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