exit of the current owner in (hopefully) an amicable manner that is beneficial for all parties.  We are all aware time is of the essence given the current trajectory that the club finds itself on and believe it is critical for Oldham Athletic to become under new ownership at the earliest possible opportunity.  It is clear that with every passing day, the value placed on the club is diminishing and therefore it is better for the owner to mitigate his losses by imminently selling the club.
 
Our aim is to show that there are viable alternatives and also bring any investors/potential parties that we find to the negotiating table, as well as highlighting to the owner that in the eyes of supporters, the current relationship is untenable.  We aim to keep communication lines open in the hope that the current owner sees that the logical next step is to put the club up for sale.

Alternatively, if the club do not want to cooperate with us over this, then we will of course continue to apply the pressure in different ways in an effort to make them see that they tenure at the club can no longer continue.
 
To conclude, the plan we look to bring to fruition will require a strategy, patience, help and most importantly support from the fan base of Oldham Athletic. This club belongs to supporters. The memories of many years live in the bodies of each and every one of us, the badge etched into the hearts and minds of us all and our football club, the past, present and future, deserves so much more. Keep supporting the cause, spread the word as much as possible because we will Reclaim The Faith once more.
 
Should anybody wish to add any ideas or provide any suggestions that may enhance us in our plan of action set out above, please do not hesitate to contact us via the usual methods of communication.
 
“Coming together is the beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together will bring success”
 
#ReclaimTheFaith #SaveOAFC

PTB, OASF & Club Meeting – 01/09/2021

On Tuesday afternoon, representatives of both PTB and OASF met via Zoom with club chairman Abdallah Lemsagam along with board member Adam Morallee. We thank them both for their time.

The meeting lasted for 90 minutes in total and the time was used to discuss the feeling of frustration amongst fans that culminated in repeated on-pitch protests over recent weeks.

Both fan representatives tried to convey the feeling of why we have ended up in this position. The level of questioning was very direct from both sides and the following matters were discussed (not an exhaustive list):

– Recruitment
– The Sporting Director role
– Protests
– Previous regime
– Stadium ownership
– The 3/5 year plan

As well as wanting to convey the true sense of dissatisfaction and disassociation amongst fans, we wanted signs that this had been heard and fully acknowledged by the custodians of the club. Sadly we came away from the call not feeling this was the case and that it was highly unlikely that a significant change in approach would be forthcoming (in our current opinion).

Obviously, it was incredibly frustrating to hear that the gravity of the situation wasn’t felt by the owner and that the feeling of anger was mainly down to results on the pitch. We explained that poor results is something we are used to, but it has never deterred fans from attending games and has never led to protests like we have seen recently. We tried to explain that this is NOT about results and even if there are 4/5 consecutive wins, it wouldn’t absolve the club of its behaviour off the pitch. By the same token, poor results on the pitch don’t define how we as fans feel (albeit, when staring at the trapdoor to non-league, we can’t afford to be complacent).

Mr Lemsagam stated a lot of work had been done to get the club back in a stable footing, following the position we were left in by the previous regime and this work continues. We explained that while we don’t doubt that there were inherent issues and that the decline of the club didn’t start 3 years ago, we are 3+ years down the line and we have to address the here and now. Whether the owners feel at fault for the current situation is irrelevant, we are here now and something drastic needs to happen.

The role of the sporting director was discussed and that to make a decision in the best interest in the running of the club and to send a statement of intent, would be to remove him from his role and let the current manager have full control over the playing side of things. It was made clear that this wouldn’t happen and that the chairman is happy with his performance. We feel that for numerous managers to face the axe while the Sporting Director remains in place, amidst our poorest recruitment in living memory, gives the impression that he has security of tenure. This is obviously a valid concern for both ourselves and for supporters.

While we have seen a recent coming together between PTB and OASF (and we fully expect this to continue), we also have to appreciate that we are different entities that can achieve results in different ways. The Trust can exercise their right to challenge the club in the manner they see fit and we fully support their right to do so and feel the correct personnel is there to truly hold the club to account. As with the OASF statement released this morning, the club have agreed to respond by the end of the week with next steps

From a PTB perspective, we still feel that the relationship is untenable and that while Mr Morallee chaired the meeting professionally and tried to offer suggestions, we cannot be sure whether there is the desire at the very top to make the fundamental changes required in order to bridge the gap between supporters and the club.

