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New Oxford United chairman tells fans: My door is open

New Oxford United chairman tells fans: My door is open

Darryl Eales (left), Mark Ashton and Ian Lenagan walk out of the Kassam Stadium tunnel after yesterday’s press conference

Darryl Eales (left), Mark Ashton and Ian Lenagan walk out of the Kassam Stadium tunnel after yesterday’s press conference

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

NEW Oxford United chairman Darryl Eales has a simple solution for any supporters sceptical of his intentions – just ask him.

The prospect of a private equity expert from Birmingham suddenly becoming interested in the club raised suspicion in some quarters.

But after acquiring a significant stake in the club, described as between 30 and 50 per cent, he was keen to make assurances and spoke frankly about what motivated the move.

Eales said he wants to be part of United’s long-term plan, which means putting money in, rather than taking it out.

“You read some blogs talking about ‘is he going to take money out of the club?’,” he said.

“I’m thinking ‘if I wanted to make sensible investments you wouldn’t choose football’.

“I would say to supporters, ‘come and speak to me’.

“If you want to know my views on something, come and ask me because I’m new to all this, but I think people who have worked for me will say what you see is what you get.

“I don’t have agendas, politics I really dislike and I’m completely open.”

He added: “I don’t regard football as a business, but it’s got to make sense economically.

“I’m not looking to make money out of this, but I’m not looking to lose money either.

“If we started earning a profit as a business – and clearly it’s loss-making at the moment – I’m very happy for 100 per cent of that to be reinvested in the club.

“You can be the judge of this, but I don’t think I’ve got a big ego, so I’m not doing this for a big ego trip.

“I’m doing this to test myself in a different arena – in the sport I love.”

Top of the 53-year-old’s ‘to do’ list is make funds available to help Michael Appleton, who has replaced Gary Waddock as head coach, strengthen the squad.

Discussions have already taken place with incoming chief executive Mark Ashton, but it will not be a spending spree.

He said: “I’ve said to Mark, within sensible bounds, tell me what you need from a playing perspective and I’ll flex it.

“That’s not millions – I might say ‘you’ve got an extra £250,000 to spend’.”

Patient progress is the aim of the game for the new chairman, who briefly considered getting involved with Birmingham City 18 months ago before deciding against investing in the club he supports.

Eales is confident United have what it takes to move up the football pyramid, but stopped short of setting a deadline.

He said: “Realistically, to me this should be a sustainable Championship club.

“That’s what we’ve talked about, but what I think is foolhardy is to say we’re going to do that within three or five years.

“That’s just your inspiration, and all our efforts will be on trying to achieve that.”

Oxford United Wright issues warning

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

Jake Wright believes it will be key for Oxford United to avoid getting dragged into a physical contest if they are to build on a midweek win when Stevenage visit today.

Oxford duo Hylton and Howard set to receive green light

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Top scorer Danny Hylton and Brian Howard are expected to have recovered from midweek knocks to start for Oxford United today.

Newey: Oxford United are doing it right

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th September 2014

TOM Newey hopes Oxford United’s supporters will embrace the side’s progressive style after seeing them make it work for the first time at the Kassam Stadium.

Joining Oxford United's 'project' offers new chapter in life of Brian

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 19th September 2014

HIS varied CV may include a spell at arch rivals Swindon Town, but Brian Howard’s debut for Oxford United should have gone a long way to convince any doubters not to hold it against him.

Fazackerley: Oxford United boss has managed with testing start well

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

DEREK Fazackerley says he has been impressed by the way Michael Appleton has dealt with a challenging start to life as Oxford United’s head coach.

Collins thankful for Oxford United support after family emergency

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Friday 19th September 2014

MICHAEL Collins says he was moved by the support from Oxford United’s fans and staff during a difficult time earlier this month.

Westley wary of Oxford United as the rivalry with Stevenage resumes

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

GRAHAM Westley believes Oxford United’s new signings will help to make life difficult for Stevenage tomorrow.

Boost as Oxford United striker avoids surgeon's knife

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

WILL Hoskins could face a shorter lay-off with a groin injury than feared after a specialist advised surgery was not needed.

Mullins backs O'Dowda to hit the heights

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th September 2014

CALLUM O’Dowda has all the attributes to progress and play at a higher level, according to Oxford United teammate Johnny Mullins.

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