Love the club, hate the council....
It’s tough being a fan of a lower league club. No superstars, players who only occasionally put the effort in and being asked to pay over the odds to watch poor football are just some of the problem’s fans’ face.
That is unless your club happens to be Oldham Athletic.
Having to put up with all of the above, plus a three sided ground with now no chance of redevelopment, a chairman who is sulking in London and the prospect of the club moving from their home Boundary Park at the end of the season.
Oh and on top of all that, throw in a council who appears to want to get rid of any sport in the borough.
The club had plans to build a new state of the art stadium in Failsworth on the outskirts of Oldham, but still in Oldham none the less. This week they were delt a huge blow when the plans for the new stadium were turned down by the Charity Commission blaming weak consultation by Oldham Council.
Now chairman Simon Corney, the only member of the ‘3 Amigos’, who saved the club from extinction in 2003, has said the club can not continue at the current three sided Boundary Park for much longer, so a move from Oldham may be on the cards.
They are currently looking at groundsharing for the 2011/12 season with a local neighbour, although the most obvious option Rochdale is more than likely out of the question due to the football and rugby clubs already playing there.
It is not what fans wanted to hear, although things never seem to go smoothly for the club, especialy when they are doing well on the pitch, behind the scenes the club ends up in turmoil.
The hey days of the League cup final, FA Cup Semi final and promotion to the First Division (and founder members of the Premiership) seem a long, long way away from where the club is at the moment.
Latics fans are loyal, but potentially moving the club out of it’s roots is going to test even the most loyal of fans.
But it is times like this when the fans need to pull together and save the club. They have done it in the past so it can be done again, and with Latics fans being very vocal it should very hard for the council to ignore.
It is not just up to the fans to save the heritage of the club, the residents of Oldham to get behind them too. Although most do not support the club, if the football goes what will Oldham actually have? No cinema, no bowling, just this week no HMV.
As The Specials once said 'This town, is coming like a ghost town’.