OLDHAM Athletic supporters say they will not be silenced in their objection to the club's regime, despite the bans handed out to at least three supporters for their criticism of owner Abdallah Lemsagam.

Bradley Knowles, who is the director of the Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation (OASF), Dominic Weiss and Nathan Price have all received letters from Latics' general manager Steven Brown informing them of the club's decision to refuse them entry to Boundary Park and the club's youth team home games for the next three years.

Latics have been widely criticised for their action, which according to the correspondence was taken because the individuals "have displayed a desire to promote your dislike of Oldham Athletic Football Club, its management and its progression, and you are influencing others to do the same".

The letter also states that the ban applies to "any other ground where either team are playing", although The Oldham Times understands this is not enforceable at other grounds without a banning order from a court.

Nevertheless, it has prompted an angry response from Latics' fans with one of the leading supporters' groups, Push The Boundary, writing an open letter to general manager Brown in which the club's Supporters Code of Conduct is questioned, while non-executive director Richard Bowden has tendered his resignation from the board, citing a lack of consultation over this action despite the letter stating that Brown had been "asked by the Board of Directors to review actions of individuals that we feel are deliberately geared to harm and cause distress to the Club, its fans and stakeholders".

PTB's open letter in full reads: "You will no doubt be aware of why we are contacting you. We are at something of a loss as to how and why the action of banning (three) supporters has been taken. The timing, not only is it a few days before Christmas, but also a matter of days before the biggest game of our season again Scunthorpe on Boxing Day.

"The club have advised that they want to work alongside supporters and not against them, but (yet again), the action taken does not back up the words of the chairman. You will not need reminding that this action has also been taken against a director of OASF, who are a 3 per cent shareholder in the football club.

"Your action to date as General Manager has been to cancel two meetings with OASF (one at short notice when two directors were stood outside the stadium) and to issue these bans (as well as others). We fail to see any form of a collaborative approach to working with supporters to try and improve the situation, as purported by the Chairman. As far as we are concerned, the situation is far beyond recovering due to action taken by the current owner (and board) in their tenure and we have made this clear.

"If the club think they can work with supporters, then take tangible steps to do so. If you do not think the situation is recoverable, then you should be taking every possible step to find alternative ownership and give fans a shred of hope.

"What you cannot do (but are attempting) is to obliterate any form of free speech and opposition to the current regime, in an attempt to silence supporters. This has been done by banning flags and banners in the stadium, by taking tickets off sale for the Hartlepool game, attempting all ticket games for away fixtures and now this. The question is, what do you think that this will possibly achieve and how do you think this will be perceived by our fanbase as well as the wider footballing community?

"In the Supporters Code of Conduct on the club's website, it states the following: 'It is recognised that football is a passionate game and supporters will have their own way of expressing their support and reactions. This is acceptable and welcomed as it often adds positively to the matchday experience'.

"You define ‘unacceptable conduct’ as 'conduct considered to be violent or disorderly. Violent conduct includes any actual, attempted or threatened physical violence against any person or intentional damage to property.'

"This seemingly relates to conduct at home and away games, and not via social media. We fail to see, based on the justification in the letter, how the actions of (the) supporters can be seen to be fall under the guise of ‘unacceptable conduct’?

"With regards to entry to away stadiums, we don’t believe the club can enforce such a ban unless a court order is obtained. After consulting the club’s customer charter, under the heading of ‘DATA’, it states the following: 'Under no circumstances will Oldham Athletic disclose supporter’s personal data to any third party unless required by law'.

"As no criminal offence has taken place, we fail to see how passing details to other clubs in the division can be required ‘by law’. If you do this, it would constitute a GDPR breach so we would therefore encourage you to re-think this course of action in the event that this may come back on the club.

"Your letter also states that you have been asked by the Board of Directors to review ‘actions of individuals’ and this forms part of this action. We have had verbal confirmation from a director, Richard Bowden, that he was not aware of the action being taken. Therefore, if this is indeed the case, the action taken is not unanimous? We understand that following this, said director has tendered his resignation to the board. This only adds weight to the concerns that the current board is not fit for purpose or indeed not even working towards a common goal.

"As a group, we will work alongside both individuals and OASF to ensure that this decision is broadcast as far and wide as possible so that the club can be held to account for what it is doing. We have been in touch the Football Supporters Association, Fair Cop, local/national media as well as notifying the EFL of the conduct of one of its members.

"On a final note, how much longer can this seriously continue? Whether people in the football club care to admit this or not, the situation is unrecoverable, and the position of the board and majority shareholder is completely untenable. We therefore ask all parties to come together and do what is required, to find an alternative owner before a community asset is destroyed once and for all."

Brown's background in football includes a spell at Blackpool, where he worked between 2013 and 2015. Although his role was with the commercial department it was during a period in which a number of supporters were threatened with legal action by the Oyston family, who owned the club at the time, while a number of banning orders were also issued amid fans' protests against the Bloomfield Road regime.

PTB's letter continues: "We would like to assume that given your previous involvement with Blackpool, that you would want to avoid a similar chain of events at another Football League club.

"You will no doubt be hearing further from us in due course.