Happy New Year Latics Fans!

Good Afternoon Latics fans, we hope you had a Very Merry Christmas and have a fantastic New Year!

2020 has certainly been a year for all of us to forget. Life changed dramatically, epitomised by having to watch football from the comfort of your own living room instead of taking in the matchday experience, it has been one with little highlights as a whole. We do however hope that you manage to share Christmas Day surrounded by loved ones.

In what has been an uncertain time for all of us, we, as PTB and as a fan base as a whole have managed to contribute greatly to the local community. During lockdown, we enlisted the help of ex players and staff to keep everybody’s spirits high by delivering messages and reliving certain highlights in the Club’s history. We hope you enjoyed them! In the height of the Pandemic back in March/April, supporters and PTB donated funds to the Community Trust for food parcels to be delivered amongst the people of Oldham. Once again showing what Oldham fans can do when they come together.

We managed to sell out of PTB badges during this period also, which managed to add handsomely to the amount raised for our first Charity Partner, Dr Kershaw’s. The total amount raised by you, the supporters, from various fundraisers and donations came to an impressive £2,983.49 (With gift aid) which was fantastic to do and we know it was well received by the team at Kershaws.  Our thanks also go to them for all the support they gave us throughout and we hope we can continue to support them where possible in the future.

Then came the ‘World Cup of Kits’ which was completed over a 2 week period through the normal World Cup format fans really got on board with this, which managed to pull on the heart strings of supporters of the shirts which brought back their favourite memories. The winning kit being the Bovis home shirt from 1991/92 season! After feedback from supporters, we created our very own PTB Bovis shirt which went on sale to supporters. The first sale went extremely well with 129 people purchasing the shirt and has since seen ourselves open up a second window for shirt sales due to the demand from supporters. We are currently awaiting payment for those who placed orders and once payments are received for these, the order will be placed. All proceeds for the shirt sales will go to your nominated PTB Charity of 2020/21 season, Melanoma UK, as voted by yourselves! Shirt orders and final payments can still be made up until 4th January any orders made after this point will not be processed. To find out how to order please see the link below;

https://pushtheboundary.co.uk/melanoma-shirt-extension-27-11-2020

We conducted our Working Groups in September & October via zoom bringing supporters from all over the globe together and these were a great success as it’s given us a real sense of direction.  Watch out for further news around this in 2021 and again, thank you for those that gave up their time to offer their suggestions.

In what has been a turbulent year for many businesses, football isn’t any different and as such neither is Oldham Athletic. On the pitch, the year started with us being in 20th place just 9 points from bottom of the table, along with the North Stand dispute and other off the field concerns following our meeting with the owner and Q&A’s held by the club, resulted in the club being days away from Administration back in early March 2020. The pandemic soon hit and attention was diverted away to ensure the clubs survival throughout the months to come.

Following changes in the management structure in August, we saw Dino Maamria depart and swiftly being replaced with Harry Kewell hours later and similar happening with the Managing Director Natalie Atkinson being replaced by now Chief Executive Officer, Karl Evans.  The new season started in a similar vein to how the previous season concluded. Struggling to pick up results on the field, supporters and ourselves felt there were many questions to be asked about various aspects of the Football Club. How the Football Club was coping with the pandemic financially? What the expectations were for the season? Why certain players were advised they were not being considered for selection?

A fantastic run of form hit, especially away from home and only just missing out on breaking the clubs consecutive away game wins on the bounce with the club now being sat just 4 points away from the playoff places. On the field has certainly improved and hopefully performances and results continue in the same manner as the recent form so as fans, we can continue to enjoy the product being delivered on the pitch.

Off the field, we continue to have monthly dialogue with Karl Evans (CEO) which has been productive, provoking honest and progressive conversations something which we hope continues. As ever, PTB will provide updates from each of those meetings and report back with findings so supporters can have an insight into what the club is doing, how it is performing and most importantly, that the right steps are being taken to ensure it’s sustainability for many years to come. If you have any questions or ideas for us or that you want passing to the club please let us know via the usual methods.

As ever, we will look to apply the relevant pressure to ensure Oldham Athletic Football Club is run in a professional manner and will reiterate the importance of stability off the field to aid supporters being able to go to games and enjoy the football rather than debating how things are off the field. Something which has seen improvement over the last month, we hope this continues. Fan engagement and honest dialogue is key for supporters if they are to back what is happening at the club.

Undoubtedly, this is a tricky situation for individuals, businesses and football clubs but the importance of having a well-run football club at the heart of the community of Oldham is imperative. As such, we need to keep challenging and pressurising as and when required, whilst enjoying the upturn in form that we have seen in the last couple of months!

Finally, as a 4, Push The Boundary want to thank supporters for all your amazing support and suggestions, we really are nothing without your guidance and assistance. What this year has taught us is that as fans, we are determined, vigilant and above everything else, we want the best for the club we love.  We want to wish each and every single one of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  Hopefully 2021 will see a return to normal and we can concentrate our efforts to “Reclaim The Faith”.  As a group we can’t wait to get started and we hope you’ll be with us on the journey.

Ste, Will, Danny and Adam
PTB