We await a response from the club on Friday but can assure fans that next steps are already being taken as a group and these will be announced in the near future.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Owner Meeting – 29/08/2021

Push The Boundary along with OASF are pleased to confirm that Abdallah Lemsagam has agreed, alongside Adam Morallee (Board Member and Solicitor), to meet with one member of both PTB and OASF. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 31st August via Skype.

Whilst this is the first meeting with the owner in some time, we feel for it to be of any benefit whatsoever, Mr Lemsagam must be willing to partake in an open and honest discussion about his tenure at the club. Things cannot continue as they are and urgent change is needed for the good of all supporters, staff and the future stability of the football club.

Joint Statement – 24/08/2021

PTB/ OASF Statement

Good Evening Latics Supporters,

Ahead of our Carabao Cup Round Two home tie with Accrington Stanley, we wanted to jointly address you all regarding the emergency meeting called between both Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation and Push The Boundary yesterday evening. Each party would like to thank everyone involved for making time available at such short notice and for acknowledging how crucial the situation currently is. The hunger, desire and passion amongst the attendees at the meeting was there for all to see. The meeting was positive and both parties approached this on the front foot with common goals in mind.

There will be additional actions and communications due to you, as supporters, as a result of yesterday’s meeting, but the first item, which we unanimously agreed upon, is the insistence that a meeting must take place between the owner(s), the club board, OASF and PTB. Both organisations are FSA recognised supporters groups and OASF is a 3% shareholder in the football club. For clarity, we insist that Abdallah Lemsagam and/or Mohamed Lemsagam are present at the meeting along with appropriate senior level board directors and officials.

We jointly feel that communication from and with both Abdallah & Mohamed Lemsagam directly to fans group representatives and most importantly, the fans generally, has been insufficient. Therefore, we must stress that a failure to take this final opportunity will inevitably result in action appropriate to their constitution and obligations. We will be submitting this request in writing as two separate entities, placing the deadline for a response by the club at 5pm on Tuesday 31st August 2021, in the expectation that the meeting will be held by no later than the second week in September 2021.

Given the trajectory of our club under the custodianship of Mr Abdallah and Mohamed Lemsagam, it is now up to them to openly discuss the very serious concerns of the fans directly. We legitimately fear that the next phase for the football club is likely to be administration and relegation from the EFL, for the first time in our history. As fans, we can not allow this to happen unchallenged and must insist that if you cannot immediately demonstrate a sufficient plan of action, that you must officially put the football club up for sale with immediate effect.

OASF and Push The Boundary will continue to cooperate with each other, whilst functioning as separate entities, taking actions appropriate to our responsibilities, but sharing a very clear, common goal; the survival of Oldham Athletic.

We will each be releasing details of our next steps in the very near future, so please stay tuned.

Fans Deserve Better – 22/08/2021

Good Evening Latics Supporters,

We are still angry and upset following the events of yesterday. Yet another home league defeat that sees us rooted to the bottom of the league after the first 4 games of the season, without a single point to our name.

We wanted to address you with our feelings as a group. Despite the application and effort not being good enough so far this season, this is of course not anger and frustration aimed at the Keith and the squad. This is the culmination of the last few years of unacceptable mismanagement off the pitch.

Following the Tranmere game, where fans invaded the pitch in elation at a penalty shootout victory, we saw another pitch invasion at the final whistle yesterday for very different reasons. This was conducted by youthful Oldham supporters who are seeing their club being dragged down to new depths by owners that have proven time and time again that they are not deserving or fit to run Oldham Athletic Football Club.

We have spent a long time trying to tell anyone who will listen, about the direction of travel of this club. We have protested and raised numerous red flags with the authorities. We know what is happening and need to turn this ship around.

It is sad that people feel that these actions need to take place such as pitch invasions are having to be made for people to sit up and take notice and we would like to remind everybody, these actions are being carried out by frustrated, angry supporters who’s sole desire is to have a club to support in many years to come. These are actions from supporters who care deeply about the club. These actions are a “cry for help!”.

