The Oxford United Chairman, Tiger, wrote the following notes for the programme for the Northampton Town game:
A warm welcome to those of you lucky enough to be at the ground and to those of you reading this at home.
This is the third game with fans inside the stadium. We started with 1,000 against Hull City , although that sounded like a lot more because I think those fans were so happy to be back and they really made a lot of noise. I believe they helped the team get a good draw against the top team in the division. We then had a similar number for the Papa John’s Trophy game against Forest Green and I want to thank the safety team for hosting those two games so expertly that today we can expand our crowd and have up to 2,000 at the ground.
There has been a lot of debate about how those tickets were allocated and as a club we hold our hands up and admit that we are still learning all the time. It is an almost impossible task to find a way of distributing 2,000 tickets when we have close to 4,000 season tickets. As it stands, most fans will be able to watch two of the next three games live and the ticket office staff are performing miracles to reallocate tickets and make sure as many of you as possible can be at the matches.
Hospitality tickets have caused a lot of concern and it’s a similar story: we are learning with every game. Working under very difficult restrictions, we took a decision that members of the 1893 Club who usually attend games in the lounges could attend; there are just over 100 of them, but at the same time we had to tell the executive box holders that they could only bring five people per box instead of ten. The Directors’ Box, even the press and scouts, have to be restricted at the moment, and I know there were long sleepless nights for the team behind the scenes as they tried to make the numbers work.
I thank those staff, and although I understand the frustration for fans who have maybe missed out on games, I think we always listen and are approachable. However, we can change and be better and are planning a ‘fans council’ which will meet with the club regularly and give us feedback and views from all groups. It may take a little while to set up, especially right now, but we will never lose sight of the fact that this is your club and we will always work with the fans to keep it moving forward.
Finally, I am proud of the players and staff for wearing green ribbons for Harry Dunn this evening, That request came from the dressing room and I think is an excellent way of letting his family know that both football clubs are thinking of them.
You can download the full programme from www.matchdayfix.com/oufc