OLDHAM ATHLETIC announced today that they have banned one of their fans from attending home games for the rest of the season.
The action was taken after a so-called supporter threatened the family of manager Steve Robinson on Twitter on Boxing Day.
The Latics are bottom of League One having failed to win a league game since October 18, which ironically was against the leaders Scunthorpe.
The tweet was reported to the police, who have since investigated the matter. They have spoken to both parties and Robinson’s family are taking no further action.
A statement on Oldham’s website read: “We would like to remind all supporters that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the club under any circumstances and action will be taken”.
Robinson took over from John Sheridan in the summer and the team’s form has inevitably put his position under scrutiny, but disgruntled fans have also been questioning the role of chairman Simon Corney. He was part of a group that took over the club in 2004/05 and Latics haven’t just remained in League One, they haven’t even finished in the top half since 2008/09.
In a recent interview Corney invited fans to come into the club and look at their accounts. He also named certain supporters who are active critics online and asked them to do a Q&A session with him.
Corney said: “I think there is some negativity and it’s unfortunate that the same few people are trying to find flaws in everything we do. They’re welcome to come and sit down with me, they can ask me anything they want and we can film it for the fans to see.
“We do have issues, every club in the Football League has, but I don’t think ours are much greater than anyone else’s,” he added. “We’re getting over them and I believe we’ll get to where we need to be.”
Some fans intend to take him up on the offer and, after asking for questions from other supporters, have compiled a list to put to Corney. An initial meeting had to be cancelled but they hope to rearrange it for the New Year.
Oldham succumbed to a late Billy Sharp brace as they lost at second-placed Sheffield United on Boxing Day, suffering their second straight 2-0 defeat. Latics are now eight league games without a win and were knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Lincoln City.
There has been speculation Robinson will be sacked if they don’t get a positive result at eighth-placed Fleetwood on New Year’s Eve. Fellow strugglers Bury managed to end their losing streak with a 0-0 draw there on Boxing Day but that was the first time the Cod Army had failed to score in the league all season.
Latics did win 2-0 at Fleetwood in the group stage of the Checkatrade Trophy, though, and remain in the competition. They are due to visit League Two Mansfield in the third round on January 10.