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:
11:00am Tuesday 6th October 2015
MICHAEL Appleton is looking forward to his first experience of an Oxford-Swindon clash, but has made it clear the priority is on ensuring it is a fixture in Sky Bet League One next season.
9:30am Tuesday 6th October 2015
KEEPING a cool head will be key if Oxford United are going to beat fierce rivals Swindon Town tonight, according to skipper Jake Wright.
9:20am Tuesday 6th October 2015
CALLUM O’Dowda cannot wait for his first taste of a game against Swindon Town after getting permission to delay his trip to meet up with the Ireland Under 21 squad.
9:00am Tuesday 6th October 2015
JORDAN Graham is in line to make his first Oxford United start as injury looks likely to rule Danny Rose out of their clash with Swindon Town.
8:30am Tuesday 6th October 2015
ALTHOUGH Oxford United have won fewer derby matches than rivals Swindon Town, who lead 21-13, they go into tonight’s game looking for an unprecedented fifth straight victory.