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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 16:39 UK

Manager Dave Penney parts company with Oldham

Dave Penney
Penney was previously in charge of Darlington and Doncaster

Oldham Athletic manager Dave Penney has parted company with the club.

Penney took over the League One side in April 2009, replacing Joe Royle who had been in a temporary role at the club after John Sheridan's departure.

Oldham director Simon Corney told BBC Radio Manchester: "Perhaps even Dave himself felt things were not quite right so we decided to part company."

Ex-Latics striker Andy Ritchie said: "I think they need someone with experience now it's not worked out for Dave."

Corney added that within 10 minutes of releasing the news of Penney's departure, the club had received 20 genuine telephone calls enquiring about the vacant position.

It is a hard job here, there's no doubt about it

Oldham director Simon Corney

"It is a hard job here, there's no doubt about it," he said. "We have had a season where we are in a division with the likes of Charlton, Leeds, Norwich, Southampton and Huddersfield.

"You're talking there about clubs with four or five times our budget. It's very, very difficult to compete and the fans have to realise that."

The club has also been facing falling home attendances, with a season low of 2,833 turning up to watch the side's 3-2 defeat by Brentford in March, while just 4,225 people attended the side's last home game at Boundary Park, which Oldham drew 2-2 with Southend.

"We have had a lot of injuries but some poor performances too and we have lost quite a lot of fans because of that," said Oldham chief executive Alan Hardy.

"I think the fans haven't been happy and they have showed that by not coming to the games."

But former Oldham striker Ritchie admits many supporters still hope for a repeat of Oldham's halcyon days, when he starred up front in the top-flight at Boundary Park.

But Ritchie added that expectations would make things difficult for any new manager.

Orpheo Keizerweerd

"They do remember those times and that's right but it is going to be one hell of a journey to ever get back to that," Ritchie said.

"And, being a realist as I am, I don't think they will hit that, though I think they can make the Championship.

"To get back to the heady days of the Premiership, you need an Uncle Jack Walker, God rest his soul.

"Being brutally honest, when you go to Boundary Park now it's looking tired and one of the major stands isn't there any more."

Former Darlington boss Penney has endured a tough season at Boundary Park, with the side currently lying just four points clear of the relegation places.

The Latics lost 3-0 away to Yeovil on Saturday in what turned out to be Penney's final game in charge.

Martin Gray, the assistant manager, takes charge for the weekend's final League One game of the season at home to Charlton.

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