top of page
Search

Open Letter to Mr Hughes - A Thread


Below is the email exchange between OASF and Paul Hughes (representing OAFC). We had no intentions of taking the matter any further after our initial response, we felt that we'd made our position perfectly clear. However, Mr Hughes wanted us to go public with his response, so here is the exchange to date in full.


Dear Mr Hughes,

Firstly, please allow me to take this opportunity to say that we hope you are well and enjoying your new role at Oldham Athletic, since you left your position as fan's rep on the board and vice chair of OASF earlier in the year.

I am writing on behalf of the OASF board in response to your email dated 07.12.21. In which you declared the club’s intention to put you forward as the “main point of contact” with OASF.

The board have discussed the club’s proposal and as a courtesy are notifying you of our intention to make this response open to the public on our website from 9am on Friday 10th December 2022. Our response is as follows:


Frankly, we are disappointed but not surprised by this proposal. With all due respect to yourself and your own honourable intentions Paul, we were promised direct, monthly contact with existing directors of the football club, which you are not. I have, both individually and as part of the board, spoken directly to Abdallah, Richard Bowden and Adam Morallee, all of whom, at the time, stressed that they understood the need to communicate directly with us and that they understood our frustrations. Their response since? To cancel the board to board meeting we had arranged for October , deny us access to accounts and not reach out to us again to re-arrange (with the exception of a meeting with Steven Brown, which was also cancelled, at the last minute).


You state in your email that “there appears to have been a significant change in the Foundation's approach” and you are absolutely correct, there has been and there will continue to be. We have grown our membership to over 1,000 off the back of this approach and take our responsibility seriously. We are not prepared to be disregarded, lied to and ignored. We are not prepared to talk to, and again, with all due respect, a newly instated club volunteer and a newly appointed general manager when we have been promised a direct line with the board of directors. This OASF board will not tolerate the contempt and disregard the current OAFC board is treating us with at such a critical time in the football club’s history. Our members and the fans we represent, expect more.


If you are in any doubt as to why we feel we are justified in respectfully turning down your offer to meet with yourself and Steve on January 8th, please read the OASF statement in the article below.



We are willing to keep the date of 8th January open and have a proposal of our own. We invite the existing members of the board to join us and a selected number of supporters for a fan's forum at the OEC prior to the Sutton United game.


We present the club with the opportunity to start 2022 with a statement of intent and goodwill by killing two birds with one stone; a meeting in person with the board of OASF and with the fans, something it failed to do during the whole of 2021.

We look forward to you passing this on to the board and reading your/their reply.

Best regards,


Matt Dean / OASF Board of Directors



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi Matt,

Thanks for your email of last week. Regarding the "Open Letter" addressed to me on your website I would respond as follows and ask you to publish on your web.

Open Letter to Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation

I write in response to your Open Letter of 10th December.

I resigned from the Supporters Foundation and the Football Club in August. During my short time in these rolls I was pleased, amongst other things, to complete the MoU, organise the Harry Kewell/Jack Dearden interview and more importantly by strong and consistent lobbying (emails, zoom etc) to oil the wheels for the opening of the North Stand.

A few weeks ago I was asked to rejoin the Board of the Football Club. I declined this invitation. However above anything I am a Latics fan above anything else, a long standing supporter and very passionate about my Club, Oldham Athletic. So when asked latterly to lend my business knowledge and skills to help and support the newly installed management team I was and I am glad to help.

Your letter refers to the meeting with Steve Brown that was cancelled on the day by Steve with a couple of hours notice. For clarity, this was on the day that Keith Curle left the Club, with the effect of changing his scheduled day completely. He gave as much notice as he could and offered to re-schedule for the following week. This offer was not taken up.

My email of the 7th December contained the following paragraph..."Oldham Athletic are not in a great position at the moment, I think we can agree on that. Maybe its a good starting point. Steve Brown and I would be happy to sit down with the OASF Board and discuss our organisations respective positions and hopefully investigate a way forward for the sole benefit of Oldham Athletic.

