Oxford United chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth updates fans on behind-the-scenes events during the close season.
Most football fans will be pinning up wallcharts and turning their thoughts to the World Cup this week but behind the scenes at Oxford United work is gathering pace as preparations continue for the new season. Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth believes there is real progress happening at the U's, with new arrivals not too far away.
"I think the fans may be getting worried that we won't have any new signings," he told oufc.co.uk. "But that's not true at all. When we first came in it was similar in a way because it took a while for us to get Karl here. But he was always our choice and it was so frustrating not to be able to say very much to the fans. The same is true of the players we are looking at. These things take time and cannot be conducted in public because it alerts other clubs as well as maybe pushing up the price.
"I believe we have eight or nine players that we want to add. They are good players - a good mix of ages and experience who will fill key positions in the team. Actually there are more on the list but realistically we want a squad where everyone is competing for a place. There were too many players happy just to be here last season and, as we all saw, that is not healthy.
"But it is not so easy to complete things quickly. For example, we have a player in mind who we already agreed a loan but we want it to be permanent. Why add value to him for another club if he does well for us for a season? It could be we do end up doing the loan but we want to look at every option.
"I could list plenty more examples of things that are even closer to completion but I hope fans can see that we are doing things the right way this summer. The new training ground will transform the whole outlook and way we do thIngs, as will the under 23 squad. Then you look at a management team of Karl, Derek and Shaun Derry plus Chris Allen, Dan Harris, Tui, Mark Thomas and that is very strong. Niall McWilliams and Matt Everett will make our off-field operations stronger as well, so it is the whole club we are building and strengthening.
"I understand that all those things are nowhere near as exciting as new players arriving, but I think fans can see that we are doing good things and building strongly in everything we do. Karl has a very competitive budget and is going to have a very strong side and I think supporters are going to really enjoy being part of things this season."