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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.”

Johnny Mullins praises Oxford United's medical team after being knocked out

Oxford Mail:

12:50pm Monday 27th April 2015

JOHNNY Mullins praised Oxford United’s medical staff for their swift action after being concussed following a horror fall against Cambridge United.

Danny Hylton honoured to receive Oxford United supporters' award

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 27th April 2015

DANNY Hylton was honoured to be voted player of the season by Oxford United’s supporters and capped it off with an excellent display in a 2-0 win against Cambridge United.

We were good value for our win, says Oxford United boss Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 27th April 2015

MICHAEL Appleton felt Oxford United’s performance deserved more than their 2-0 win against Cambridge United, but was delighted to finish on a high in front of the home fans.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win against Cambridge United

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

3:03pm Sunday 26th April 2015

WATCH the best moments as Oxford United signed off at the Kassam Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 win against Cambridge United.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Cambridge?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:53pm Saturday 25th April 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Roofe 31, Hylton 45+8), Cambridge Utd 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:02pm Saturday 25th April 2015

GOALS from Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton saw Oxford United win their final home game of the season at a canter against Cambridge United.

Collins eager to avenge Oxford United's 5-1 defeat by Cambridge United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

Michael Collins expects a reminder of Oxford United’s heavy defeat at Cambridge United earlier in the season will be pinned up in the changing room to act as motivation ahead of their rematch today.

Minute's silence at Bradford so poignant for Oxford United skipper Wright

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

A minute's silence will be held at Oxford United before kick-off this afternoon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire.

Kemar Roofe aims to maintain Oxford United form with West Brom in mind

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 24th April 2015

KEMAR Roofe has an added motivation to finish the season strongly with Oxford United – he has not given up hope of playing for West Bromwich Albion.

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