I would respectfully urge you to accept the invitation to talk in the spirit of Goodwill that it is offered.

Kind Regards

Paul Hughes


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dear Paul,

Thank you for your reply.

Please understand that I / we have no issue with you or your involvement at the club and are sure your skills and experience are of benefit to them in numerous areas of operations and the same applies to Steven Brown.

Having said that, we do not feel that dealing with either yourself or Steven is appropriate and must once again stress that a commitment by the OAFC board to meet directly with OASF board members every month has already been made by the club and it is our intention to ensure this commitment is upheld first and foremost, or nothing at all.

We are no longer interested in excuses and will not be fobbed off in the way that previous OASF boards and representatives have been. Our members expect more from us due to the undeniably perilous circumstances we find ourselves in. We urge the club to stop making promises it has no intentions of keeping.

Here is a reminder of the promises, taken directly form the club’s website –


  • Meeting the OASF every month with a Board member present. The meetings should have an agenda and have minutes circulated.

  • Appointing a new Fan Director, to improve communication between the Club and fans.

  • Continue to progress with more financial information being made available.

  • Attend a fans forum with all the Board present twice a year.

  • Commit to a new three-year plan to be produced before the end of October.


As you can see, none of them have come close to being delivered.

I note at this juncture that you have made no comment in your reply to the proposed fans forum suggestion, something which the club is obliged to deliver twice a year and, to the best of our knowledge, has failed to manifest in 2021 (despite the promise above).

The OAFC board can make this very simple for everyone by directly reaching out to rearrange the meeting they cancelled in October and start delivering on the promises dated 06.09.21. This would be a more appropriate a gesture of goodwill and would be accepted as such.

With reference to your request to publish your reply on our website, we feel that it is appropriate for the club to issue an open response through their own communication channels, if that’s what they feel is appropriate.

I hope this makes our position clear. We have stood by the promises we made to our members; all we ask is that OAFC show the same respect to us as a shareholder, the official supporters association and, above all, to the long-suffering supporters of Oldham Athletic

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,


Matt Dean / OASF Board


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi Matt,


Thankyou for your email of yesterday, suggesting you were unwilling to publish my response to your "Open Letter"


When I wrote to you via email on 7th December it was an attempt to try and build bridges for the benefit of the football club. We have a fight on our hands to stay in League 2.


You could have responded to that email via email or picking up the phone. You actually chose to put bits of it in an "Open Letter" on your website and also emailed the letter to all Foundation Members under the banner of "Latest News" The final line of your "Open Letter" stated you were looking forward to a reply.


I have taken the time to respond to your "Open Letter" and I remain of the view we need to come together for the benefit of Oldham Athletic. At least for the next 6 months!!


My response was sent to you via the below email on Wednesday. It remains the same.


I believe, having asked for a response, and got one, for fairness you should publish and give it the prominence that was given to the original.


Should you wish not to publish along these lines, I would ask that you at least acknowledge that you have received a response from me to your "Open Letter" something like as follows.


In our "Open Letter" to Mr Paul Hughes of 10th December, published on our website and emailed to Foundation Members we asked for a reply. Paul replied to our letter on the 15th December but we have chosen not to publish his response. To be fair to Paul we would not wish Members to think he had not responded to our "Open Letter" he has.


To do nothing would leave the 1000 or so members you emailed and the 1600 or so that have looked at it assuming I have not responded. It is illogical for me to respond to an "Open Letter" from yourselves anywhere else other than where it was published.


Please reconsider your position.


Kind regards,


Paul Hughes

1,644 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Latics Lift and Ground Guide York

We are on the road again on Tuesday with another excellent away following. If you need a lift contact us at maurice.scott@oasf.co.uk and we will try to match you up with one of our Latics Lift volunt

bottom of page