Report this comment
  • "We are very fortunate to have a sports businessman like IL as our owner. He gets most of the calls right (and that clearly included the big CW decision at the end of last season). I also like the fact that he gives us a proper business perspective every so often.
    Yet I'm surprised the club budgeted for lower attendances than our current average. If we expected progress up the table then that should have been reflected at the turnstiles Unless IL knows something we don't about the microeconomics of Oxfordshire, we should ALREADY be seeing the benefits of our table topping position.
    I believe the club and supporter bond that IL refers to has been weakened by home performances that suggest we are in a false position. Higher attendances are driven by hope and expectation - yet even though we're top, I suspect the crowd don't yet BELIEVE. Attendance receipts (£2m plus) are far and away the most important income stream at this level. So if I were the owner I would wonder whether we should be playing more attractive, crowd pleasing, attendance-winning stuff. It seems to me that CW is a percentages man tactically. His brand of football - especially at home - rarely stirs the blood. Then again, are CW's tactics right for L2, or right for the resources at his disposal? I honestly don't know. If we are in the top 3 at the season's end I guess that's all that matters for the time being.

    The Dagenham game was our best performance of the season. I'd still be saying that even if we hadn't won. If a casual supporter saw 3 games on the trot like that, they WOULD believe and they would come again. So please CW, give this 8000 attendance plenty to cheer on Boxing Day. It is Xmas, after all."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.

  • Enter the above word in the box below

Oxford United chief sets cash targets

Oxford Mail: United fans get behind the team during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. Attendances are down on last year, but chairman Ian Lenagan hopes gates will improve if the U’s continue their fine run United fans get behind the team during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. Attendances are down on last year, but chairman Ian Lenagan hopes gates will improve if the U’s continue their fine run

Ian Lenagan is upbeat about Oxford United’s financial situation despite forecasting the club will lose £400,000 in the latest accounts.

Although at first glance it appears alarming, it marks a big step forward from the £1m debt suffered in the previous figures.

The chairman is optimistic the trend will continue to the point where United return to profit sooner rather than later.

He said: “My target is to get it down to about £400,000 for the year we are in at the moment, compared with the £1m we lost last year. We are on target to do that.

“The target next year, particularly if we get up into League One, is to get it down to £100,000-150,000 or maybe even a profit to get back to where we were.”

The U’s chief’s confidence is boosted by a similar pattern at his other club, top rugby league outfit Wigan Warriors.

He said: “We are comfortable with it, we can afford it, but it dispirits us to have to keep propping the club up financially.

“It was exactly the same at Wigan. When I took over it was a £1m loss. It took us three years to get it down and we have been in profit for three years now.”

United’s coffers have been boosted in the last fortnight by an FA Cup run which has netted £150,000 in prize- money and television revenue.

The club also believe there is potential to bring in much more investment from sponsorship than is the case at the moment.

Last month, they hosted representatives from businesses across the county interested in partnerships, which it is hoped will yield a significant benefit for next season.

The marketing department has been revamped in the last few months and one project is bearing fruit.

Yesterday, United announced 8,000 tickets had been sold for ‘The Big Match’ at home to Plymouth Argyle on Boxing Day.

While short of a sell-out, with more than a week to go it is already the biggest gate of the season.

Attendances will play a big part in the long-term financial stability of United.

With average league gates of 5,758, they are about 200 lower than last term, despite being top of Sky Bet League Two for much of the season.

Lenagan is hopeful more results and performances like the 2-1 win against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday will make a difference, but says it is still above what was budgeted.

He added: “We are not disappointed with the attendances. We want more, of course we do, but attendances are dependent on how much people can afford and whether they feel a bond with the club.

“Every time we win a game that bond gets better and gradually if we continue to win, the attendances will come back.”

Local Businesses

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree