FRANK Rothwell declared "the pain is over" for Oldham Athletic after being unveiled as the club's new chairman.

Oldham-based Rothwell, who founded successful local business Manchester Cabins, has cleared the debts of the one-time crisis club in what is understood to be a £12million deal for the club, stadium and land.

It is a family venture, with the 72-year-old's wife, Judith, daughter Sue Schofield and son Luke all behind the takeover, which has brought legendary former manager Joe Royle back to his beloved Boundary Park as director alongside his son, Darren, who brokered the deal and has been named the club's chief executive.

The troubled four-year reign of Abdallah Lemsagam resulted in two relegations, missed payments, debts believed to total £2million, fan protests and Boundary Park boycotts.

But Rothwell is determined to put all that behind Latics and restore the pride and passion in the club, and get Boundary Park bouncing again.

"Everyone who lives in Oldham is proud of Oldham. I'm passionate about Oldham," he said at last night's press conference, held in the OEC in the Joe Royle (North) Stand.

"We can't promise Premier League, it’s happened before but that’s a long way off, although I am always up for a challenge.

"We’re going to steady things down. We've got to get the club out of freefall, get it on an even keel and make use of the facilities.

"I think every football club has its natural level. Where’s Oldham’s level? It’s top of (League) One banging on the Championship, that’s where we want to be. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of fun.

"Let’s get people being proud of Oldham again, talking about the club in the chippy, at school, I want people to feel like they own the football club.

"We want to taste success and broaden the appeal to a wider audience."

He added: "For the first (home) game against Dorking, we want to fill this place"

Rothwell explained that he was enticed by the atmosphere during the home game with Leyton Orient in March, which Latics won 2-0, but that takeover wheels were not put in motion until eight weeks ago.

"You feel like it's out of your hands, someone behind closed doors that's unapproachable, that was my view, until Darren Royle came round to my house and I was wearing my hat for ambassador for business," he said.

"He asked to be introduced to movers and shakers in businesses that would be interested in a consortium.

"I thought, 'do you know what, I wouldn't mind having a go at that ourselves'. Spoke to my son and daughter who were enthusiastic and we had further meetings, we spoke to Abdallah and Simon Blitz and then speak to John (Sheridan) to make sure he felt secure."

The purchase of the stadium has yet to be finalised but is at the due diligence stage.

Chairman Rothwell's board of directors will be made up of his son and daughter, who now run the family business, Joe and Darren Royle, former FA lawyer Peter Norbury and Kevin Roberts, the former chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi and ex-CEO of Pepsi.