Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth brings us up to date with a message from the Board
I thought it might be good to try and communicate with fans and talk through the coronavirus situation and Oxford United.
First, and most importantly, I and the Board want to send my best wishes to all of our fans and hope you are all OK. Over the last few days I have spoken with so many people at the club and without fail they have asked how I am, and about my family. This is a club that always puts family first and we send all of our love and prayers to our fans and their families. Please stay home and stay safe and know that we are thinking of you.
We will see you at a game again but when that might be is another question. We respect the EFL’s decision to suspend the league programme. They are in an impossible situation and have to put the health of players, staff and fans first. They have been very good at keeping clubs informed and we will pass on updates as soon as we get them.
At the moment the league is due to return on 3rd April and because of that we have to be ready to play on that date. The players are staying fit but will have to return to training together soon if they are to be ready as a team and that means the coaches, physios, the sports scientists, the analysts and the rest of the backroom staff will have to be there with them.
Can we do that next week and have the necessary protocols in place to ensure it is safe?
The honest answer is that right now we do not know. My personal view is that it is probably too early but all we can do is ask the EFL to continue to speak with clubs, ask our opinions and give us as much guidance as possible.
The same applies to how we end the season. Personally, I think we simply have to play all of the games. Because of our cup success we have played more games than most teams but the league has always been the main priority and so much hard work has gone into it that we believe we deserve the right to finish the job and hopefully achieve promotion.
Off the field, we are investing in our own academy/training ground; to bring our academy to a higher lever [cat 2] is one of our aims, and we have plans for season tickets, new kits, new training kits and so much more, including contracts for players. I am on so many video and phone conference meetings everyday but everything has to be done with no final date at the moment. That is OK: there are more important things to worry about right now.
Financially this is going to be a very difficult time for clubs at all levels. Our biggest revenue streams have dried up and maybe that’s the one thing I can say here that helps fans and staff.
I and the Board will continue to back the club and nobody should be worried for the future. Staff are still working and will be paid this month as usual and the club will adapt and find ways to come through this.
It will be tough for all of us but all we ask is for fans to stay patient, stay safe, and when we come back, whenever that is, come back with us and help us finish what we have started.