LATICS fans' groups fear the relationship between the supporters and the owner has become "untenable" after hitting a stalemate at a crunch meeting.

A 90-minute discussion with owner and chairman Abdallah Lemsagam failed to resolve any issues that have led to growing tension and demonstrations against the regime.

Representatives of fans' groups Push The Bounday (PTB) and Oldham Athletic Supporters' Foundation met Dubai-based Lemsagam via Zoom, with the meeting chaired by director Adam Morallee, ahead of Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy group win over Salford City.

But they have been left disillusioned by the board's failure to acknowledge fans' concerns, and the reasons behind them.

The supporters' group representatives - one from each organisation - put forward reasons for the recent protests, including the role of the sporting director. It was suggested that removing Mohamed Lemsagam from this position, amid concerns of interference with management and poor recruitment, would be a step in the right direction. But this was not entertained by Lemsagam, Mohamed's brother, who put protests down to results rather than the regime - an outcome that led to OASF calling an "urgent meeting" on Tuesday night to discuss their next steps in challenging the ownership.

A statement posted on the PTB website read: "On Tuesday afternoon, representatives of both PTB and OASF met via Zoom with club chairman Abdallah Lemsagam along with board member Adam Morallee. We thank them both for their time.

"The meeting lasted for 90 minutes in total and the time was used to discuss the feeling of frustration amongst fans that culminated in repeated on-pitch protests over recent weeks.

"Both fan representatives tried to convey the feeling of why we have ended up in this position. The level of questioning was very direct from both sides and the following matters were discussed (not an exhaustive list):

– Recruitment

– The Sporting Director role

– Protests

– Previous regime

– Stadium ownership

– The 3/5 year plan

"As well as wanting to convey the true sense of dissatisfaction and disassociation amongst fans, we wanted signs that this had been heard and fully acknowledged by the custodians of the club. Sadly we came away from the call not feeling this was the case and that it was highly unlikely that a significant change in approach would be forthcoming (in our current opinion).

"Obviously, it was incredibly frustrating to hear that the gravity of the situation wasn’t felt by the owner and that the feeling of anger was mainly down to results on the pitch.

"We explained that poor results is something we are used to, but it has never deterred fans from attending games and has never led to protests like we have seen recently. We tried to explain that this is NOT about results and even if there are 4/5 consecutive wins, it wouldn’t absolve the club of its behaviour off the pitch.

"By the same token, poor results on the pitch don’t define how we as fans feel (albeit, when staring at the trapdoor to non-league, we can’t afford to be complacent).

"Mr Lemsagam stated a lot of work had been done to get the club back in a stable footing, following the position we were left in by the previous regime and this work continues. We explained that while we don’t doubt that there were inherent issues and that the decline of the club didn’t start three years ago, we are three-plus years down the line and we have to address the here and now. Whether the owners feel at fault for the current situation is irrelevant, we are here now and something drastic needs to happen.

"The role of the sporting director was discussed and that to make a decision in the best interest in the running of the club and to send a statement of intent, would be to remove him from his role and let the current manager have full control over the playing side of things. It was made clear that this wouldn’t happen and that the chairman is happy with his performance.

"We feel that for numerous managers to face the axe while the Sporting Director remains in place, amidst our poorest recruitment in living memory, gives the impression that he has security of tenure. This is obviously a valid concern for both ourselves and for supporters.

"While we have seen a recent coming together between PTB and OASF (and we fully expect this to continue), we also have to appreciate that we are different entities that can achieve results in different ways.

"The Trust can exercise their right to challenge the club in the manner they see fit and we fully support their right to do so and feel the correct personnel is there to truly hold the club to account. As with the OASF statement released this morning, the club have agreed to respond by the end of the week with next steps.

"From a PTB perspective, we still feel that the relationship is untenable and that while Mr Morallee chaired the meeting professionally and tried to offer suggestions, we cannot be sure whether there is the desire at the very top to make the fundamental changes required in order to bridge the gap between supporters and the club.

"We await a response from the club on Friday but can assure fans that next steps are already being taken as a group and these will be announced in the near future.

"Reclaim The Faith."

OASF also released a statement following the meeting, which read: "The Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation can confirm that the publicised meeting with Abdallah Lemsagam and Adam Morallee did take place yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon via zoom, and we thank both of them for their time.

"Before giving more detail of the meeting and where we feel things currently stand, we think it fair to let Mr Lemsagam and Mr Moralee respond formally to us by Friday this week, as agreed at the end of the meeting.

"What we will say is that as a result of the meeting and some of the concerns it raised, the board of OASF held an urgent meeting last night to formulate our plan going forward. We will make a further statement in due course once this has been fully finalised.

"We can confirm however, that with immediate effect and starting September 7th, 2021 we will be insisting upon all questions under The Football Supporters Association Key Marker Questions (we will publish these separately) being presented to us each and every month. This will ensure we can report to fans that our club is at least being ran effectively from a business perspective.

"As soon as we have formulated our full plan, we will let you know and will seek your valuable input.

"We thank you for your continued patience and understanding."