The current limited company was formed after some months in administration during 2003–04; the club's immediate future was secured on 3 February 2004, when a group of American-based expatriate British businessmen bought the club, forming a new company Oldham Athletic (2004) Association Football Club Ltd.
Oldham have never won a major trophy, but they did reach the League Cup final in 1990 (losing 1–0 to Nottingham Forest), finished league runners-up in 1915, and were FA Cup semi-finalists in 1913 (losing to Aston Villa), 1990 and 1994 (losing both times to eventual winners Manchester United). Their most recent spell in the top flight lasted from 1991 until 1994, and on the final day of the inaugural Premier League season, they avoided relegation on goal difference after a remarkable 4–3 win over Southampton.
Significant former managers of Oldham Athletic include George Hardwick, Jimmy Frizzell, Joe Royle, Graeme Sharp, Andy Ritchie, Iain Dowie, and Brian Talbot. Royle was arguably the most successful manager in Oldham's history, taking charge of the club between 1982 and 1994. He lead the club to promotion into the top flight after a 68 year absence, as well as reaching one League Cup final and two FA Cup semi finals.
Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed it's appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club. The club immediately gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League. Unlike many clubs, Oldham gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08. After three years in the Second Division, the Latics gained promotion to the First Division.
Oldham also gained some success in the FA Cup by reaching the semi-finals in 1912–13 campaign but lost 1–0 versus Aston Villa. In the 1914–15, the Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. The Latics early success was only be halted by the First World War.
Ken Bates entered the picture at Oldham Athletic in the early 1960s, and along with the appointment of manager Jack Rowley, the club's fortunes turned for the better. During the 1962–63 season, Oldham again gain promotion to the Second Division as Rowley left as manager. Over the next six seasons, Oldham struggled with consistency in the league and at the manager position—with Les McDowall, Gordon Hurst, and Jimmy McIlroy all spending time at the managerial position.
In the 1968–69, Jack Rowley once more returned as manager. With their inconsistency, Rowley and Bates could not save the club from a last place finish and inevitable relegation. Midway through the 1969–70 season, Rowley and Bates both left the club as Jimmy Frizzell became the Latics manager—a position he held for the next 13 seasons.
During the mid-1980s, the club ushered in a new era under manager Joe Royle—who became one of the most successful and longest-serving in Oldham's history. Royle's side finished 7th in his first season in charge and fall to 19th spot finish in his second. In the 1986–87 season, Oldham narrowly missed promotion to the First Division finishing three points behind Portsmouth.
Royle's Latics reached Wembley Stadium in the 1990 Football League Cup Final versus Nottingham Forest. After a Nigel Jemson goal, an exhausted Oldham squad fell to an honourable Nottingham squad 1–0. The next season, Oldham did not have the same cup success, but instead found success by winning the Second Division and returning to First Division for the first time in 68 years. In their first season back in the top flight, the club finished in 17th and became one of the founding members of the newly-formed Premier League. Though after two more seasons at the top level, Oldham faced relegation yet again and during the following season, the Joe Royle era at Oldham Athletic came to an end, as he left the club for Everton.
In 2001, local businessman Chris Moore purchased Oldham promising Oldham would return to Premier League football within five years. During that season, Oldham lost in a play-off match against Queens Park Rangers. Much to the anger of fans, Moore decided to end his interest with the club—leaving behind large debts and a weak squad.
In 2004–05, Simon Blitz and two other partners purchased Oldham, trying to rescue the club from possibly liquidation. While trying to repay debts, Oldham struggled for several seasons—barely avoiding relegation once more in 2004–05. In the 2006–07, Oldham's fortune turned for the better once more as the club narrowly missed out on promotion—losing to Blackpool 5–2 on aggregate.
As their more traditional rivals such as Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Bury, and Manchester City are no longer regular opponents, the Latics maintain local rivalry with West Yorkshire clubs such as Huddersfield Town, Leeds United, and near neighbours Stockport County.
|David Ashworth||1 August 1906||1 April 1914|
|George Hardwick||1 November 1950||1 May 1956|
|Jack Rowley||1 June 1960||31 May 1963|
|Jimmy McIlroy||1 January 1966||1 August 1968|
|Jimmy Frizzell||1 March 1970||12 June 1982|
|Joe Royle||14 July 1982||10 November 1994|
|Ronnie Moore||1 March 2005||1 June 2006|
After playing at what was originally called Athletic Ground, the ground was opened for Oldham's first football club—Oldham County F.C. In 1899, after County had folded, Pine Villa moved into the ground and renamed the club and stadium. The stadium is located on the Oldham side of the conjunction of Oldham, Chadderton and Royton, and has a current capacity of 10,638. The stadium currently only has three stands, with one undergoing construction as the original was demolished in June 2008. Before the demolition of the fourth stand, the stadium had a capacity of 13,559.
In February 2006, the club unveiled plans for reconstruction of the stadium. After initially being rejected by Oldham Council, the decision was overturned with permission for the entire ground to be redeveloped. When construction is completed, the ground is expected to seat 16,000, costing approximately £80 million. On September 5, 2008 Simon Blitz announced on World Soccer Daily podcast that due to the current economic problems in England right now that the development of the stadium is on hold but only temporary and as soon as the conditions permit the plans will continue.