Royle to the rescue for Oldham

BLUES boss Joe Royle will return to Oldham next weekend in a bid to help out his former cash-strapped club.The ex-Latics boss, who took Oldham to Wembley in the Littlewoods Cup Final in 1990, will lead the same team out in a special celebrity match.

By Georgina James

BLUES boss Joe Royle will return to Oldham next weekend in a bid to help out his former cash-strapped club.

The ex-Latics boss, who took Oldham to Wembley in the Littlewoods Cup Final in 1990, will lead the same team out in a special celebrity match.

Royle's Wembley Wizards will face the Millennium All-Stars in the game at Boundary Park on Saturday, July 12 – which aims to raise funds for the debt-ridden

Division Two club.

The All-Star Lactics Survival match, in aid of the newly-formed Supporters' Trust, will feature ex-Latics players who have given their time free of charge to help in the club's fight for survival. Former Town keeper Jon Hallworth will be among the Millennium All-Stars side.

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The Latics were a founder member of the Premier League, but when relegation came in 1994 the problems that now threaten the club's existence began.

The club, which has been in existence for 108 years, does not have the option of going into administration like other clubs as they have no assets.

Several years ago they disposed of their ground in order to service previous debts and would not be able to convince a judge to grant an administration order.

The situation is so grave that if the players' wages are not paid by Friday, June 27, they can give notice and walk away. The club shop has already closed its doors and its bank account has been frozen.

Talks with potential new investors broke down when the size of the debts became clear.

The trust hopes to raise £250,000 in order to buy some time and pay the most pressing of their debts, their Inland Revenue bill and players' wages to avoid them walking away.

Wizards: Andy Rhodes, Denis Irwin, Andy Barlow, Nick Henry, Paul Warhurst, Roger Palmer, Rick Holden, Frank Bunn, Andy Ritchie, Mike Milligan, Neil Adams, Gary Williams.

Millennium All-Stars: Jon Hallworth, Neil Pointon, Mike Flynn, Paul Jones, Paul Bernard, Tommy Wright, Neil Redfearn, Graeme Sharp, Iain Dowie, Tony Philliskirk.

Richard Jobson and Lee Richardson have also agreed to play.

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