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:
3:00pm Saturday 6th February 2016
DEFENDER Canice Carroll has signed a professional contract with Oxford United.
12:40pm Saturday 6th February 2016
OXFORD United will announce full details at 1pm tomorrow on tickets for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley.
10:19am Saturday 6th February 2016
OXFORD United's Sky Bet League Two game at Exeter City has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
10:00am Saturday 6th February 2016
SAM Slocombe is set to take over between the sticks as Oxford United make the trip to Exeter City in Sky Bet League Two this afternoon (3).
9:30am Saturday 6th February 2016
LIAM Sercombe expects an emotional return to Exeter City today but insists he is focused on one thing – an Oxford United victory.