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How are Oldham doing?

Oldham arrive on Easter Monday, 18th April, for a 3pm kick-off.

The last 3 games between the sides have produced 20 goals.  Last season Rovers won 4-3 at home and 3-0 away.  This season the teams played out a memorable 5-5 draw at Boundary Park in December.

Oldham’s record so far is 9 wins, 10 draws & 23 defeats.  Realistically, it’s a 3-way fight between Oldham, Barrow and Stevenage to see who will join Scunthorpe in the National League next season.  A run of 6 straight defeats had begun to make Oldham look favourites for the drop, but suddenly, there were signs of life when they beat Leyton Orient at home 2-1, then beat Stevenage 1-0 away.  But recent losses to Port Vale & Northampton have left the Latics 3 points behind Barrow & Stevenage, with 37 points from 42 games (having played a game more than both these rivals).  Oldham’s run-in looks tough – they face FGR, Tranmere, Salford and Crawley in their final games.

Oldham are battling to avoid being the 1st former Premier League club to drop out of the EFL.  They are a squad that has operated under a transfer embargo all season, and have been limited to 23 players.  This has apparently made them vulnerable if they suffer injuries or suspensions, though they still operate with a larger squad than Rovers.

Men to watch

The bright moments in Oldham’s season have tended to come from their midfielder/frontman Davis Keillor-Dunn (number 10) and midfielder Dylan Bahamboula (number 24).  Keillor-Dunn is Oldham’s star and their top scorer with 13 goals (including 2 against Rovers when the sides met in December).  Bahamboula has 3 goals to his name.  If Oldham play with 2 up front, these tend to be Keillor-Dunn partnered with Hallam Hope (number 9), while Bahamboula sits behind.  Keillor-Dunn has played in almost every game this season.

Oldham’s captain is their central defender Carl Piergianni (number 6).  Piergianni provides a threat of his own with 3 goals to his credit.  But a red card in their Good Friday game against Northampton means he is likely to be suspended when the team come to Nailsworth.

Attacking midfielder Davis Keillor-Dunn has been Oldham’s star man.

Right midfielder Dylan Bahamboula is a lively opponent.

Carl Piergianni - Defender - First Team - Oldham Athletic

Captain Carl Piergianni leads from the back, but will miss the FGR game.

Controversial ownership

Oldham Athletic controversial owner Abdallah Lemsagam took over the club in 2018 and has been in a battle with Oldham supporters for much of that time.  Fans have been trying to persuade Lemsagam to sell the club.

Recently, the club handed 3 year bans to 3 supporters for ‘promoting dislike’ of the club and ‘taking deliberate steps to harm the club and cause distress.’  Lemsagam insists he has the right to ban supporters for protesting against his running of the club, and he told them to apologise and ‘behave like proper fans’.

The banned fans insist all protests and criticism of the club’s ownership was done legally.  The Oldham Athletic Supporters’ Foundation said the club were trying to restrict his free speech, while the Foundation likened Lemsagam’s actions to a dictatorship.

All is not well at Oldham!

Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam has caused controversy.

Protests against the owners have become more and more inventive.

Oldham have been through 10 managers in about 4 years.  Paul Scholes lasted only 31 days as manager before leaving citing unwanted interference.

About the club

On a hill where you can see the centre of Manchester, Oldham play at Boundary Park, the 3rd highest ground in the EFL. At 160 metres above sea level, only The New Lawn and The Hawthorns are higher. Boundary Park is so-called as it lies on the north-western boundary of Oldham.

Oldham have more local rivals than most. The stadiums of Rochdale Salford City, Huddersfield, Burnley, Bolton, Accrington, Blackburn & (until their expulsion from the league) Bury are all EFL teams within a 20 mile radius. Most Oldham supporters see Rochdale as their chief rivals these days but these rivalries are often eclipsed by hatred of two other teams who play less than 10 miles away – Manchester United and Manchester City.

In their history over the last 100 years Oldham have spent most of their time in the 2nd and 3rd tiers of the EFL. This is their 3rd spell in the 4th tier – they had a few seasons around 1960 and a short spell around 1970. After the latter there were under the stewardship of two of their longest serving managers – Jimmy Frizzell and Joe Royle. Their fortunes culminated in 3 seasons in the Premier League in the early 1990’s. Joe Royle moved to manage Everton and, since that time, it’s been mostly downhill.

The town of Oldham, at its peak, was the most productive cotton-spinning mill town in the world. But the industry declined during the 20th century and the last mill closed in 1998. Today, its population of over 100,00 is mostly residential.

Famous Oldhamers (as people from Oldham are called) include presenters Phillip Schofield and Nick Grimshaw, actors Eric Sykes, Christopher Biggins, Bernard Cribbins, Dora Bryan, soap stars Shobna Gulati and Anne Kirkbride, physicist and science educator Brian Cox, and comedy duo Cannon & Ball. The town was also home to the bands Inspiral Carpets, N-Trance and Barclay James Harvest, as well as Take That’s Mark Owen.