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The Protest - In Tweets

This is devoted to the protest at Boundary Park on Saturday 18th September 2021

Just to show we’re not messing around, let’s start off with this behemoth, teased in last weeks tweets by Macca IV@MaccaTheFourth

“Tomorrow, I'm attending my first ever protest. I'm protesting against the current owners of my football club, Oldham Athletic, who might yet oversee the club dropping out of the EFL or worse.

If you think it's a trivial issue to protest against, let me explain why it's not

I started supporting Oldham aged around 6 when we moved to the area. My parents weren't really into football, so it was strange to be in this new environment that was split down the middle along footballing lines. Even at that age on one side, you had the fans of the unfashionable, local club, Oldham. On the other, fans of their glitzy, city rivals, Man United.

It being my nature to always back the underdog, I adopted Oldham without question. Choosing my side immediately gave me access to a ready-made friendship group and my first real taste of comradeship.

As I got older and more aware, the players became Gods to me. Gunnar Halle, Andy Ritchie, Ricky Holden, Richard Jobson, John Hallworth...their images adorned my bedroom walls and their surnames on the backs of my replica shirts.

Aged 11, we moved close to Blackburn as my dad had been offered a headship at secondary school. The one I ende

d up going to. I was literally the headteacher's son. Yet, in a new school, one again split down the middle, this time between Blackburn and Burnley fans, I became primarily known not for being the headteacher's son, but for being that rare and exotic entity - an Oldham fan.

As I got older, went through various phases, attended university, and entered the world of work, apart from my family and friends, Oldham was my one constant.

The club gave me the opportunity to spend Saturdays with my grandad, drinking hot, milky coffee in the main stand cheering on the team as icy Pennine gusts nipped at our faces. It gave me the opportunity to spend time with my dad (who finally accepted that football is brilliant), my sister, and reconnect with my best friend from primary school.

It has formed the basis of friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime, given me some of the most epic, booze-fuelled days out I've ever had, and, though few and far between, provided me with moments of joy and ecstasy unrivalled. As is the case for any football fan, these clubs aren't just somewhere we go to wave a scarf and boo refereeing decisions. They are community hubs.

Oldham Athletic is woven into the fabric of every fan's DNA and seeing it consigned to non-league irrelevance or even worse - taking it away altogether, would be too cruel and destructive a blow. Especially to a town that has already endured so much in recent years.

So, I'm not just protesting because I want to protect a football club, it runs much, much deeper than that.

Tom O@Tommy_Oldham1

“See you all on Sheepfoot Lane, today the day when Oldham fans at Boundary Park make our voices heard LOUD and CLEAR. This is our club Oldham Athletic. Sorry Abdallah Lemsagam and Mo. We are not going anywhere or refuse to sit in silence enough is enough.”

You’ll have to search out the photo to find out what this tweet is about from Martin Barlow@martinbarlow84, or let your weird imaginations run wild.

“Protest ready. Grandma wanted in on the action.”

A message of support came in from Andy Elliott@ahelliott3006

“Today could be a turning point and the screw turned a little more. Good luck all today, give it to them!!”

There is a feeling that today is going to be a red letter day. Mike Astley@mikeastley17 put it clearly.

“If you are actively able to protest today and proactively choose not to, then please don't complain if we go under or get relegated. It's time to stand up and be heard. Not lie down and leave it to someone else.”

The main culprits organising today's fun and games, Push The Boundary@PTB_OAFC , sent a last minute call to arms.



Main Entrance

Let’s make this a defining moment in this clubs history, the day when fans really stood up and stood together to fight for its future. Be loud, be proud, be unified and be defiant.

Do it for generations past and generations yet to come”

Marcus@BlezOAFC expressed a feeling that probably a lot of people have today.

“Going to be one of the most bizzare matchdays ever today.

Like many, off to Boundary Park not to step foot through the turnstiles or watch the match, but to take another step towards getting #AbdallahOut.

We will never die”

Henry@henjc99 remembered something that I personally had completely overlooked.

