Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes for the final home game of the season against Rochdale:
After a long, tough season we come to the last game today and it is time to take stock of where we are as a football club right now.
When I arrived in January, I could see the potential of this club and knew that if we could build on the fantastic work that Darryl Eales had done as Chairman then we could continue to move forwards. As I said at the time, Oxford is world famous and the club should really be something that the whole city, perhaps the whole county, is proud of.
I think we have started to make that happen since Karl arrived. He has an energy and a presence and the players have responded to him and the performances have improved with each game. We knew that we weren’t going to win every game, it takes time to turn things fully around, but we wanted to see passion and commitment and we have got that now. Anyone who travelled to Wigan or Doncaster last week saw that the players fought for everything and I believe that we have now almost achieved our first target of staying in League 1.
That is the minimum target for us. It took nearly 20 years for Oxford to get back to this level and the second season at this level was always going to be hard. Teams that win promotion often have impetus and momentum the next season but then it is harder to maintain that in the second year: ask Northampton, who came up in the same year as Oxford. But after that you need to go again and aim high. It’s great that we are in League 1, but it is not enough for me. I want to give you a club to be proud of, and that means a side in the Championship.
Karl and I have already spoken about the budget for next year and I know for certain that his ambitions match my own. He has talked with a lot of players, some already here, some who will become available in the summer. He knows he has my full support and the rebuilding will start as soon as the final whistle blows at Blackburn next Saturday.
That building work is also true, physically, at our new training hub, which will be a major investment and will allow us to become more professional and much more ambitious in how we approach the playing side of things. Once everything is up and running, I would like to invite fans to come and have a look and see the standards we are trying to instil in everything we do.
You, as fans have been the true stars of the season. It is easy to support a team that wins every week but much harder to stay positive when things go against you. Our crowds have actually risen in the last two months and I think that is because you can see the way we want things to be. Season tickets are key to this and give the club energy; let Karl see your support by buying a season ticket this week and getting behind us for what I am sure will be a great year for this club.
Enjoy your summer, and let’s turn today into a winning end to the season.
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