Darryl Eales issues stadium statement
Following an announcement on the Stadium earlier today Chairman Darryl Eales has issued the following statement
"The announcement that Firoz Kassam will sell the ground to a Community Trust is hugely positive news!
I have been consistent in stating that the club needs the ability to operate and develop the stadium if it is to realise its full potential maximise and the benefit, whatever the ownership structure, needs to be for the club and community.
If the announcement is sincere, then it provides the long awaited opportunity to enable us to enhance and develop the stadium and its facilities so as to build a sustainable future and make it a loved and cared for home of the club and, of course, complete the 4th stand.
I have also said on numerous occasions that football clubs should not be property plays and that stadia should be developed as community hubs.
My vision for Oxford has always been community based, seeking both to make a difference to local communities and achieve progression on the pitch.
Ordinarily, I would prefer to keep any conversations about the stadium confidential but, given today's announcement, I can add that I have made funded offers to purchase the stadium on 3 occasions, in writing, which I am sure Firoz will confirm. Two of these were rejected and the most recent is still on the table but, as yet, I have received no response.
My plea is now to make swift progress. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the by the end of the season, sooner if possible, that the stadium ownership is resolved for the long term and in the best interests of Oxford United and the community.
This would allow us to build on the progress and momentum that is evident across the fans and the county and to realise our ambition to create a truly community based club.
Let's all support OxVox and Firoz to do a deal as soon as possible - and then we can all look forward to a brighter future!"