“Come on Oldham, we need 3 points today”

Dean Pickering@deanpickering23 posted some pictures of his superb pitch at #oafc. Someone followed up with a perfectly innocent comparison.

“The pitch looks amazing. As good as Centre Court at Wimbledon.”

This seems worryingly provocative - Adam Millington@AdamGMillington

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen officers with riot-style helmets at a football ground in the UK.

Apparently others going round and asking people for their details — I’m not too sure whether they’re within their rights to do that “

And OAFC Memories #AbdallahOut #SaveOAFC@oafcmemories makes a very valid point.

“#OAFC fans have done nothing but protest in a peaceful manner. The only violence has been provided by the security hired by @OfficialOAFC on teenage fans which has still not been dealt with. What reason are @GMPOldham offering for this type of action.”

Alan Brierley@Norwood36_Alan points out what the owners/administration simply don’t seem to understand.

“My grandad went for years, like 70 odd, followed by my dad, me and my son. Probably over 150 years between us all watching Latics and it’s all going down the sh&@#er with these clowns in charge”

A quick update on proceedings from BBC Sport Manchester@BBCRMsport

“Oldham Athletic fans carry a coffin, as protests continue against the ownership of the club.”

Bolton match unaffected.

The staff open up the for the fans going to see the match and text an appeal via Original.stacearse@stacearse1

“Ready with our tin hats on ready to let you in, remember please be nice, we are fans too just trying our best”

Our very own roving reporter Adam Millington@AdamGMillington keeping us up to date on twitter.

“Fans have placed a coffin in front of the main entrance. Smoke bombs going off pretty much non-stop. Fans have climbed onto the front of the main stand to hold banners

The OACT (Oldham Athletic Community Trust)@OfficialOACT will not let anything stop them helping people and being generally amazing

“The Animal Club Petting Zoo are here in the OACT Family Stand!

Come and say hello before kick off today!”

Just outstanding.

One of the staff members at #oafc, Melissa@TaylorMelissa__ , sent a blood-boiling message out, a direct consequence of the clubs leadership to not allow pay on the day.

“First OAP turned away! This is very very sad.”

jade beswick@beswickx_jade

“Aww don’t Mel !!! I’ve just seen 2 elderly people turned away too and they have come all the way from Chorley they have been coming for 60 years and don’t have social media so didn’t know it broke my heart”

But it does somehow get worse as gazapalooza@gazapalooza pointed out.

“Witnessing disabled supporters who don’t have the capacity to use Twitter or the internet turned away. Not aware that it was ticket only. The gentleman is stood at the turnstile with a £10 not pleading to watch the game. DISGRACE!!!”

The way this club is being run is nothing short of a disaster. If they had it in them, they would be ashamed.

OAFC Memories #AbdallahOut #SaveOAFC@oafcmemories asks a pertinent question.

“Which one of you is in charge of the club today @mikey_b123 or @butterworth_roy

while the rats have all scurried away”

Going on seniority, it’s got to be Roy - until he gets distracted by a phone call - around 15:12.

Matthew Cooke@Matthew1Cooke gives us a crowd update inside the stadium

“Very sparse numbers in with 5 minutes to go. Not sure they can convince us there’s another 4,000 here today”

Greater Manchester Football@_GMCRFootball sent a weird but heartfelt message of support.

“European Super Football: Good luck to all Oldham fans. We hope you get your club back.”

Mark Mills@mills_thesir

“Why can't we just have a normal fucking day in the life of supporting this wankery”

You have backed the wrong horse here my friend!

A final word...

To the fans, the tide is obviously changing. #oafc has changed in only a few short weeks. There is no malice in the fans request, and there are no glory hunters supporting this team.

It is a family, and when required, we will tell it like it is, like any good family should.

To the owner, swallow some pride, accept this hasn’t worked out, and move on. We will thank you for the decision, and wish you well.

We are reclaiming the faith. It is ours.

To those making these terrible decisions at the club, looking to divide and conquer. Let’s hope this has shown you the unity of the fans is a force not to be reckoned with. Your time is up.

A Protest in Tweets was compiled and written by Robin McGrother, who lives in France and is active on the hashtag as @McgrotherRobin.

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