Fans united as club prepares for exciting new season
United We Stand has been the message all summer, as Oxford United prepare to face the new season together, and that unity will be apparent on and off the pitch with the launch of a new, unified supporters organisation and an ambitious fund-raising target.
The various volunteer groups involved with the club - Supporters Trust OxVox, The 12th Man group and the fans behind the Ultimate Support days , including the Ultras - have come together to march under one banner, The Yellow Army. Charlie Methven, trustee of the Oxford United Youth and Community Trust,will co-ordinate the new group, alongside the leaders of the other three organisations. He told us:
“From OxVox to the 12th Man, Ultimate Support and people like me, we’re all long-term fans and volunteers who just want to do as much as we can for our club. By joining forces through the Yellow Army, we will be able to maximise our impact: from fund-raising through the 12th Man to discussing supporters’ issues through OxVox to raising the roof on match-days through Ultimate Support. It also gives the club’s new marketing and commercial team one defined group to interact with when it comes to all these things.”
The Yellow Army’s first act is to announce a fund-raising target of £20,000 by Christmas, to allow manager Chris Wilder the option of bringing in another senior player during the January transfer window. Trevor Lambert, from the 12th Man Group, said:
“The 12th Man has just celebrated raising £50,000 since its inception, and we’ve decided that now is the moment to ramp up our efforts once more. By working together with OxVox, Ultimate Support and the club, we’re convinced that a target of £20,000 in the next five months is achievable. We’ll be announcing fund-raising events very shortly.”
Mark Sennett, chairman of OxVox, said: “The Board has been doing its bit – investing in almost every part of the club – and we think the Yellow Army is a great way to really get the fans rallying behind United. OxVox will continue with its work as usual: representing supporters’ views and keeping an eye on the long-term issues associated with the club, such as our recent success in getting the stadium designated a community asset. But as an organisation we want to do more, and we will also be the stronger for working alongside all the other groups.”
Joe Nicholls has put together specific Ultimate Support Saturdays at United games for the last three seasons and along with the Ultras will work with the club on the matchday experience and atmosphere. He told us:
“I think the Yellow Army is a wonderful idea and a great way to get everyone working to the same goal, which should always be to help the club move forward. From our point of view, we are already working specifically to add colour and noise to matchdays. We have been talking with the club about everything from pre-match music to banners to targeting particular games and will now, with the rest of the Yellow Army, be looking towards the first home game against Bury to try and show what we can achieve if we all work together.”
The Yellow Army will have new banners for the new season and will continue to meet with the club as we build towards the big kick off. The target of £20,000 by January is achievable but the Yellow Army needs YOU. If you are an Oxford fan, you already belong . Get in touch with OxVox, 12th Man and Ultimate Support to play your part.
New Yellow Army sections of the website and Matchday programme will help keep fans informed of developments. Show your support today: add #yellowarmy to your tweets and join the Yellow Army