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Chairman's Notes For Charlton

Oxford United Chairman Grant Ferguson's programme notes for the visit of Charlton Athletic

26 August 2023

U's Chairman Grant Ferguson wrote the following notes for the programme for the visit of Charlton Athletic in Sky Bet League One:

Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming along on a Bank Holiday weekend for what I hope will be another entertaining game of football. The last three games have been encouraging and we’d love to continue in the same style today.

In our last home game against Carlisle, we had to work hard and exercise patience to make sure we got the win which, in the end, I thought we were good value for. To then go to two difficult places like Derby and Barnsley and get two more wins was, as I say, very encouraging and provides a good platform to build from, and that is what we are looking to do today.

I know there is more to come from this group of players, but as the Manager is always quick to point out, we remain a work in progress. Next week sees the transfer window close and the recruitment team will continue to work right up to the deadline. If there is business yet to be done, the backing of the Board is there to allow us to optimise the last few days of this window.

Away from the Men’s team, we said farewell to Liam Gilbert last week as he left his role as Manager of the Women’s team to take up a full-time role at Reading. The timing was disappointing, but we do understand his decision and it is not in anyone’s interest to stand in the way of a talented young coach developing his career. Given the club’s support for the Women’s team, our infrastructure, and the notable progress our programme has made over the past few years, there is no shortage of interest from quality candidates to replace Liam and build on the work he began.

As part of our commitment to develop interesting and effective ways of engaging with fans, we recently held a family open day, when we welcomed 400 fans to the training ground. The players took time out of their schedules to meet the fans and discuss all manner of topics and were enthused by the support they received. Thank you to all who attended. I am sure you played no small part in inspiring the excellent team performance at Derby only two days later.

Finally, I want to mention some people who work quietly behind the scenes with a degree of knowledge, skill, and dedication that I find motivating. We invested substantial amounts this summer into the playing surface here at the Kassam and the pitches at the training ground so that our players play on the best surfaces available. An enormous effort went into laying, nurturing and now maintaining the best-in-class pitch that the game will be played on today, and that is down to Mark, Kieran and the whole ground staff team. A big thank you from all of us!

The pitch is superb, the crowd will be loud and proud, and we are on a good run of form. Let’s get behind the team and see if we can keep this positive momentum going.


You can read the full programme online at or buy it from the club shop and sellers around the ground on matchday. This week's programme features a cut-out figure of John Aldridge, an interview with Mark Harris and news and views from all around the club.

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