Petition launched to reverse ban on Oldham Athletic fans
Date published: 22 December 2021
Bradley Knowles, centre, with protest banner
A petition to reverse the ban on three Oldham Athletic fans by the club has so far received over 3,000 signatures.
The petition has been organised by Push The Boundary (PTB), a fan-led group formed to raise concerns about the current ownership of the club.
Three fans, Bradley Knowles, Dominic Weiss, and Nathan Price received letters earlier this week from Oldham Athletic General Manager, Steve Brown. The letter banned the fans from Boundary Park and "any other ground where [...the team is...] playing for a minimum period of 3 years."
Mr Knowles is a director of the Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation (OASF) which owns a 3% stake in the club.
In an open letter to Steve Brown, PTB accuse the club of attempting to "obliterate any form of free speech and opposition to the current regime, in an attempt to silence supporters."
The letter goes on to say: "You define ‘unacceptable conduct’ as 'conduct considered to be violent or disorderly. Violent conduct includes any actual, attempted or threatened physical violence against any person or intentional damage to property.' This seemingly relates to conduct at home & away games, and not via social media. We fail to see, based on the justification in the letter, how the actions of both supporters can be seen to be fall under the guise of ‘unacceptable conduct’?
"With regards to entry to away stadiums, we don’t believe the club can enforce such a ban unless a court order is obtained."
An online petition has now been launched by PTB asking the club to reverse the decision to ban the fans "with immediate effect" and apologise to the people involved.
Called "Free the Oldham Three" the petition says Oldham Athletic is in "crisis", and says owner Abdallah Lemsagam has broken promises to supporters and sanctioned "this disgusting move".
The petition can be found here
Speaking to the Oldham Chronicle earlier this week, Mr Knowles, from Lees, said he was upset by the banning order.
"I've not hidden the fact that I am vocal about the ownership of the club. I've attended protests, and held up banners saying 'Abdallah Out', but I've never taken part in disruption on the field.
"I'm absolutely flabbergasted."
Oldham Athletic have yet to respond to our enquiries about the ban.
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