sport

Community at the heart of club

Oldham Athletic chairman Simon Corney has underlined the importance of community engagement within football and set out his plans for the future of the club.

Corney was speaking at an event to mark the redevelopment of Boundary Park's North Stand, work which will see the ground's capacity increase to around 16,500 and generate additional revenue for the Sky Bet League One side.

He explained the redevelopment would aim to encourage the local community and businesses to share and use the new facilities.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: "I think it is a common theme among football clubs now. People have realised that you can no longer live just by using your football clubs once every two weeks 25 times a year.

"We, in line with many other clubs, have decided that we need to build facilities here which can take the club forward into the future."

Along with the additional seating, executive boxes and conferencing suites at Boundary Park the new stand will house facilities for the local people including a gym, serviced offices, sports retailers and a medical centre.

New financial fair play regulations have forced football clubs at all levels to generate additional revenue 365 day-a-year, with stadium-share schemes commonplace throughout the Football League.

Corney added: "It's even more important that we generate revenue off the field that we can put into the team which will then, hopefully, take us to the next level."

Corney acknowledged the difficulty that comes with balancing operations both on and off the pitch but argued that the current redevelopment would not have a detrimental effect on matters on the squad.

"It's a good question because it's hard to do both, it really is," Corney added.

"But we figured that we've got enough to give the manager a competitive budget and also build what we believe will eventually give the manager more money to build a better team."

The Football League season gets underway this weekend - and you can watch the first game live as Blackburn take on Cardiff on Friday, Sky Sports 1HD 7.30pm