Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes for the Fleetwood Town programme:
Good evening everybody and welcome to what will be a slightly strange evening after the events at the weekend. If you are able to read this in the programme then it means the game is going ahead and we will be playing despite having several players absent.
It was such a difficult weekend for everyone at the club but I want to thank Karl and all of the staff for the way they conducted themselves. At first it looked as though one or two players would have to miss out, then that became five and I know they spent all of Saturday morning trying to find a goalkeeper before the 12 o’clock deadline. By 11 o’clock it was obvious that nobody would be able to sign or reach the stadium in time and be ready to play, plus another three players had tested positive.
All of this was done with the fans in our minds, and I want to apologise to those of you who had already travelled or who were on the way to the game. I promise that we did everything we could to get the game on; there were players left out of the original squad who were half way up the motorway to get to the game, there were calls going in to almost every contact we have in the game to try and find a goalkeeper, the EFL and Wigan were given the full story all morning and I hope the fact we were willing to play despite losing so many players shows how much we wanted to get the game on.
In the end, we had no choice other than to postpone the game. Even as people were travelling home we were discussing ways we could help fans who bought tickets or travelled on the coaches. We will do our best to help, as we always do.
I have two things to say though. The first is that our Covid protocols and procedures have been so well done, and so closely followed, and nobody did anything wrong on Saturday. The incident shows that the pandemic is not yet over and can strike anyone, any time. The priority is for the players and staff affected to get the best care and to hopefully come back fit and well as quickly as possible.
And secondly, for tonight’s game to go ahead a lot of people will have worked very hard over the last few days, not just the coaching staff and players but people behind the scenes making sure everything is safe for everyone else at the game. Please follow any rules that have to be put in place, but moments like this can bring the club even closer together. There will, of course, be an unfamiliar look to the team, but whoever pulls on that yellow shirt knows what it means and will go out there to do his best.
Get behind the team as a win will keep us in a good position in the league.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc