Oldham’s board have accepted responsibility for their “total failure” following the club’s relegation from the English Football League.
The Latics dropped out of the EFL for the first time in their 115-year history amid chaotic scenes at Boundary Park on Saturday when a pitch invasion forced their home defeat to Salford to be suspended.
The game restarted behind closed doors after Oldham fans protesting owner Abdallah Lemsagam were sent off the pitch and a 2-1 loss determined the club’s fate.
The Oldham board have confirmed the club is still for sale and retaining John Sheridan as manager is key to their hopes of a direct bounce back.
A statement from the club read: “The Oldham Athletic board are devastated by the club’s relegation. The issues that led to this point go back years, but the blame lies with the board and relegation represents a total failure.
“The plan for next season starts now. The objective is clear, promotion and a return to the EFL. Our budget will be unchanged due to EFL parachute payments and we want to start preparations now.
“The key to that is keeping the manager. John Sheridan did his best in a short time. With support and preparation, we believe he will bring this club back to the EFL, where he belongs.
“In the following days we will meet John to agree a new contract with him.”
Lemsagam, a former football agent who bought Oldham in January 2018, announced he was ready to sell the club and open to offers in January this year.
The statement added: “The club owner remains committed to selling the club. A clear process is in place for interested parties.
“Each bidder has been asked to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and provide proof of funds. Conversations with these qualified bidders are ongoing and will continue.
“While appreciating the huge upheaval and disappointment of the fans, we urge everyone to continue to support the club in these difficult times.
“The board and staff are determined to work hard to restore our rightful position in league football.”
In Saturday’s defeat, both sets of players were escorted off the pitch by referee Bobby Madley after fans stormed the pitch in the 79th minute, with the last of the protesters not leaving the pitch for a while. almost an hour.
After an initial announcement on the pitch that the game had been scrapped, the EFL then insisted it restart, which it did at 6.28pm behind closed doors.
The final 11 minutes plus stoppage time produced no further goals, while Oldham, who struggled with pitch invasions earlier in the season, now face stiff penalties from the part of the Football Association and the EFL.