The Oxford United Chairman, Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth, wrote the following notes for the Coventry City match programme:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming to see us against Coventry City. It is important to get back to winning games in the league but what a dramatic way to win a game of football on Tuesday night. A penalty win against a Championship team after being 2-0 down after 86 minutes: what drama! I was watching on iFollow and it was 4am when Mous scored his penalty: I think I woke up a lot of my neighbours celebrating that goal!
I want to congratulate the players because they have a fantastic attitude and, even at this stage of the season, I think you can see the belief they have in each other. They refused to give up and they kept playing good football to try and get back into a game that many teams would have accepted was lost. Credit to the fans as well because you stayed so positive.
However, may I talk about events away from this club for a moment? I woke up on Wednesday morning to see the terrible news about Bury football club. They had fought so hard but finally their place in the EFL was gone and I felt so desperately sorry for the staff and particularly for the fans. A football club should be the pride of the town or city that it represents. It should be at the heart of the local community and for many people it dominates generations of their family: children go to football with their grandparents and 3pm on a Saturday is the centre of their whole week. Suddenly a whole town is missing that.
I hope and pray that Bury rise again. They will start in a lower league and it will be the most passionate fans who rebuild their football club. Will Bolton Wanderers follow that path? It doesn’t seem possible does it?
But that is the reality of football these days. What is happening at Bury and Bolton needs to be a wake-up call for the whole of football. A lot of people told me ‘there is always someone willing to save a football club’; that is clearly not true anymore. We talk so often about having a sustainable football club and I think maybe people get tired of hearing it, but it is a simple fact. We will run Oxford United properly and we will make sure that it is here for generations to come, but we are operating in a very tough world.
I hope that does not set alarm bells ringing. We have a very clear business plan for this club and the Board are just as passionate as the fans in wanting to bring success here. We are open and approachable and there are so many good things happening, on and off the pitch. Losing one of the 72 has been a huge shock to us all, but I hope you have seen that we are taking good care of your football club.
Enjoy the game,