Community asset status for Boundary Park

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 21 December 2021

Oldham’s football ground has been deemed an ‘asset of community value’ which could see supporters bid to buy the stadium if it is put up for sale.

Latics are 23rd in League Two and are facing the possibility of becoming the first former Premier League side to drop out of the Football League

Currently under a transfer embargo and without a permanent manager after the sacking of Keith Curle, the club’s owner, Abdallah Lemsagam, has made ten changes of head coach or manager in just under four years.

Now the Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation has successfully applied to the council to get the Boundary Park stadium and the ‘Little Wembley’ training grounds ‘community asset’ designation.

This means that the owner of Boundary Park cannot sell it without first notifying the council.

Then the community will have six weeks to inform the town hall whether they want to bid to buy the property.

If they agree to put in a bid then the owner of the asset cannot complete the sale for six months.

However listing the ground as an asset of community value does not guarantee that the local group can buy it, nor does it force the owner to sell it to them.

The council report about the decision to grant community asset status to Boundary Park states that the nomination was considered by the authority against the criteria of the policy, which it met.

Officers stated: “Having the ability to nominate an asset of community value provides the opportunity for communities to take greater responsibility and be involved in local decision making.”

The Oldham Athletic Supporters’ Foundation have a three per cent stake in the football club and a seat on the board.

It comes with the club currently under fire for banning three season ticket holders accused of ‘promoting dislike’ of Lemsagam.

Nearly 1,300 people have since signed a petition urging a reversal of the ban.

It follows a number of high profile protests earlier this season about the club’s ownership, including pitch invasions and a coffin being placed outside the club entrance.

Yesterday, the club banned three vocal fans for criticising the club's owners.

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