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Concerns over National League/Premier League Agenda

In light of the announcement earlier this week that FA Cup replays are set to be scrapped, The Board of Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation are disappointed to read reports in The Athletic that the National League is negotiating for a new competition involving Premier League U21 teams. 

More broadly, OASF were shocked to see the National League support the scrapping of FA Cup replays in the first instance. However, we do recognise the challenges many National League sides face regarding fixture congestion – particularly during the winter month when many pitches become waterlogged and unplayable. Nevertheless, the National League's argument that fixture congestion is of paramount concern to sides at this level is somewhat undermined in light of the news that they are negotiating for a new competition which would see the top 16 National League sides pitted against 16 Premier League U21 teams. It appears to the OASF Board that this is a further cynical attempt to see EPL U21 sides introduced into England’s professional football leagues. The Premier League and National League are rushing through these changes, and others, before they can be blocked by the Independent Football Regulator, which both are shamelessly lobbying against. 

Richard Masters and Mark Ives, leaders of the Premier League and National League respectively, stood side-by-side in the House of Lords this week lobbying against an Independent Football Regulator.

OASF would like to make its position clear: we support football, not greed, and we will not stand by quietly as Premier League sides seek to undermine our sport in attempts to line their own pockets.  

We call on the National League to lay all its cards on the table and make its position clear – piecemeal announcements and leaks to media organisations is leading to conjecture and confusion and National League football fans would like clarity from its organising body. Why would the National League support this move? How does it improve the financial situation of National League sides? And how does it improve our beloved sport? 

We also call on Oldham Athletic, in particular Darren Royle in his position on the National League Board, to make representations to the league to carefully consider its position.  

Once again, we call on all football fans to take a stand – please join your supporters trust or foundation and come together to preserve the heritage and integrity of our national game against the minority interests of global corporations and entitled billionaires. This our game, not just a profit-making machine for Premier League executives. 

The Board of OASF believe actions speak louder than words. We plan to discuss the issues that affect our game with other Trusts and explore the avenues for action available to us. To have your say and take a stance against the hijacking of our national game, we encourage you to join OASF today

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