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Chairman's Notes For Blackpool

Grant Ferguson's programme notes for the visit of Blackpool

21 October 2023

Oxford United Chairman Grant Ferguson wrote the following programme notes for the Sky Bet League One game against Blackpool:

Eleven games into the season and the progress of the Men’s first team continues to be encouraging. Most definitely a case of so far, so good, and hopefully it continues this afternoon. We have also recently seen some outstanding performances from our Women’s and Academy teams. Of course, this doesn’t just happen. It is the product of a dedicated and brilliant team of sports management professionals and the outstanding work ethic of our players.

As I am sure most (if not all!) of you will have seen, last week we unveiled the initial conceptual plans for our potential new stadium on the Triangle site. I hope you were as excited about them as I am. This was another important step and a key part of the project as we move towards submitting applications for planning permission. While we still have a long way to go, we’ve made good progress, so I do think it appropriate to acknowledge the work of another group of dedicated professionals in OUFC, our stadium project team. Led by Jon Clarke, our Development Director, supported by Adam Benson our Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer, and guided by Niall McWilliams, who has doggedly pursued this dream from the outset, these guys have created the prospects that today we have in front of us. They are supported by an excellent team of consulting project managers, architects, engineers, designers, planners and operational advisers, too many to mention here by name, but my thanks go to them all.

A key part of introducing the plans to the public is the exhibition at the Holiday Inn Oxford that closes this evening. It’s fantastic that so many of you have visited and talked to the project team in person, but I am pleased that we have been able to reproduce the key images from the exhibition in today’s programme to allow you to study them at your leisure and provide us with your input. As already noted, but worth repeating, these are initial conceptual plans that will evolve as we continue to gather input from you, the club’s supporters, planners, construction specialists and, of course, our prospective neighbours in Kidlington and Oxford. That way, we will ensure our new home works for everyone. From the outset we have sought to create something more than a playing field and four stands (although that fourth stand is important!). We want to create a destination in Oxfordshire that its people are proud of and that adds value to its communities.

I have found it quite fascinating and enlightening working through everything that goes into a modern stadium. From the needs of our sports professionals, health and safety team, and ground staff, to the facilities required by the operations and commercial teams to provide an outstanding matchday and visitor experience, all delivered to the highest standards of sustainability and social responsibility. We recently held meetings with disabled supporters, and we continue to meet with organisations and sports clubs in Kidlington. And, of course, we continue to need to hear from you, the fans, as to what your hopes and aspirations are for the new stadium. Although the exhibition will close, you will always be able to contact us via the website (details below). Rest assured we are approachable and open to questions, thoughts, and ideas. We want to hear from you.

Enjoy the game,

Grant Ferguson

Visit to find out all the latest news regarding the new stadium proposal, to register your interest and to have your say on our plans.


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