BARRY Owen has returned to Oldham Athletic more than a year after he resigned as director.

Owen, who was a director from 2004 to March 2021, has not been reinstated to the board but has instead taken up an advisory role, sharing the responsibility of the day to day running of the club with general manager Steven Brown.

It is 14 months since he left in the wake of sponsors Oldham Vending Services calling for their names to be removed from the front of Latics’ shirts, after HotelRooms 4 U - of which Owen is a part owner - and Identity FS had also withdrawn financial support for the club.

But Owen says he felt compelled to return to help Latics in their quest to return to the Football League

"At the moment all my efforts are going into trying to get us back on an even keel and back into the EFL," he said.

"I am advisor to the board of directors. I am in constant touch with Steve (Brown) about anything I can help him with. It's quite a hands-on role."

Asked why he decided to return, he said: "I made a decision that some of the obstacles that were in my way (previously) had been removed.

"I decided at the intervention of one of the other board members a couple of matters could be ironed out to a satisfactory conclusion, and felt the club's interests were more important than differences of opinion.

"It's water under the bridge. The club is more important than any individual. If I can help my football club, I will.

Individuals don't come into it for me."

Owen added: "I'd been there under the old regime with (Simon) Blitz and (Simon) Corney, and Abdallah Lemsagam asked me to continue as a director when he took over.

"I spoke to Adam Morallee about coming back and when I was asked I made reference to the fact that I didn't want to return as a director.

"I felt that I needed to have the fiduciary responsibilities at that stage.

"Whether that position changes in the future is another matter."

Owen had a hand in John Sheridan's re-appointment in January, before he was invited back to the club, but said he would otherwise have little involvement in football matters.

"I made the recommendation because I felt that for our situation as it stood at the time he would do the right job for us," Owen explained.

"I also knew that he would have the support of the fans, which would take some of the pressure off with other things that were going on at the club.

"I still think he did a great job and gave us a fighting chance when it looked like there was none at all."

Of his remit, Owen added: "I'm advising on any matters I think need advising on, with my areas of speciality in regard to governance and safety."