OLDHAM Athletic are facing a backlash from fans following their decision not to open the Joe Royle (North) Stand next season.

Many supporters accepted the financial reasons for not using all four sides of Boundary Park, but felt that using the three dated stands, which are in need of repair, was not the right course of action.

Disabled fans in particular feel most affected by the decision, and are questioning whether they will be able to attend home games next season due to a lack of appropriate facilities.

One supporter took to facebook and wrote: "Joe Royle is the only stand that ideally is suitable for my needs, as a disabled fan. No mention of a refund, only to relocate. Main Stand is mission impossible with zero disabled access. Chaddy End, away fans only. Sir Jimmy Frizzell Stand, awkward parking procedures, toilets outdated, cold, can't shut the door behind me, other able bodied fans often use it to smoke, sort their young kids out, hence queuing too long, located at the back of the stand, (poor) view, problem at times with fans standing up, freezing cold with horrendous cold drafts coming from the entrance/exit openings, plus other issues.

“Why offer season tickets if they can’t honour them?

“I’ve been going over 50 years, attending a very high percentage of home and away games, done over 100 different grounds, even attended the reserve matches back in the day.

“But now the heart has been ripped out of our club, which disheartens me to the bone.

“If I was in Joe Royle’s shoes I would request his truly good name to be removed (from) the North Stand until a fit owner(s) take control.”

In a poll conducted by The Oldham Times yesterday, of the 239 people that took part, nine per cent said they had already bought a season ticket for the North Stand and four per cent said they had planned to. The majority - 68 per cent - said they were boycotting Boundary Park next season.

The club this week announced that the Joe Royle (North) Stand would not be open to supporters next season due to concerns over cost and safety.

A number of supporters have since taken to Twitter to vent their frustration.

Nicola Travis wrote: “Closing the North Stand on ‘safety concerns’ is a joke when the stands they are opening are falling apart and quite frankly have disgusting and inadequate toilet facilities.”

Joe Bray tweeted: “Hopefully #oafc can use the money they’re saving on closing the North Stand to ensure thee is running water in the main stand toilets. Or open the main stand lower kiosks to avoid hundreds walking up a rusty flight of stairs, over seats, to the only counter serving food/drink.”

A spokesman for Oldham Athletic said: “We will do everything possible to accommodate the disabled supporters and all they need to do is make contact with the club."