LATICS fans have vowed not to ease up on their protest plans after hailing the last two a success.

Saturday’s ’Empty the Park’ demonstration, in which supporters were encouraged to stay away from the home game with Forest Green Rovers to hit unpopular owner Abdallah Lemsagam in the pocket and make a visual statement, was a follow-up to the ‘Pack the Park’ protest against Port Vale last month.

An attendance of 6,080 against the Valiants made for the biggest crowd of season, with 4,107 Oldham fans cheering the side to a comeback win, as well as using the opportunity to give more volume to chants against the regime.

And although the visit of Forest Green did not go down as the smallest crowd of the season in the league - or even the lowest turnout of Latics fans - protest organisers Push The Boundary, who worked alongside the Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation and The Athleticos, felt they still got their point across, with supporters from the club’s three main fans’ groups staying away, and a marked reduction in numbers in both the Rochdale Road End and Joe Royle Stand.

In a statement, Push The Boundary said: “Firstly, we want to thank every single one of you that took part in ‘Emptying the Park’. We received a lot of messages from existing season ticket holders who were taking part in this, and fully understood the intention.

“It was always a two-part action following the “Pack the Park” for the Port Vale. We felt this was the best way to get as many people on board as possible and based on the results and feedback, we feel this was the correct approach.

“It was a fantastic response from supporters of PTB, The Foundation and The Athleticos. Unity amongst the fan base will make us stronger and make us harder to ignore.

“It was definitely typical Latics that the game would finish 5-5 after being 4-1 down early in the second half. It was a fantastic fight back from the players and a well earned point against the league leaders.

“That being said, this action was always taken with a long term view in mind and we want to put on record our appreciation to all the existing season ticket holders and remaining supporters who took part. We know from experience how difficult it is to not attend games, and we are incredibly grateful for the sacrifice you made to support the cause.

“We know that this action alone was never going to make the owner sell the club and we know that protest needs to be varied and imaginative. This action was never about “missing the Forest Green game”, it was to show what Abdallah has done to the club in his time and the continued trajectory both him and his brother are taking us on.

“The club have recently advised publicly that we have 2,690 season ticket holders. This is still circa 1,000 down on the figure we had upon entering League Two and on the back of the cheapest season ticket prices in living memory.

“The number of ST holders reported is questionable given (former chief executive) Karl Evans update back on 8 August 2021 after the early bird offer had finished, which suggested 2167 season tickets had been sold. To suggest another 523 tickets had been sold at full price is hard to believe.

“Whether the current pricing can be sustained is up to the club and will be heavily dependent on league status but it would be optimistic to expect the same level of ST sales given how the club is being run and the sentiment amongst supporters.

“In the last two seasons, the announcement around Season Tickets has been made in February, a date that is fast approaching and the number of existing ST holders who chose to stay away for the Forest Green game will not go unnoticed. It is great to see how fans responded and also swelled the gate for the Port Vale game and roared us on to a win.

“We have 25 more games to save our Football League status and it is clear we are in the group of teams who have a fight on their hands, unless there is a drastic turnaround in fortunes. Attention turns to the massive period over Christmas and in particular, on Boxing Day at BP against Scunthorpe United.

“This campaign has gained even more media exposure but it’s obviously about what happens after this.

“We are still exploring more avenues behind the scenes and discussed further action that can be taken to maintain pressure on the owners. If you have suggestions then feel free to share them with us and we will consider all options but we call on all supporters to do everything we can to keep this momentum going and to ensure that you voice your concerns where possible.

It is becoming increasingly clear that this could be the most pivotal season in the club’s history.”