Regretfully, fans will be unable to watch our upcoming friendlies against Rochdale and Bolton Wanderers from the North Stand.
The Club wishes to apologise to those fans that intended to watch both games from the North Stand, and we assure those fans that this decision has not been taken lightly. This decision has been taken in the best interests of Oldham Athletic.
Many fans will be aware that a purported “fan led group” have taken control of the running of the Oldham Events Centre (OEC) who operate the North Stand. Certain members of this group have falsely represented that they own the OEC and are now taking extraordinary and drastic steps to disturb the smooth running of the football club to suit their own ends to the detriment of the Club and the fans.
When the North Stand was initially built, Oldham Council provided extensive funding to ensure that it was investing in a facility to serve Oldham Athletic fans and to benefit the Club financially. The present situation could not be further from the Council’s intention.
The North Stand is privately owned (not by the Club) and those purported fans running the OEC have made unrealistic and unreasonable demands upon the Club for use of the North Stand. As the OEC is a separate entity to the Club, fans should be aware that it appears to be the OEC’s intention to hold the Club to ransom.
In addition, they have failed to honour existing liabilities towards the Club from previous seasons.
Simply put, due to unreasonable commercial terms, it is not financially viable or possible for the Club to utilise the North Stand for the upcoming friendly matches without suffering financial loss.
The Club is aware that the OEC have advertised pre-match hospitality ahead of the two friendly matches. Those fans choosing to use the hospitality of the OEC will be doing so to the detriment of the Club.
Fans can rest assured that the Club will be providing the usual refreshments at the two friendly fixtures. The O2 lounge will be open, and the Club have arranged for additional food outlets.
The squad have returned from a fantastic training camp and everyone at the Club is excited for Laurent to lead the team out at Boundary Park on Saturday. The Chairman, directors and management team are committed to bringing the fans success this season and will not allow anyone to attempt to deviate from the goal of promotion.
We urge this supposed “fan led group” to rethink their stance, put the fans and the Club first and join the rest of the town in supporting Laurent and the lads ahead of the new season. A town united together, Latics as one.
We look forward to seeing you all at Boundary Park on Saturday.