Oldham Athletic supporters plead to club's owner to reinstate David Wheater

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James Ducker
·2 min read
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Oldham Athletic manager Harry Kewell - PA
Oldham Athletic manager Harry Kewell - PA

Oldham Athletic supporters have written to the club’s owner imploring him to reinstate defender David Wheater in the hope of helping to preserve their Football League status.

Wheater and goalkeeper Gary Woods were dropped from Oldham’s first team squad last month and instructed to train with the youth team.

Woods has since joined Aberdeen on loan but the agency that represents the two players, Quorum Sports, have accused the League Two club of putting “unfair, undue pressure… to break a contract which was signed in good faith”. 

Now the Oldham supporters’ group, Push the Boundary (PTB), have launched a #FREEWHEATZ campaign and pleaded with owner Abdallah Lemsagem to end the dispute with the defender and restore him to Harry Kewell’s struggling team, in addition to Woods once his loan spell ends.

Oldham are currently 20th in League Two after taking just eight points from nine games, during which time they have conceded 18 goals.

In an open letter to Lemsagem, PTB wrote: “We are asking you to listen to the fans. If you truly want the best for this club, you would want to give us the very best chance of success. We are therefore calling for the reinstatement of David Wheater and Gary Woods (upon his return from his loan spell with Aberdeen) to the playing squad.

“We believe that if available both players would be more than worthy of a place in a matchday squad in our fight to climb the table.

“Should there be any reason legally why this cannot happen, we would ask for honesty and transparency on this matter. If you choose to ignore this request then it can and will only be seen as a further act of contempt towards the long suffering fans of this club. We await your response.”

PTB said the starting XIs Oldham fielded in the last two games against Port Vale and Southend had collectively played under 400 league games in professional English football and believe the experience of Wheater, who has played over 100 Premier League matches, “cannot be ignored at such a crucial time in our history”.

“We are sure that the dispute with these players is nothing that cannot be resolved for the good of the clubs league status, which is currently under threat,” the letter read. “The players themselves (via their agent) have suggested the players are still willing to fulfil their role within the squad.”

PTB are encouraging fans to get behind the campaign by adopting the #FREEWHEATZ hashtag in any social media, share a poster they have produced and send them short video messages conveying their thoughts on the matter.