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OASF Quarter 2 Update

AGM 2023

In a statement on 10 June, we announced that our 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be on Thursday 27 July. There will be a full election for all 10 seats on the OASF board. Only paid OASF members who signed up by Tuesday 27 June can vote in the upcoming AGM.

If you are interested in standing at this election, please read our latest AGM post which explains the process. If you have any questions about what is involved in being an elected OASF board member, please contact or any of the current OASF board directly.

Changes to Boundary Park

We met with Latics owner Frank Rothwell and CEO Darren Royle in May where we asked about matchday issues and improvements being made over the summer to mitigate them. They confirmed several changes around Boundary Park which should be completed by the start of the 2023/24 season:

  • The Boundary Park pitch is being completely re-laid as a modern hybrid pitch. The pitch should be ready for the friendly against Mansfield Town on 29 July.

  • Little Wembley and Chapel Road have been completely renovated to ensure a good pre-season. The Club added that pre-season has been meticulously planned.

  • The changing rooms have been completely renovated and modernised to meet EFL requirements on sizes and specifications.

  • The Club have explored expanding the capacity of Bar Station Zebra to reduce queues and increase revenue but have not been feasible at the moment. The supporters’ bar will remain as it is for next season as a result.

  • The Club is working with caterers to upgrade and expand kiosks in Boundary Park. The Club will look into what more can be done to manage queues for kiosks to prevent queue-cutting.

  • The current ticket office will remain in operation but tickets will also be able ot be bought in the club shop.

  • A borehole and water tank have been installed at the back of the Rochdale Road End to save the Club money on its utility bills and become more sustainable.

  • The PA system has been serviced and training with operators has been completed. The cost of replacing the system entirely would be prohibitive.

  • Some handrails are being installed in the North Stand on the concrete surrounding the concourse entrances/exits.

  • Around 200 car parking spaces have been added behind the Rochdale Road End. There is ambition to provide additional parking for the hospital through the week.

We meet with Darren Royle every month and will continue to raise issues affecting supporters.

Location of the Family Stand

Since the takeover of the Club last summer, there has been some consideration of whether to move the current family stand (small side of the Rochdale Road End) to the Chaddy End. We asked whether the Club still had plans to do this in the future. Darren and Frank confirmed that the Club had considered the switch but decided not to proceed. Frank explained that, having consulted supporters, it was clear that proximity to the Athleticos was an important part of the matchday experience for families and younger supporters.

Replica Shirts

During our meeting with the Club in May, we asked about the plans to launch this season’s kits. The Club explained that when Elite Sports (Hummel’s distributor) went into administration last season, the Club lost a lot of money the club shop made whilst they were managing it. This led the Club to change its partnership to Puma.

This prompted us to investigate the impact of the collapse of Elite Sports on the club (and all other clubs they worked with). Elite appear to have been in trouble for some time prior to administration, with late payments to their partner clubs reported as the norm. When they eventually went bust, they did so owing clubs payments stretching back over the entire season. Some clubs’ finances were devastated by this; you really never know what’s around the corner.

As the club still had a year remaining on their deal with Hummel, they had already selected next season’s kit with the help of an OASF focus group. The process of designing and manufacturing a new kit takes months and usually begins in September. So the need to switch to Puma after Christmas put the club seriously behind schedule. We know some fans weren’t thrilled that the 3rd kit is not bespoke. Please take into account the considerable time constraints the club has been under.

The Club plans to launch the sale of the replica kits in mid-to-late July. Internal staff were consulted about the kit and think it’s good. The Club are already working on the kit for the 2024/25 season with Puma and are hoping to consult fans as well, but it is unlikely to be an open consultation due to commercial sensitivities.

The most troubling part of this whole saga to us is knowing that the Club ultimately didn’t benefit from the massive show of faith in the Rothwells by fans, buying huge amounts of club merchandise last season. So, if you can, please do your best to replicate that show of faith this season.

1895 Legends Series Retro Shirts

Thank you to everyone who bought an 1895 Legends Series retro shirt. Demand for the shirts was incredible. We are no longer accepting orders for the shirts. We hope to fulfil the remaining orders in the coming weeks. The money raised is being split between the 1895 Fund, OASF running costs and Oldham Foodbank.

We are exploring future options for merchandise to raise money for the 1895 Fund and OASF running costs. We will share details in due course.

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