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Police investigate bullet and threatening letter reportedly sent to Oldham owner

Oldham Athletic v Forest Green Rovers – Sky Bet League Two – Boundary Park
(Image credit: Tim Markland)

Greater Manchester Police have begun an investigation after bullets and threatening letters were reportedly sent to Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam and his brother on Tuesday.

Sky Sports News reported that a handwritten letter accompanied by a bullet was sent to Lemsagam, signed by ‘The Anonymous Group’. Lemsagam’s brother Mohamed, the Oldham sporting director, was also said to have received a similar letter and a bullet.

The letters were received on the same day that Lemsagam, deeply unpopular with many fans, issued a statement saying he had begun talks to sell the club, who sit at the bottom of League Two.

On Wednesday, a statement from Greater Manchester Police read: “We are aware of a situation involving a report of malicious communications at Oldham Athletic Football Club.

“Our investigation is in its very early stages and our enquiries are ongoing.”

Lemsagam took control of Oldham four years ago, but his tenure has been deeply turbulent. The club were relegated from League One in his first season and a succession of managers have been unable to halt the decline, leaving their membership of the Football League at risk as they sit four points from safety.

Supporters have become increasingly vocal in their opposition to Lemsagam, organising pitch invasions and even staging a mock funeral for the club.

In his statement on Tuesday, Lemsagam said he had “invested money and time trying to clean the club of all of its historic issues” off the pitch – but admitted he had made mistakes on the football side.

“On the playing side, things have not gone how I wanted in the last four years, to say the least. I made mistakes and I won’t make excuses – we are where we are,” he wrote.

“In the short term, I am now focused on improving the squad to fight the relegation battle we are now in.

“In the medium term, I can see that my ownership has caused unrest within the club and the fans. I want the best for the club and I think the best for the club is that it is now passed on to new owners.

“My team is speaking to certain credible bidders and I am happy to speak to others.”

Last month the club issued banning orders to three fans, including Bradley Knowles, director of the Oldham Athletic Supporters Foundation, as a result of their opposition to Lemsagam’s ownership of the club, though the bans were lifted after an outcry.

Fans group Push The Boundary, which was set up in opposition to Lemsagam, on Tuesday condemned the threatening letters reportedly sent to the two brothers.

“PTB would like to place on record our disgust at the reports this afternoon that the owners of the club have both received death threats,” a statement said.

“PTB resolutely condemn any kind of threat or abuse and we would expect Greater Manchester Police to come down hard on the person(s) involved in the strongest possible manner, this type of behaviour towards another person has no place in society.”

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