'BACK the team but not the regime' is the ongoing message from a group of Latics fans ahead of their latest planned protest.

As part of a two-pronged demonstration fans' group Push The Boundary have called for supporters to 'Pack the Park' and 'Empty the Park' for the next two Saturday home games.

It all begins with tomorrow's visit of Port Vale (kick-off 3pm), when supporters are being urged to pack the Rochdale Road End.

That means some fans who had vowed not to return to Boundary Park while unpopular owner Abdallah Lemsagam remained at the helm, with brother Mo as sporting director, will be hitting the pause button on their personal boycott and returning to the ground for the first time since March 2019.

But Steve Shipman, a founder member of PTB, believes the sacrifice will be worth it.

"We want to make a bit of noise in the ground, we want to create a bit of an atmosphere - whether that's supporting the team or whether that's having a go at the owner," he said.

"What we've found in the past, like at Leyton Orient, 90 per cent of the time it is supporting the team and that it will just flip to "We want Abdallah out" and it will be good to get that ringing around the ground.

"Port Vale have sold 1,700 tickets so it would be nice to have an actual decent attendance.

"We're encouraging people to take banners in and just use it as an opportunity to get your message across.

"People have been saying how quiet it is in the ground and we want to make sure that they get the message loud and clear that nothing's changed. Even though it has been quieter we still want them gone."

The last official protest was held ahead of the home game with Hartlepool on September 18, when around 1,000 people gathered outside of the Main Stand with banners and flares, while a coffin with a plaque which read RIP OAFC was placed at the door by a small group of supporters, with one dressed as a clown and another as the Grim Reaper. During that game, a plane also circled over Boundary Park carrying a banner which read: "AL & MO TIME TO GO! #SAVEOAFC'

Shipman, who has not seen Latics play at Boundary Park since March 2019, added: "This is the only way I was going to go back before he (Abdallah Lemsagam) goes. I'm not worried I'll get the bug. I'm definitely treating it as a one-off.

"It's not something that I gave up lightly, and I don't go back lightly either.

"Some people have said 'No more pennies for the Lemmies' and I get that, but there is a bigger picture and this is a one-off.

"We've had a mixed response but I geniunely don't think there is anything else we could have done."

Latics fans have previously staged pitch invasions and thrown tennis balls onto the pitch to disrupt games.

This time, fans are being encouraged to bring the noise.

"Essentially we just want to show that fans have an influence over this and the fact that he's ignored us for over three years, this is where it's got him. It's all down to his decision making. And we're hopeful that it will make a difference," Shipman continued.

"I think the fact we're scrutinising their decision and it's been put on the national stage he's now thinking twice about the decisions he makes.

"I do think he's changed his outlook on it. I do think he's losing interest, it's just getting him to a point where he's willing to listen to reasonable bids for the football club."