Coffins, clown costumes and the grim reaper: Oldham Athletic fans continue protests against club's owners

More than 500 Oldham Athletic fans have protested outside Boundary Park in opposition to the club’s owners.

Hundreds of fans were seen chanting ‘we want Abdallah out’ on Saturday afternoon (September 18) ahead of the club’s match against Hartlepool United.

The protest event saw fans carry a coffin marked with ‘RIP OAFC’ through crowds with some wearing costumes of clowns and the grim reaper.

Read more: GMP drop investigation into allegations of racist abuse at Oldham Athletic FC

During the match, an airplane flew past the pitch with a message displaying ‘Al & Mo, time to go!’

Owner Abdallah Lemsagam, a former football agent, took over the club in 2018 and, at the time of his announcement, promised to ‘work hard for the club’.

© James Gill/Getty Images Fans protest outside Boundary Park stadium

Some fans say they feel ‘let down’ by the club boss as Oldham Athletic currently sits 23rd out of 24 teams in League Two this season.

Recently, fans have been protesting and signing petitions urging the boss to resign.

In an open letter last week, Lemsagam said he had no intention of ‘walking away from his investment’ yet accepted that ‘mistakes have been made’ albeit ‘made honestly, and with an intention to help the club’.

© Getty Images Fans were protesting against Oldham Athletic owner Abdallah Lemsagem

Amongst speculation of further protests, the club announced earlier this week that there would be no pay-on-the-day facilities for fans ahead of today’s match, while alcohol sales were also prohibited.

Fans say today’s protests, arranged by members of the ‘Push The Boundary’ fan site, were held to make their ‘voices heard in a passionate but lawful manner’.

“In the last few weeks we have had our plight thrust onto the national stage,” a statement by the fan site said ahead of the protests.

© Getty Images A plane flew over the stadium during the match between Oldham Athletic and Hartlepool United with a message in protest of Oldham’s owners

“We have been advised recently that Abdallah wants to work with fans and not against us, only to then be told 24 hours later that we are unable to purchase tickets for the upcoming home game against Hartlepool.

“This doesn’t feel like we are working in collaboration, but this can’t be a surprise given our experiences of the last few years.

“It feels that dissenting voices are trying to be silenced in an effort to retain control of a situation that is quickly spiralling out of control.

“This is not unfamiliar based upon other clubs that have faced similar issues with ownership.”

© Getty Images Some protesters took the opportunity to dress up as clowns and the grim reaper

Fans said that a number of supporters had rallied together in the last week over a ‘common cause’ and a ‘show of solidarity’ and that they wanted the protest to echo that.

Push The Boundary added: “We would like to see as many fans as possible, whether you are attending the game or not, to come down and show the custodians of this club, how passionate we are and that won’t stop until we get our club back.

“Bring your flags, your banners and your singing voices and be prepared to show your love and support for the club in the way you feel most appropriate.

“We want the mood to be passionate and positive and to show how strong the bond is between supporters, whether you have supported the club for 6 months or for 50 years.”

Today’s match between Oldham Athletic and Hartlepool United ended with a score of 0-0.

Oldham Athletic FC have declined to comment on the protests.

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