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Oldham Athletic
Oldham Athletic FC.svg
Full name Oldham Athletic Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Latics
Founded 1895, as Pine Villa F.C.
Ground Boundary Park
Oldham[1]
Greater Manchester
England
(Capacity: 10,638[2])
Chairman Simon Blitz
Manager Dave Penney
League League One
2008–09 League One, 10th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Oldham Athletic Association Football Club (pronounced /ˈoʊldəm æθˈlɛtɪk/),[3] is an English association football club based at Boundary Park, on Furtherwood Road in Oldham, Greater Manchester.[1][4] The club currently competes in Coca-Cola League One the third tier of the English league.[5] It is incorporated as Oldham Athletic (2004) Association Football Club Limited,[4] but is more commonly known as Oldham Athletic or by its nickname The Latics. The club's current manager is Dave Penney.

The history of Oldham Athletic A.F.C. begins with its founding as Pine Villa F.C. in 1895, which played in local Manchester and Lancashire leagues. When rivals Oldham County F.C. folded in 1899, Pine Villa F.C. moved into their stadium—the Oldham Athletic Ground (now known as Boundary Park)—and changed their name to Oldham Athletic.[6] They were Football League runners-up in the 1914-15 in English football—the last season before the outbreak of the First World War—but were relegated from the Football League First Division in 1923. They reached the Football League Cup final in 1990 and won the Football League Second Division title in 1991, ending 68 years outside the top flight. They secured their top division status a year later to become founder members of the new Premier League, but were relegated after two seasons despite reaching that year's FA Cup semi-finals.

The club's limited company was formed after several months in administration in 2003–04.[7][8] On 3 February 2004, the club's immediate future was secured when a group of American-based expatriate British businessmen led by Simon Blitz bought the club, forming Oldham Athletic (2004) Association Football Club Limited.[7][9]

Contents

History

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Early history

Oldham Athletic in 1905

Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed its appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club. The club immediately gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League. Unlike many clubs, Oldham gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08. After three years in the Second Division, the Latics gained promotion to the First Division.

Oldham also gained some success in the FA Cup by reaching the semi-finals in 1912–13 campaign but lost 1–0 versus Aston Villa. In the 1914–15, the Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. The Latics early success was only halted by the First World War.

Interwar struggles

Following the return of competitive football after the First World War, Oldham struggled to find their early success before they returned to the Second Division in 1923 - it would be another 68 years before they played top division football again.

Many of the players from their former squads had either retired from football or had been killed in the war. Their highest success came in the 1929–30 season as they finished in 3rd, missing out on promotion by finishing two points behind Chelsea. Several years later, the club was once again be relegated as they finished in 21st place and falling to the Third Division North. Oldham found success in Division Three North, though they never gained promotion before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Postwar plight

Once more, the war hit Oldham hard as the team began to struggle immediately following the return of competitive football. In the first five years after the war, the Latics finished inside of the top 10 once. It wasn't until the 1952–53 season that the club found their old form, finishing champions of the division and winning promotion to the Second Division. The next season, however, Oldham finished in last place and return to Third Division North. After their return, the club returned to mediocrity as they finished in 10th place. Between 1955 and 1960, Oldham struggled as they finished out of the top 20 on three occasions. With a 15th place finish in 1958–59, Oldham became a founding member of a newly formed Fourth Division. In the following season they finished in the 23rd position - their lowest position in the entire League, and had to apply for reelection, which they passed as the League chose to drop Gateshead, who had finished above them, in favour of newcomers Peterborough United.

Ken Bates entered the picture at Oldham Athletic in the early 1960s, and along with the appointment of manager Jack Rowley, the club's fortunes turned for the better. During the 1962–63 season, Oldham again gained promotion to the Second Division as Rowley left as manager. Over the next six seasons, Oldham struggled with consistency in the league and at the manager position—with Les McDowall, Gordon Hurst, and Jimmy McIlroy all spending time at the managerial position.

