Storms are brewing over the use of the new North Stand at Boundary Park with the Latics saying that they won’t be ‘held to ransom’ over its usage. The stand could be closed for the upcoming pre-season friendly games against Rochdale and Bolton Wanderers. It is unsure whether the stand will be open for the season opener against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday 10th August. The stand is now owned by a mysterious ‘fans led group’ after they bought control of the running of the Oldham Events Centre, which operates from the facility.
Oldham Athletic have made a statement and have accused the ‘fans led group’ of claiming that they “Falsely represented that they own the OEC and are now taking extraordinary and drastic steps to disturb the smooth running of the football club to suit their own ends to the detriment of the club and the fans. The north stand is privately owned (not by the club) and those purported fans running the OEC have made unrealistic and unreasonable demands upon the Club for use of the North Stand. As the OEC is a separate entity to the Club, fans should be aware that it appears to be the OEC’s intention to hold the Club to ransom. In addition, they have failed to honour existing liabilities towards the Club from previous seasons.”
“Simply put, due to unreasonable commercial terms, it is not financially viable or possible for the Club to utilise the North Stand for the upcoming friendly matches without suffering financial loss. The Club is aware that the OEC have advertised pre-match hospitality ahead of the two friendly matches. Those fans choosing to use the hospitality of the OEC will be doing so to the detriment of the Club. Fans can rest assured that the Club will be providing the usual refreshments at the two friendly fixtures. The O2 lounge will be open, and the Club have arranged for additional food outlets.”