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The Chairman's Notes For Wigan

Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth's notes for the Wigan Athletic programme

14 February 2021

Chairman of the U's, Tiger, wrote the following notes for the programme for the Sky Bet League One game against Wigan:

It was so important that the team bounced back straight away on Tuesday and got at least a point out of a difficult away game at Bristol Rovers.  We knew that they could not go the whole season winning every game – nice as that might have been – and we know this is a very talented, very hard-working squad. So the one question remaining was how they responded when they finally lost a game.

I think they answered that question in the perfect way on Tuesday night. The conditions were very tough: I felt cold just watching it on iFollow in Thailand! They were also playing a team who are desperate for a win and who made the game at the Kassam Stadium very tough. So to come away with a win and all three points was a big milestone for us and I hope just the start of another winning run.

The icing on the cake was to see two of our new signings score their first goals for the club. Elliot Lee and Brandon Barker are big signings for us, players with a calibre and experience from a higher level. They have bought into the way we like to play, the way the club is set up and I am sure both of them were very relieved to get those first goals out of the way. Joe Grayson and Luke McNally will both play their parts as well. Sometimes you have to wait a while before you know the new faces have settled in, but all four of them already look like they have been part of the club for years.

That is partly due to the way Karl works. He makes sure everyone who wears the badge truly knows what it means and there is a huge sense of pride around the training ground every single day. I know everyone reading this is so looking forward to being back at games. I am the same, but I am just as keen to get back to the training ground and be reunited with the incredible group of people who are driving this team forward.

The board will always back the growth of the team and the club and I think there was a big decision made in the courts this week that will have a huge impact on our future. Of course we had planned for and worked within the salary cap laws that were introduced this season, but we always plan for the unexpected and have talked many times about what would happen if the court upheld the PFA’s appeal against those rules. 

It is frustrating that the decision came a week after the transfer window closed, and while legal battles continue I don’t want to say too much, so let me just make two things clear. First, the board will invest, support and back this club and the ambitious plans that we have for the future. We will always do that with integrity and to the very best of our abilities. And second, it will be done with the long-term future of the club at the front of our minds. We have seen too many clubs put at risk when people gamble on instant success. Everything we plan here will be done on solid, sustainable foundations.

And of course, in the short term, we have a team ready to push for promotion and, maybe, a Wembley final. It’s going to be another big week… 


You can read the full programme online at


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