Manchester

Council approves purchase of Lancaster Club site from Oldham Athletic

Boundary Park
Image caption A new north stand is expected to be built as part of the deal

Oldham Athletic have agreed a £5.5m deal with their local council that is expected to secure the club's future.

Oldham Council has agreed to buy a site in Failsworth from the side, which it bought and planned to relocate to before building permission was denied.

As part of the deal, which also includes a £700,000 grant, the club has agreed to remain at Boundary Park.

Regeneration is expected at the ground, starting with the construction of a new north stand, the council said.

Negotiations between the League One side and the local authority began when the move to the Lancaster Club in Failsworth fell through.

The club was originally given planning permission to build a stadium on the land, but the Charity Commission intervened and ruled it could not go ahead.

'Complex arrangements'

Oldham Council said it would develop the land, building leisure facilities such as artificial football pitches and shops.

Jim McMahon, Oldham council leader, said: "The professional football club is of vital importance to this borough and we identified ending its decade of uncertainty as a key priority within our first hundred days in office.

"The choice is pretty simple - keep it or lose it. We are in no doubt that if we were ever to lose it, we would never get it back."

Simon Corney, Oldham Athletic director, said: "We now have a chance to genuinely redevelop the current ground and we have taken steps to implement this and secure the club's future, which has always been our intention.

"This has involved complex arrangements with regard to club and land ownerships and we want to emphasise that we still have a long way to go."

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