On 20th December 2021, Oldham Athletic Football Club banned three supporters for three years for “Regularly displaying (a) dislike of Oldham Athletic Football Club, it’s management and its progression; (and) influencing others to do the same. (They) are taking deliberate steps to harm the Club and cause distress”.
One of those supporters is also a director of Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation. Bradley Knowles was voted onto the board by the highest turnout of members in an OASF election in the summer of 2021. The three remaining board members who ran in that election did so on the promise that they would proportionately challenge what they viewed as the mismanagement and severe threat that Abdallah and Mohamed Lemsagam pose to the existence of Oldham Athletic. They did that with the express desire and intentions of “influencing others to do the same”. This statement intends to do the same.
As a board, we would like to make one thing very clear; we say to you that, to use your own words Mr Brown, “You (the board of OAFC) are taking deliberate steps to harm the Club and cause distress” to fans of Oldham Athletic. Indeed fans across the football world, who have been visibly horrified by this action, on social media this week.
As a board we are ”displaying our dislike” towards the management and the owners for the lack of progression seen both on and off the pitch at the football club since the day you took control. We condemn wholeheartedly the abhorrent act of targeting and penalising supporters for nothing more than voicing their right to dissent, protest and speak freely in a manner that is peaceful and lawful. This is not acceptable at Oldham Athletic and it is not acceptable in a free and democratic society.
It is the view of this board that a line has been crossed. You have moved beyond what could be considered as decent, reasonable and progressive behaviour into the territory of dictatorship. You have issued punishments to law abiding citizens whose only “crime” is to dissent opposition to your actions. The undersigned stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Bradley, Nathan and Dom. The “crimes” you levy at them, you may also levy at us.
We are politely asking fans of Oldham Athletic that they consider not attending the Boxing Day fixture versus Scunthorpe as an act of solidarity with the fans toward whom you (the board of OAFC) have targeted your vitriol.
Further to this, we shall be consulting fans, members and sponsors to see if they would be prepared to fully boycott all Oldham Athletic games and withdraw their full financial input into the club, until such a day as Abdallah and Mohamed sell the club to those worthy of the honour.
We understand that this is a very severe action and release this statement with very heavy hearts. We are working in partnership with Push The Boundary and The Athleticos to plan the most effective legal ways to ensure that your days as custodians of Oldham Athletic are numbered. Your efforts to divide will bring us closer together, we will raise funds, we will attract investment, you will be replaced, those banned will return and Boundary Park will be full again.
Matt Dean - OASF Director
Jim Booth - OASF Director
Bradley Knowles - OASF Director
Darren Mills - OASF Co-opted Director
Jason Partington-Russell - OASF Co-opted Director
Paul Whitehead - OASF Co-opted Director