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Tiger's Programme Notes For Bristol Rovers

Oxford United's Chairman writes in the Bristol Rovers programme

6 October 2020

Oxford United chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes for the programme against Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy:

I would like to start these notes with a thank you and well done to the people behind the scenes at Oxford United who did an amazing job in very difficult circumstances on Saturday.

As you know, Crewe arrived for the game after a player had tested positive and only alerted us to this shortly before the teamsheets were due to be exchanged. It left Karl in an almost impossible situation. The team had prepared for the game and were already changed for the warm up, but he had to make an immediate decision on whether to play or not. He made absolutely the right call, saying that we did not want to play and making sure that the right people were informed to make a formal decision.

We are blessed with some very experienced staff around Karl. Niall McWilliams was calm and decisive, as he always is; Mick Brown our secretary always knows the best way to deal with a crisis; and Andy Taylor, our Covid officer, made sure that all protocols were adhered to. But everyone - the safety team, the stewards and the medical staff - did the right things and in the end the right decision was reached by all concerned.

My only question is why it took so long for that decision. Football has to learn and has to be a safe environment for everyone inside the ground. But for the second week running we were faced with a situation that nobody could have known about and I would like to ask for much clearer guidelines from the authorities.

We have had a thorough investigation within the club and at one stage four different people were on four different calls to try and get a decision. That cannot be right, and we need to have simple rules to follow at all times. There are too many grey areas and things need to be in black and white.

Well done to everyone on duty on Saturday, and if there is a positive it is that, once again, we showed the integrity and common sense that we always show. And most importantly, we put the safety of the players and staff first, which has to be the way.

It would be nice to have just a game of football to talk about, and I hope tonight we can get a win in the Trophy which would see us take a big step towards the knock-out stages. Over the last few years, the competition has been a way for some of our exciting young players to get experience and I hope that happens again tonight.

Wherever you are watching, enjoy the game.

Tiger

You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc

 


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