OLDHAM Athletic’s new chief executive believes the club are not any closer to the edge of the financial cliff than other clubs in the EFL.

Karl Evans has been brought in by owner Abdallah Lemsagam to replace former managing director Natalie Atkinson and is tasked with upping revenues and improving fan engagement at Boundary Park.

Latics were warned over the late payment of wages earlier this year and were threatened with administration due to disputes relating to their stadium.

Formerly of Manchester United, Evans - who left Bury in March 2019 as their crisis deepened - believes that while clubs face a tough battle through the pandemic, Oldham are in a similar position to others, rather than being a special case.

When asked about the possibility of another club going the way of Shakers, expelled from the EFL last August due to financial issues, he told BBC Radio Manchester: “I don’t feel we’re any closer to that here than anywhere else, through the difficult circumstances.

“What I’ve got to do is guide people through this difficult period because the fans and the community are the lifeblood.

“We’ve got to understand what they want and get them back on side. That’s my job.

“Happy fans spend money with the club and I’m not going to beat about the bush about that.

“Of course I’m hoping no other club goes through the Bury scenario, of course I’m not. We’ll just crack on and see where we can get to.”

Evans is working on increasing money coming into the club during the Covid-19 crisis as the EFL wait on support from the Premier League and central Government, the return of fans to stadiums looking like a distant prospect.

“What we’ve got to do now is fight our way through together as best we can as a football group because at least it’s brought the football family together so to speak, even though it’s a little bit too late from Bury’s perspective,” he said.  

“What we need to do then is understand what we need going forward. The cloth is being cut at many clubs, including this one, to keep going for the time being.

“We’ll wait for the EFL and what they can add to the party and then take it from there.

“I’m comfortable with my role, I know what I’ve got to do, I’ve got to bring more revenue into the club. I’ve always had that responsibility at every club I’ve been at.

“Everybody can go on about the finances here but we’re in a great stadium, hopefully we can get this North Stand issue resolved, and that’s for the owners to do, and then we can hopefully move forward because that could be a massive boost for the finances.”

Evans has been brought in to focus on the business side of the football club, rather than matters on the field.

Harry Kewell has endured a tough start as Latics boss with senior players David Wheater and Gary Woods also being informed they will not be training with the first team for the final year of their contracts.

A section of the fanbase are loudly calling for Lemsagam to leave the club, such is their disillusionment with events at Boundary Park.

Evans is well aware of that and has already spoken with Trust Oldham and independent supporters’ group Push the Boundary.

He said: “The owners will talk to me when certain things are happening with players, but it’s not my job really around contract negotiations and agents. I’ll leave that to the owner, manager and sporting director.

“I’m going to try and take on some of the front-running for the club and allow Abdallah to do what he needs to do in the background and other things I’ve talked about, legacy issues as regards the stadium etc.

“For me to listen to the fans and to see the discord, that’s upsetting at any club.

“I do like a challenge, these things can be turned around, things that happen on the pitch or don’t happen can have a material effect on that.  

“I’m not here with a magic wand and everyone suddenly likes Oldham Athletic and the ownership. I’m not naïve enough to think that however communication from my perspective hasn’t been very good at all.

“That doesn’t just apply here but at many other clubs as well.

“We’ve got to make fans feel they are wanted by the football club. I don’t feel like Oldham and many other clubs are engaged in that way.

“It’s very easy for me to come in and say this because I’ve not been at the forefront of it, however, that does make it easy because I can come in with a fresh pair of eyes and a fresh pair of ears.

“I’ve sat down with the fans’ groups already and enjoyed myself and talked to them and listened and we’ll take it from there.”