In the 1968–69, Jack Rowley once more returned as manager. With their inconsistency, Rowley and Bates could not save the club from a last place finish and inevitable relegation. Midway through the 1969–70 season, Rowley and Bates both left the club as Jimmy Frizzell became the Latics manager—a position he held for the next 13 seasons.

Frizzell and Royle eras

Jimmy Frizzell, a Scottish-born defender, became Oldham's player-manager during the 1969–70 season. In the 1970–71 season, Oldham saw their best result since 1962–63 as they finished in third place, earning promotion back to the Third Division. After a mid-table finish in their first season, the Latics missed out on promotion—finishing in 4th place, seven points behind league champions Bolton Wanderers. In the 1973–74 season, the Latics finished in 1st place and return to the Second Division for the first time in 21 years. Oldham's trip back to the Second Division was more successful than their previous appearance. During Frizzell's remaining time at the club, the Latics remained in the Second Division, but with little FA Cup and Football League Cup success.

In June 1982, the club appointed Joe Royle as manager and a new era was underway. Royle's side finished 7th in his first season in charge and fall to 19th spot finish in his second. In the 1986–87 season, Oldham narrowly missed promotion to the First Division finishing three points behind Portsmouth and losing in the inaugural playoffs.

Royle's Latics reached Wembley Stadium in the 1990 Football League Cup Final versus Nottingham Forest, where they lost 1-0. The next season, Oldham did not have the same cup success, but instead found success by winning the Second Division and returning to First Division for the first time in 68 years. In their first season back in the top flight, the club finished in 17th and became one of the founding members of the newly-formed Premier League. Though after two more seasons at the top level, Oldham faced relegation yet again and during the following season, the Joe Royle era at Oldham Athletic came to an end, as he left the club for Everton.

During this era, Oldham reached the FA Cup semi-finals twice, both times losing to Manchester United after a replay. In 1994 Oldham were just a minute away from winning 1-0 in extra time when a Mark Hughes equaliser for Manchester United saw the game at Wembley Stadium end in a 1-1 draw, and Oldham were crushed 4-1 in the replay at Maine Road.

Oldham's side of the late 1980s and early 1990s featured several players who were then sold to much bigger clubs. Mike Milligan, a highly rated young Irish midfielder who was a product of Oldham's youth system, was sold to Everton for £1million in 1990, but returned to Boundary Park a year later after an unsuccessful season on Merseyside. At the same time, Oldham sold Milligan's fellow countryman Denis Irwin to Manchester United for £625,000, and over the next 12 years the Cork born defender won a host of domestic and European honours. Earl Barrett, another defender who played a crucial part in Oldham's cup runs and promotion success, was sold to Aston Villa for £1.7million in February 1992. At the time he was one of Britain's most expensive defenders, and would go on to win a League Cup winner's medal at Aston Villa (just missing out on a title medal) as well as playing more than 200 top division games before finally retiring in 2000.

Recent history

Oldham (in green) in a friendly versus Bury during the 2009–10 season

Graeme Sharp took over as Oldham's player-manager on the departure of Joe Royle in November 1994, but he was unable to mount a promotion challenge and the pressure continued to build up a year later when Oldham narrowly avoided relegation. Relegation to Division Two happened at the end of the 1996-97 season, just after Sharp had resigned to be succeeded by Neil Warnock.

As one of the biggest clubs in Division Two for 1997-98, and being managed by Warnock who had achieved no less than five promotions with other clubs in the last 11 years, Oldham were tipped for an immediate return to Division One, but they finished a disappointing 13th in the league and Warnock resigned. Veteran striker Andy Ritchie took over as player-manager, but he too failed to mount a promotion challenge and was sacked in October 2001 to be succeeded by Mick Wadsworth.

In 2001, Oxford based businessman Chris Moore purchased Oldham, vowing to take the club back to Premier League football within five years. Wadsworth quit as manager in the summer of 2002 to make way for Iain Dowie, who transformed Oldham's fortunes on the pitch as they made their first serious challenge for promotion in Division Two. Oldham finished fifth and their promotion dreams were ended in the playoffs, and their fans were furious when Moore decided to end his interest with the club—leaving behind large debts and a weak squad, and after selling the better players at a fraction of their market value at the time. For a while it looked as though the club would go out of business, but a takeover deal was soon completed.

In 2004–05, Simon Blitz and two other partners, Simon Corney and Danny Gazal, purchased Oldham, trying to rescue the club from possible liquidation. While trying to repay debts, Oldham struggled for several seasons—barely avoiding relegation once more in 2004–05. In the 2006–07, Oldham's fortune turned for the better once more as the club narrowly missed out on promotion —losing to Blackpool 5–2 on aggregate in the play-off semi-final. After two years with the club, manager John Sheridan was sacked on 15 March 2009, immediately being replaced by former manager Joe Royle.[10] After being offered the job on a permanent basis,[11] Royle rejected the offer and announced that he would be leaving the club after the final game of the season.[12] Darlington boss Dave Penney was announced as Royle's successor on 30 April, though Royle still was in charge until season's end.[13]

Players

First-team squad

As of 6 January 2010.[14]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Dean Brill
2 England DF Hasney Aljofree
3 Wales DF Joe Jacobson
4 England MF Jon Worthington
5 England MF Andy Holdsworth
6 England DF Reuben Hazell
7 England MF Danny Whitaker
8 England FW Deane Smalley
9 Poland FW Paweł Abbott
10 England MF Rob Purdie
11 England FW Lewis Guy (on loan from Doncaster Rovers)
12 England DF Kelvin Lomax
14 South Africa MF Dean Furman
15 England FW Lewis Alessandra
16 England MF Sean Gregan (captain)
18 England MF Chris Taylor
No. Position Player
19 England MF Kieran Lee
20 England MF Dale Stephens
21 England DF Paul Black
22 England FW Ryan Brooke
23 England GK Josh Ollerenshaw
24 England DF Liam Dawson
25 England MF Chris Rowney
26 England MF Alex Marrow (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
27 England MF Kirk Millar
28 England MF Joe Colbeck
29 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Djeny Bembo-Leta
30 Wales FW Daniel Nardiello (on loan from Blackpool)
32 England MF Phillip McGrath
33 Republic of Ireland MF Jim Goodwin (on loan from Huddersfield Town)
36 Northern Ireland DF Michael McKerr
37 England GK Darryl Flahavan (on loan from Crystal Palace)
38 England FW Tom Eaves

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
13 Scotland GK Greg Fleming (at Dunfermline Athletic until 30 June 2010)
17 Scotland FW Keigan Parker (at Bury until 18 April 2010)

Club officials

Board of Directors and Presidents[15]
  • Chairman: Simon Blitz
  • Vice-president: Chaim Beniaker
  • Managing director: Simon Corney
  • Chief executive and director: Alan Hardy
  • Directors: Danny Gazal, Ian Hill, Barry Owen
Football Staff[15]

Notable former managers

The following managers have all won a title in the club's history.

Name Nationality From To
David Ashworth  Ireland 1 August 1906 1 April 1914
George Hardwick  England 1 November 1950 1 May 1956
Jack Rowley  England 1 June 1960 31 May 1963
Jimmy McIlroy  Northern Ireland 1 January 1966 1 August 1968
Jimmy Frizzell  Scotland 1 March 1970 12 June 1982
Joe Royle  England 14 July 1982 10 November 1994

Stadium

Rochdale Road stand

After playing at what was originally called Athletic Ground, the ground was opened for Oldham's first football club—Oldham County F.C. In 1899, after County had folded, Pine Villa moved into the ground and renamed the club and stadium. The stadium is located on the Oldham side of the conjunction of Oldham, Chadderton and Royton,[1] and has a current capacity of 10,638. The stadium currently only has three stands, with one undergoing construction as the original was demolished in June 2008. Before the demolition of the fourth stand, the stadium had a capacity of 13,559.

The record attendance is 47,671 during an FA Cup tie between Oldham and Sheffield Wednesday in 1930—when the capacity was 50,000.

