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"Please Sell The Club" by Mike Stott

My love affair with Oldham Athletic started in 1988, aged just 5 when I went to my first game. I’m from Widnes, but my Dad is from Oldham and he took me and my brother at a young age. We’ve been making the 45 minute journey up the M62 for over 30 years, but sadly not for the past 2 and a half years. My last game was Bury away on 2019. Not long after Paul Scholes left and I felt so let down. This was also the last game for my Dad, brother and my son Colin who had been going with us week in week out from 2005. It’s so sad, we loved going to Boundary Park, but we just can’t bring ourselves to put any money in Abdallah’s pockets. Oldham Athletic does and always will be a massive part of my life. I have my own business, wife, kids, mortgage etc, so time is always pretty tight, but if I get a spare moment I’m always looking at the goings on on the OAFC hashtag.

I still shout and scream when a goal alert comes through on my phone. I want nothing more than to be back at Boundary Park, but it won’t happen whilst this owner is in charge. It’s something my Dad, brother and son all do together and I miss it massively. The football club is my only link back to Oldham as we have no more relatives in the area. It’s my heritage and I’ve found my ancestry in Oldham going back many generations. The club feels like it’s dying and if it is to do so then so does my ties to Oldham and that’s something I can’t bear to think about.

Not only have I been to over 80 grounds watching Latics, I worked on for many years. I wrote the articles, match reports, stats etc and of course helped maintain the brilliant message board. It was a massive outlay of time and effort but I loved every minute of it.

My first game was in 1988, age just 5. Where I live everybody supports either Liverpool or Everton, but it’s always been Oldham for me. I can’t actually remember who my first actual game was against, but my Dad remembers his, a 1-0 win against Crewe Alexandra on 12th October 1957, Gerry Duffy scored when Latics were in League Division Three (North) He’s seen the highs of Promotions in 1963, 1971, 1974 & 1991 as well as the cup runs in 1989/90 and 1993/94 as well as the lows with relegations in 1969, 1994, 1997 & 2018. In his first couple of years of watching Latics we were one of the lowest ranked teams in division 4 and had to apply for re-election in May 1959 and again in May 1960. We almost went out of the league then, very similar position to today, except back in those days despite the lowly position, it was a club the town could be proud of. It was a desperate time really, but if you ask my Dad he looks at that as happy days compared to what we are going through now. Attendances in the 1958/59 season were around the 4000 mark averagely, however the following season over 17,000 were in attendance at Boundary Park for Bobby Johnstone’s debut against Exeter City and later in that season almost 28,000 attended a game against Peterborough United at Boundary Park. All this in the 4th division, showing the potential is definitely there for a town like Oldham with a population of over 200,000.

I myself have seen the highs, but mainly the lows of watching Latics. I was between the ages of 6 and 11 during our gory years of 89 to 94, so was a little too young to properly appreciate it. Since relegation from the Premier League in 1994 it’s all been downhill, but I still felt part of something. We spent so many years finishing in the bottom half of league one, but it was our team, our club and something to be proud of. The club just isn’t the same any more.

As I said above my Dad’s first game was 1957. In 2007 it was the 50 years anniversary. He’d gone to the game as a young lad with his friends Hedley and Peter. He was in touch with Hedley but hadn’t seen or heard from Peter for many years. My Dad wanted to get in touch so they could all go to the nearest game to the 50th year anniversary. I published a story on JKLatics trying to find Peter and also wrote to the club seeing if they could help. Fantastically one of our message board users managed to find Peter and reunited him with my Dad and Hedley. Brilliantly Alan Hardy invited all 3 of them to watch the Northampton Town game in October 2007 and gave them hospitality tickets etc. A brilliant touch from the club which I don’t believe would happen now with this regime, as they appear to have no interest in fans past or present. Typically Latics lost that day 1-0.

I read in shock this week the PTB and OASF statements stating that they met with Abdallah and he thinks the protests are about bad results. He is clearly deluded and it’s definitely the case that we now as fans more than ever need to come together and do everything we can to get him out and get our club back. I believe Oldham Athletic will have a future again and now is the time for Abdallah to fall on his sword and put the club up for sale. Abdallah we gave you time, we had dreams of new beginnings, but those dreams have turned into nightmares. Please sell the club…

I want nothing more than to go to Boundary Park with my Dad, brother and son once again. When we see each other now we don’t really talk about Latics because to be honest it’s so depressing. I want my club back, I want my family back.

Keep the Faith (if you can)

Thank you to Mike for submitting this week's fan post!

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