AN OLDHAM-born businessman is leading a consortium to take over Oldham Athletic, and has requested talks with Abdallah Lemsagam.

Chris Lees, whose global business interests include technology, construction and real estate, livestock and poultry farming and crypto currency, has been a Latics fan for over 50 years.

And although he no longer lives in the area, he revealed that seeing the club floundering at the foot of the Football League is what has driven him to take action. Lees, 60, also has a vision for Oldham to become the first Football League club to adopt “the Bitcoin Standard” - operating with a decentralised digital currency.

The consortium, which has produced a seven-year-plan broken down into three stages and includes securing ownership of the stadium, is said to consist of Blue-Chip International innovators, football people, business people and financial people.

Lees said: “We come with many years of expertise and great business success between us.”

But they have yet to have discussions with owner Lemsagam despite saying several approaches have been made to the club since first making contact in December, with Lemsagam indicating in January that he was open to offers after four years at the helm.

Lees added: “It’s sad to see how this proud family club has faltered.”

The aims and ambitions of the consortium have been broken down into three development stages, which are explained by a spokesman for the consortium, with a guidance of timelines, as follows:

Stage 1, 0 -18 months

“At the time of writing the financial position of the club is not yet fully clear to us. It is expected that the club is running at a loss.

“The aim is to bring the club into profitability as soon as it is possible to do so.

“The new owners will convene and appoint a board of Directors consisting of Chris Lees as chairman, an appointment of a Supporter representative via the Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation and other Directors including, financial, legal, sporting as well as a Chief executive responsible for the day to day running of the club.

“To secure the future of Boundary Park Stadium its property and holdings for the future benefit of the club and wider community.

“To maintain the Academy at Category 3 status and return it to a strong profit centre, as it was in previous years.

“To engage constantly with our supporters who are the lifeblood of the business.

“To engage with local business partners both old and new and to move forward together with a spirit of co-operation, unity and community adhesion.

“To engage with and utilise “Latics Legends” into the club and commercial activity and recreate the family club atmosphere that Oldham was always renowned for.

“Community outreach programmes with Schools, the Community and Women’s Football are all important to the club and the town. The club will build these programmes with professional, dedicated staff and engage vigorously with all groups in the community. One of our goals is to bring more women into the club and to engage with minority groups and the under represented in our community.

“To engage with professional partners who can add value to the club and the wider community.

“To radically overhaul the Commercial Department and to install and execute world class business practices and create an off the field money making machine.

“To institute a media centre and install personnel with executive oversight to ensure open media channels utilising new media ideas interlocking closely with social media, advertising partners with the aim of bringing in new supporters both locally and other territories.

“To institute a dialogue with Oldham Council and our local MPs with a view to forging long term relationships and partnerships.

Stage 2, 18 months to 3 years

“Continued player acquisition and strengthening of the scouting network.

"Ten per cent of the club's balance sheet to be deployed into Bitcoin and in doing so build asset value for future years.

“To illicit ideas, hold consultations and plan for the redevelopment of Boundary Park Stadium. To begin construction of the stadium into a modern future proof facility for the benefit of football club and other supportive events for the enjoyment and use for the benefit of the community.

“The new owners will underwrite the investment up to $85 million (Usd).

“To “break even” with a projected operating turnover of £7/8 million per year.

“To ensure that the club is following an upward trajectory and aim to attain promotion to League One.

“Continued commercial development.

“To undertake a detailed three-year performance review of all aspects of the running of the club and to make sure that all set targets have been achieved or surpassed.

Stage 3, 3 years to 7 years.

“From year three onwards, we expect the club to be financially stable with an increased financial turnover and with the prospect of being fully solvent and returning an operating profit in the short to medium term. Ultimately this does matter to the long-term future performance of the club and any future structural or ownership change.

“To have completed the redevelopment of Boundary Park Stadium and ensured its long-term future as a facility for use by the club and the local and wider community.

“A continued upward trend in financial turnover and continued progress with player and club development.

“To be challenging strongly or have attained Championship status. This is only possible if the club is a well-run machine and there is zero intent to become a” yo-yo” club.

“To continue to build, identify weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the club, increase all profitable off the field activities and utilise the new stadium for other entertainment events and gatherings.

“The purpose of this document is to create an understanding to the community and fan base as to our intentions and purpose for the club.

“We will release a fully costed and detailed business plan in due course but until we have sight of the current financial situation, understand the clubs ongoing obligations and ownership structure, it is not yet possible to do this.”

Among Lees’ short-term goals is the retention of the current management team, with Latics unbeaten in seven under John Sheridan.

“We have every intention to retain the existing superb coaching staff who are doing a fantastic job with the team,” he said.

“We pledge to not interfere in the playing side of the business and wish to redesignate the position of Head Coach to Club Manager who will be responsible for the effective operation of the coaching staff and player performance and report directly to the board.”

Lees, who has business interests in America, Spain and South Africa added: “If anyone else who reads this or even has a care for the club and its future and is minded to make a bid to buy the club then please join with us.

“I am a born and bred Oldhamer who is passionate and committed to making the club a success. I will not go away and let this club die - I’m determined to succeed and with your help I/we will!”

Oldham Athletic has been contacted by The Oldham Times for a comment.