Chairman Sumrith “Tiger” Thanakarnjanasuth and the Oxford United Board have asked us to pass on the following message to the fans
“We would like to start by congratulating Karl, his backroom team and all of the players on a wonderful season and a deserved place in the League 1 play-offs. That is a fantastic achievement and has been built on hard work, togetherness and a true pride in representing the club and the city of Oxford. We know they will do us proud once again when the play-off games begin.
We share the same emotions as the fans; joy at being in the play-offs and a slight frustration at not being able to join together in true celebration. We look forward to a day when the whole club can finally be reunited properly.
Our focus and energy will now be equally divided between two things. The first is giving Karl and his team the best possible chance not just of finishing the job by winning promotion through the play-offs but the best chance of further success next season, whatever division we are in. We will support his plans and we will continue to build from the club’s best finishing position for a generation.
To do that we must give equal thought to what has been a very testing time off the field. It is obvious to most fans that football cannot be the same when we do return and that finances have been hit hard across the game. We have had positive talks with Firoka, our landlords, about the situation and thank them for their understanding at a difficult time for both businesses.
We are fortunate to have a well structured financial reporting system within the club and would like to reassure fans that the club’s future remains positive but we want to be honest and transparent with our supporters, as we always are.
To give Karl the best chance in the play-offs we have brought the players back after furlough and made sure that Matty Taylor, Marcus Browne and Ben Woodburn are available, which has meant further investment.
At the same time Oxford United have missed out on ticket revenue from five home games- 25% of our games- and for a club of our size ticket revenue remains our single most important revenue stream. In normal times the play-offs and a potential trip to Wembley would have brought in a seven figure sum but these are not normal times. We will make this deficit up one way or another, but now is the time for all fans to come together and support us by taking advantage of our merchandise offers and buying season tickets when they go live.
“We have talked to fans throughout Lockdown and asked for their input. Time and time again the majority have told us that they will back the club and not ask for refunds from the games they have missed. We do understand that some fans have been hit very hard and will not be in a position to do that, or to buy a season ticket for next year, and we respect that and will offer a way to help them until they are able to rejoin us.
“The simple fact is that as a club we have the same outgoings but very little income right now. So, as the team return to playing games, we are looking to start the business side of the club again.
“We will shortly be announcing season tickets for next season and when we do we ask all fans, if they can, not to ask for a refund from this season. If they keep that money within the club then we will return that favour by investing it in the team, in our Academy, and in helping Karl add to this fantastic group of players and build a team ready, we hope, to play in the Championship.”