WHILE the tug-of-war continues over Oxford United’s long-term future at boardroom level, there is a danger the day-to-day business is being harmed.
It is just five weeks until the season kicks off at home to Burton Albion and as it stands the first-team squad looks threadbare.
Despite two months of searching, head coach Gary Waddock has only been able to bring in striker Danny Hylton.
Only Exeter City, who are operating under a transfer embargo, and Accrington Stanley have made fewer signings than the U’s in Sky Bet League Two this summer.
Waddock has a 23-man squad, but it is light on experience.
Of the group, five have never played a minute of senior football and another five have featured in fewer than 15 first-team games.
Add in injuries to Ryan Clarke and Andy Whing, who could miss the start of the season, and the U’s are left with 11 senior players.
The club’s policy of promoting young, homegrown talent is a good one, but they need support.
It is clear reinforcements are needed before the campaign begins if Waddock is to have the tools he needs to build a side which can compete.
This is a crucial phase of the calendar and as long as there is uncertainty over the club’s ownership it is difficult to see how further signings can be sealed.
Bookmakers already believe United are twice as likely to get relegated as they are to win the league next season.
The longer this limbo goes on for, the more the odds will stack up against the U’s.
Regardless of whoever ends up owning the club, it is vital not to lose focus on what happens on the pitch.
Latest United news:
10:33am Wednesday 29th July 2015
CHRIS Allen believes there will be Oxford United players who will be unfortunate to miss out in the first XI when the season starts next month after overseeing a 4-0 win at Thame United last night.
9:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
PATRICK Hoban scored twice as Oxford United eased past Thame United 4-0 in a pre-season friendly at the ASM Stadium.
9:30am Tuesday 28th July 2015
Michael Appleton believes it is highly unlikely Oxford United will add to their squad before the start of the season.
12:32pm Monday 27th July 2015
OXFORD United are holding an open training session next week as the Kassam Stadium's new pitch sees its first action.
9:30am Monday 27th July 2015
Johnny Mullins challenged Oxford United to keep improving ahead of the new campaign after putting in their best display of pre-season with a 2-0 win at Eastleigh on Saturday.