In February 2006, the club unveiled plans for reconstruction of the stadium. After initially being rejected by Oldham Council, the decision was overturned with permission for the entire ground to be redeveloped. The ground was expected to seat 16,000 and cost approximately £80 million. On 5 September 2008, Simon Blitz announced on World Soccer Daily podcast that due to the economic problems in England, the development of the stadium was placed on hold temporarily.

On 22 July 2009, the club and Oldham Council unveiled plans for an entirely new, £20 million stadium to be located in Failsworth.[16] The club made an agreement with BAE Systems to purchase a 30-acre piece of land, on which the club plans to build a 12,000 capacity arena along with other leisure and corporate facilities.[17]

Rivalries

Boundary Park is less than 9 miles (14 km) from the stadiums of Bury, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Rochdale.

As their more traditional rivals such as Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Bury and Manchester City are no longer regular opponents, the Latics maintain local rivalry with West Yorkshire clubs Huddersfield Town, Leeds United and near neighbours Stockport County.

Colours

Latics originally started out playing in red and white hooped shirts with blue shorts, with similarities to the Oldham RLFC colours). The red stripes were eventually replaced with blue, before this was in turn replaced by a white shirt with the blue stripe down the middle, this shirt was rumoured to have been influenced by the Ajax Amsterdam shirt of the times. In the mid-1960s, under the ownership of Ken Bates, the strip was changed to tangerine shirts with blue shorts. In the mid-1970s the club adopted an all blue shirt, and these colours have been worn ever since, with the exception of the red and blue hooped shirt that was used the late 1990s. This shirt proved unpopular amongst supporters and caused kit clashing problems, resulting in opposition teams occasionally having to wear Oldham's away kit. The club brought back the colours from the 1960s as an away kit for the 2007-2008 season and this proved to be popular amongst the supporters. Home and away shirts currently bear the slogan "keep the faith" as a result of the financial turmoil the club faced in 2004.

Honours

League

Cup

References

  1. ^ a b c Alan Godfrey Maps. North Chadderton & SW Royton [map], 1932 edition. Cartography by Ordnance Survey. (2008) ISBN 978-1-84784-157-5. Section Lancashire Sheet 97.01.
  2. ^ "About Boundary Park". Oldham Athletic AFC. 2008-09-17. http://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/page/StadiumInfo/0,,10337,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  3. ^ "Oldham Athletic". The Football League. http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/League1/0,,10794~691853,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Contact Oldham Athletic". Oldham Athletic AFC. 2009-09-28. http://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/page/Contacts/0,,10337,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  5. ^ "League One clubs". The Football League. http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/League1Index/0,,10794,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  6. ^ "Boundary Park". pastscape.org.uk. http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=890861. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  7. ^ a b "Latics takeover approved". BBC Sport. 2004-02-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/o/oldham_athletic/3455161.stm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  8. ^ "Latics win celebration match". BBC News. 2004-02-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/3468859.stm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  9. ^ Johnson, William (2004-02-03). "FA at odds with leaked report's claim of racism". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2372414/FA-at-odds-with-leaked-report%27s-claim-of-racism.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Royle replaces Sheridan at Oldham". BBC Sport. 2009-03-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/o/oldham_athletic/7945172.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  11. ^ "Royle offered Latics job". Sky Sports. 2009-04-16. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11730_5195706,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  12. ^ "Manager Royle set to leave Oldham". BBC Sport. 2009-04-28. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/o/oldham_athletic/8022275.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  13. ^ "Oldham confirm Penney as manager". BBC Sport. 2009-04-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/o/oldham_athletic/8025908.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  14. ^ "Profiles". Oldham Athletic AFC. http://www.oldhamathletic.premiumtv.co.uk/page/ProfilesDetail/0,,10337,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  15. ^ a b "Club Officials". Oldham Athletic AFC. 2009-01-06. http://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/page/ClubOfficials/0,,10337,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  16. ^ "Oldham reveal plan for new ground". BBC Sport. 2009-07-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/o/oldham_athletic/8162712.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  17. ^ "Cabinet agreement moves stadium plan forward". Oldham Athletic AFC. 2009-07-23. http://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/page/NewsUpdate/0,,10337~1731488,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 

External links

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