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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.”

Oxford United to hold pre-season training camp in Austria

Oxford Mail:

1:00pm Friday 29th May 2015

OXFORD United will spend a week in Austria as part of their pre-season preparations.

Ashton: Oxford United transfer success down to ambition, not cash

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 28th May 2015

OXFORD United’s ability to land their main targets this summer is down to selling players a vision for the future rather than offering the most money, according to chief executive Mark Ashton.

Oxford United to take more control over kit design as part of retail changes

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Thursday 28th May 2015

OXFORD United have announced big changes in their retail department, which will give them more control over their design of merchandise.

Ryan Taylor relishing fight for Oxford United starting role

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

RYAN Taylor is relishing the prospect of battling for a place in Oxford United’s striking quartet next season after completing his move yesterday.

Ryan Taylor signs for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

5:30pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

RYAN Taylor has become Oxford United's third signing of the summer after agreeing a two-year deal with the club.

Oxford United installed as third favourites for League Two title

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford United have been named as one of the favourites for the Sky Bet League Two title next season.

Liam Sercombe determined to chip in with goals for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 25th May 2015

LIAM Sercombe is aiming to help solve Oxford United’s search for goals from midfield next season.

Play-off heartbreak for Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Monday 25th May 2015

SWINDON Town and Wycombe Wanderers suffered play-off agony over the weekend.

Oxford United stepping up interest in striker Ryan Taylor

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

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