A message from the Board of Oxford United
Like all Oxford United supporters, we the Board are so excited for the new season and cannot wait for the team to take to the pitch at Cambridge on Saturday. There is still something very special about the build-up to the first game.
For us the pandemic showed one thing more than anything else: Oxford United without the fans is nothing. So many of you supported the club and bought season tickets in the most uncertain times. So many of you stuck with us through the most testing time any of us will ever experience. We are not completely through this terrible pandemic yet but no doubt we are through the worst of it.
A lot of hard work has gone into the recruitment this summer and the market has changed a lot over the last year or so. The effects of covid-19 on the finances of football will still be felt for a long time but we are fortunate to have a recruitment team with a lot of experience and in many ways the progress we have made as a football club can be seen in our recruitment this summer.
Why do Ryan Williams, Marcus McGuane, Nathan Holland and Gavin Whyte want to come back to us? They are all very good players and all very ambitious, but they chose to come back to Oxford because they know our ambitions match theirs and that we are building something special here. Why do Steve Seddon, Jordan Thorniley and Billy Bodin choose Oxford when they are Championship players and have other clubs chasing them? Same reason: they know our reputation; they know we play good football, and they know we will challenge for promotion again.
This Saturday we get to see so much for the first time. We get to see the new kit, in this case our new eye-catching third kit. We will officially welcome EB Charging as our valued shirt sponsor for the first time and most importantly we will have a first look at the new squad that Karl has assembled.
We have no automatic right to challenge, and we all know there are a lot of big clubs in League 1 this season. Good. We like that challenge. When it is safe to do so we will invite fans to the Training Ground, and you will see one wall with one huge sign: “No club in the country outworks us”. That will be true again, from Karl and the coaching staff through the Academy under Dan Harris, the Women’s side, and the Community team. We are blessed with an amazing set of people who love working for the club, love working with each other and who truly understand what this club means to you, the fans.
We can assure you that the Board share those values. The last 18 months have been difficult because we are spread around the world. Maybe because we can’t meet with fans face to face it has left a physical gap, but we believe in our club, and we are always open and approachable. The club are in a regular contact with OxVox and our new Fans Council initiative will strengthen these bonds even further. We will work with BBC Oxford again so you can ask us questions direct. We, the Board, remain totally committed to improving and moving this amazing football club forward in every possible way.
This is a remarkable football club which we believe can grow and grow. Together we can achieve great things. We look forward to sharing a new season and a new adventure with you.