The next week is a big one, there is no question about that and we have heard and noted all the suggestions/comments down we have seen on social media about what you want to happen next. Action by supporters will be required for us to maintain focus on the ownership of the club. We have been and will continue to be a vehicle for this. What we ask of you is that you stick together as whatever we do next, it will need strength in numbers behind it to really force the message home. Time is of the essence here and we need to act quickly and decisively.

We saw a very positive note from the ‘new’ OASF on Friday evening and combined with the events of yesterday, it feels as though the tide is turning. We have a meeting with OASF on Monday to look at how we can work together to effect change. We will keep you informed of all developments over the coming days.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB

Sutton Game – 19/08/2021

As you will have seen on social media, tickets for Sutton United away have been sent to the club.

The club have requested ‘hard copy’ tickets and will be allocated approx 130 seating tickets and around 400 covered standing. It is unfortunate the updates are from the opposition rather than our club. 

We will push for news of tickets and provide you with an update when we get them.

Away Days Update – 08/08/2021

Following on from the game yesterday we thought it was right to reach out to supporters.

Supporters have spoken out over numerous platforms since the build up to the season advising why they support asking for the owner to leave but cannot support the home boycott that we announced back in June. Fans having not been able to step foot in grounds for near on 18 months has been difficult and becoming an armchair supporter was not something fans were wanting to continue! So attending home games at our beloved Boundary Park for a number of supporters has been too much and something they couldn’t pass up on.

We respect everyone’s opinion on whether you attend games or not as every supporters personal circumstance is different. At the time when we announced the boycott very little push back was received from supporters but when the real test of questioning your loyalty to the club by attending games or not, it becomes real and very hard to separate.

We doubt that attendances will remain as they were yesterday, given the starvation of football for fans in recent times we expected an inflated attendance and the first game of the season always draws a larger crowd. The acid test will most certainly be in the forthcoming games and that is what we will treat as a barometer for the mood of supporters.

Having seen the government guidance around attendances and the lifting of restrictions we were desperately hoping that all restrictions would be lifted which is why the call for an away day only and boycotting home games was announced, however this morning we have received a call from West Yorkshire Police to advise us that the Bradford game has been made all ticket on Covid grounds along with a lowly allocation of 1,000 fans. This is obviously very disappointing considering this is going against government guidelines but appreciate the seriousness of what Covid has done to the country over the last 18 months. Given this is unlikely to be the last ground with restrictions we feel this leaves us in a difficult position and one that we have to react to. After taking fan concerns on board we therefore feel we are left in the difficult position of putting the boycott on hold until we can be given more certainty around availability of pay on the day in away stadiums. To run with this when it won’t get maximum impact, would dilute its intention. By taking the decision to postpone the boycott, it leaves the door open for when more certain times arrive, but to call this off completely, it then becomes an irreversible decision for what is an unforeseen circumstance.

As you can imagine this has not been an easy decision to make but your opinion as a supporter counts. We have listened to your thoughts and opinions on the matter and believe in the short term, until things return to “normal”, this is the right thing to do. Should this situation change, you will obviously be the first to know.

As a supporter of the club, we want you to assess and decide whether you want to attend home and/or away games. As a group, we have taken a collective decision not to fund the current regime, and any fan that current takes this stance, or chooses to take this stance in future has our full support. We spoke about whether it’s appropriate to encourage fans to attend away games if tickets had to be bought in advance (and therefore the club getting a small % of this income). We felt by encouraging this, it’s a half measure and could send mixed messages.

We made it clear when we announced our plans to attend pay on the gate away days only, that it would be one of many steps take to put pressure on the current owners. That remains true and these plans will have to be implemented sooner than we originally intended, but alas, taking on a project like PTB, and given the events of the last 18 months we have learnt that it’s often a bumpy and unpredictable road that we have to be adapt to.

We will continue to push the club towards engagement and a change in their behaviour towards supporters while the current owners remain. We want change, we NEED change and we will continue to strive for this however we can.

Ultimately, we are 4 fans that want the best for the long term future of the club and it’s amazing fans, and we want to be driven by your opinions and want your voices to be heard loud and clear. This isn’t the first hurdle we have faced and we are certain it won’t be the last. We have therefore decided to react as quickly as possible and we will be setting up another focus group of supporters so we can reach a decision over next steps. If you’d like to form part of this, let us know and we will set something up as soon as possible.

As always, if you have any other suggestions then we are always open to hearing them.

Reclaim The Faith

PTB