Latics Latest from sports Editor Tony Bugby

RELEGATED Oldham Athletic kick off their Sky Bet League Two campaign on Saturday, August 4 at home to Milton Keynes Dons amid a backdrop of turmoil at Boundary Park.

HM Revenue and Customs has presented a petition to the High Court to wind up the club over an unpaid tax bill.

It is due to be heard on August 22 unless the money is paid beforehand when the petition would be withdrawn.

Latics have previously staved off previous winding-up orders by HMRC when Simon Corney was owner, but this is the first since Abdallah Lemsagam took over the club in January.

And Patrick McEleney, who recently left the club to rejoin Dundalk, lifted the lid on life at Boundary Park when interviewed by the Irish Independent.

McEleney said: “It was a weird club, it was run different to anything I’d seen before, not paying players on time or just deciding when to pay players.

“I think people have read the reports of what the owner there has been doing. The way they treated the players was a joke.”

Craig Davies, the striker who also recently left to join Mansfield Town, also had a rant about Mr Lemsagam on social media describing him as a “circus owner”.

He also referred to the owner “picking which players get paid”.

The club was staying silent this week over the futures of Anthony Gerrard and Jack Byrne.

It had been reported on social media centre-back Gerrard had been sacked while midfielder Byrne had been suspended, but a club spokesman said they would not be commenting.

Gerrard had not featured throughout pre-season, but told the Correspondent he wasn’t injured.

Byrne, meanwhile, only played in the first of the friendlies.

Bunn has strengthened his squad with the capture of two strikers: Sam Surridge on a season-long loan from Bournemouth and Chris O’Grady who has returned for a second spell at the club.

They join the four other players signed since pre-season began.

Goalkeeper Daniel Iverson, a Danish U21 international, arrived on a season-long loan from Leicester City, left-back Andy Taylor whose last club was Blackpool, former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Giles Coke and striker Jonathan Benteke who was at the club on a short-term contract at the end of last season.

Pre-season saw Latics beat non-league sides Ashton United, Curzon Ashton and FC United, hold Championship club Nottingham Forest to a 2-2 draw, beat La Liga side Girona in a behind-closed doors friendly and on July 28 they suffered their only loss, 3-0 at home to Preston North End.

Despite their troubles, Latics will be looking to hit the ground running as they look to regain their League One status at the first attempt.

Of their first six fixtures, Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil and Morecambe struggled last season while Macclesfield were promoted from National League.

Latics also play Championship club Derby County, managed by former England legend Frank Lampard, in the Carabao Cup.

Latics’ fixture list for the opening month.

Aug 4: MK Dons H
Aug 11: Forest Green Rovers A
Aug 14: Derby County H
(Carabao Cup)
Aug 18: Macclesfield Town H
Aug 21: Yeovil A
Aug 25: Morecambe A
Sept 1: Crawley H.

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