KEITH Curle says having a football club for fans to come back to has been the success of the season for Oldham Athletic.

On the pitch it has been a campaign of inconsistency as the highest scorers also conceded the most, resulting in a disappointing 18th-placed finish. Form at Boundary Park has also been an Achilles heel, as Latics ended the campaign with a 15th home defeat that left them languishing second bottom of League Two’s home form table.

Curle says the absence of supporters, in a season played behind closed doors, has had a negative effect.

But he feels that keeping the club afloat during a traumatic period – with the previous campaign abandoned due to coronavirus – has given them a platform to build on once fans are allowed to return.

"The structure that has been put in place by the football club has seen them survive very, very difficult times with the finances that have been taken away from the club because of Covid,” said Curle.

"I think the positives for the supporters are you've got to look at how the football club has survived.”

His comments come amid increasing calls for owner Abdallah Lemsagam to sell up and leave the club after another difficult campaign on and off the field.

There was the latest in the long line of managerial changes as Curle abruptly replaced Harry Kewell and amongst many other issues, the North Stand at Boundary Park remains closed with no indication of when it will open.

Asked if the club’s future was ever touch-and-go for the club with the knock-on effects of the pandemic, Curle added: “This season has been a very difficult season for the football club, but the football club has survived, through financial constraints.

"That shows that the structure has been put in place and it's working.

"I've been speaking to the owners and I've got a decent idea of the financial implications that have happened not only at this football club but widespread.

"It is an achievement that we've come out of the season, finished the season, financially in a good place.

“The financial structure of the football club does take time and it's not easy. A lot of decisions have to be made that sometimes are unpleasant but are done for the betterment of the football club going forward and being able to survive.

"Some football clubs are paying the cost for it.

"The football club's still here. It's got a very good heritage and a good history.

"Sometimes some of the players need to know the passion that's going to be coming through those turnstiles, they won't accept some of the performances that have been put in.”