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
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.
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