David Wheater and Gary Woods will no longer be part of Oldham’s first-team squad, the club have announced.

Defender Wheater was captain under previous boss Dino Maamria making 35 appearances and scoring four goals last season after arriving from Bolton.

Former Hamilton and Doncaster goalkeeper Woods also moved to Boundary Park last summer and made 16 appearances in the 2019/20 campaign.

Wheather has not featured under new head coach Harry Kewell this season while Woods has been an unused substitute in the opening four games.

Both are under contract until the summer of 2021 and are said to be on amicable terms with Kewell and willing to resume first team duties, if instructed.

Neither player is also thought to be subject to any disciplinary action from the club.

A statement on Oldham's website read: “Oldham Athletic can confirm that players David Wheater and Gary Woods will no longer be a part of the first-team squad.

“Due to matters that neither party is in a position to disclose, the decision has been made to ensure the football club can now focus on the season ahead.

“No further comment will be made by the club at this time.”

Wheater and Woods' representatives, Quorum Sports, responded with a statement of their own.

“We feel it important to clarify the situation regarding the above players who we are privileged to represent at Quorum Sports," said CEO Imre Varadi.

“When players sign a contract they are fully committed to honouring that contract with the club and be professional 100 per cent of the time and train and play to the best of their abilities.

“In return they expect the management of the club to also honour the contract, be paid on time and to act with a high standard of professionalism.

“Unfortunately, we believe that Oldham’s management in releasing the club statement is designed to put unfair, undue pressure on two experienced professional players to break a contract which was signed in good faith.”

Oldham received warnings from the EFL for the late payment of wages in January, February and March but say they have brought in “enhanced financial planning processes” to avoid future delays, which are now punishable under the league’s regulations.

During lockdown the club also found itself in dispute with several first team players regarding the use of furlough, which also involved the Professional Footballers' Association.