Oldham Athletic are relegated from the Football League for the first time after fans storm the pitch

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Oldham Athletic were relegated from the Football League for the first time in club history after a troubled 2-1 home defeat to Salford City.

The referee was forced to postpone the game after furious Oldham supporters stormed the Boundary Park pitch to protest against the property, a break that lasted almost two hours.

The players then emerged after the game was postponed nearly 120 minutes to complete the final 10 minutes of the game behind closed doors, before Oldham’s fate was sealed in defeat.

Oldham fans were protesting current owner Abdallah Lemsagam to sell the club

Davis Keillor-Dunn, who had equalized for Oldham, had to be escorted off the field

Davis Keillor-Dunn, who had equalized for Oldham, had to be escorted off the field

With the club set to be relegated out of the Football League for the very first time before kick-off, goals from Matt Smith and Brandon Thomas-Asante appeared to seal the fate of the former club.

Oldham briefly held out hope of a miraculous escape after Davis Keillor-Dunn equalized from the spot.

They rallied after falling behind for the second time in the match, but with fans on the pitch and even manager John Sheridan unable to convince them, their fate seemed to be sealed.

However, after a long delay, the match restarted in an empty stadium. A reporter present at the game said fans still drinking at the Joe Royle Bar on the ground had their view blocked by billboards.

Ten minutes before the end, fans displeased with Abdallah Lemsagam’s actions since he took over the club in 2018 stormed the playing area and unfurled a banner in the center circle reading ‘GET OUT OF OUR CLUB’ .

Oldham fans sat on the pitch at Boundary Park in protest which caused the game to be delayed

Oldham fans sat on the pitch at Boundary Park in protest which caused the game to be delayed

The fan protest led to the match being postponed for almost two hours on Saturday

The fan protest led to the match being postponed for almost two hours on Saturday

Relegation means Oldham became the first founding member of the Premier League to drop out of the Football League altogether, a fact that confirms the dire situation the club were allowed into.

An EFL statement after the game read: “This afternoon’s Sky Bet League Two match between Oldham Athletic and Salford City has ended behind closed doors.”

“The remaining 14 minutes played resulted in a final score of Oldham Athletic 1 Salford City 2 and as a result Oldham Athletic were relegated from League Two.

“Despite the previous announcement that the match was abandoned, after discussions with both clubs, match officials and stadium security, it has been agreed that the match could be completed today.

“The decision was taken in order to maintain the integrity of the competition given the importance of the game at both ends of the Ligue 2 table.”

Gary Neville, during Saturday afternoon’s game as part-owner of the visiting team, tweeted that he had left Boundary Park after the atmosphere turned “gloomy”.

Fans were then prevented from watching the rest as they played the final 10 minutes

Fans were then prevented from watching the rest as they played the final 10 minutes

He tweeted: ‘Just left Oldham against Salford. Oldham fans on the pitch and it’s pretty moody.

Video released on social media appears to show Oldham manager John Sheridan trying to reason with fans into leaving the playing area.

His attempts to do so proved unsuccessful, with the chants for the property to leave the club growing louder and louder.

Oldham fans’ relationship with Lemsagam since arriving in the North West in 2018 has been strained, with the club being relegated out of League One in his first season in charge.

Poor results, dismissals and further scandals followed and the end result was Oldham being relegated out of the top four divisions for the first time in their history.

The financial implications of Oldham’s relegation were revealed this week, with football finance expert and podcaster Kieran Maguire explaining how perilous the situation is for the club.

“If you’re relegated you get parachute payments for two EFL seasons but you immediately lose all what are called Premier League solidarity payments and they’re worth around £700,000 a year,” he explained.

Ten minutes before the end, Oldham Athletic supporters stormed the playing area

Ten minutes before the end, Oldham Athletic supporters stormed the playing area

“The parachute payments, you get £400,000 a year in League 2 from the EFL deals, so I think that’s halved, so you go from around £1.1m to £200,000, and the National League is a really tough league.

“The whole of the National League, with the exception of one club, is full-time and most clubs in the National League North are full-time.

“You’ve also seen clubs like Stockport enter the National League North so there’s no guarantee you’ll even stay there.

“If the culture and things aren’t at the top of the club, you can easily go through those divisions quite alarmingly.”

Fans stormed the pitch and despite security and a police presence could not be stopped

Fans stormed the pitch and despite security and a police presence could not be stopped

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