Statement issued by Oxford United
Oxford United today confirmed that it has granted permission to manager Chris Wilder to speak to Portsmouth FC about their vacant manager’s position.
OUFC said that while the club’s position is that they want Wilder to remain in his current position, his long service and loyalty – he has spent five years at the club - meant that the Board had decided not to prevent him being interviewed by Portsmouth if he so wished.
OUFC chairman Ian Lenagan commented: “We have allowed Chris Wilder to speak to Portsmouth, partly out of respect for Chris’ long service at Oxford United and partly because we want our manager to be at Oxford United because he has the desire to be here, not because we prevent him speaking to other clubs. Chris and I have been entirely straightforward with each other and from the Board’s point of view we have made it abundantly clear that that we want him to continue doing the good job he has been doing at Oxford United.”
Lenagan added that the approach becoming public on the day of Oxford’s match against Fleetwood was particularly unwelcome and something he would be addressing with Portsmouth FC. “There are ways of doing these things properly, and we feel that the timing of the approach by Portsmouth, and the leaking of that approach on a matchday – whoever was responsible for that - was not doing things properly. It is a tribute to Chris Wilder’s professionalism that he remained 100% focussed on the job at hand, but I will be writing to Portsmouth’s Board about what happened.”