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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 Headlines 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 top scorer out to surpass his highest goals mark

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 30th January 2015

DANNY Hylton is reluctant to make predictions about his scoring tally but acknowledged he would be disappointed if this season was not the best of his career in front of goal.

Interactive graphic: Get ready for kick off of Stevenage v Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

12:40pm Friday 30th January 2015

Oxford United travel to Stevenage tomorrow and here are all our stories previewing the match in an interactive graphic.

Oxford United new signing Richard Brindley raring to get stuck in

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 30th January 2015

RICHARD Brindley is raring to make his Oxford United debut at Stevenage tomorrow after joining on loan yesterday.

Appleton: Oxford United's window shopping may go to the wire

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 30th January 2015

AS hard as Oxford United have worked to avoid doing business on transfer deadline day, head coach Michael Appleton is preparing to be involved in Monday night’s rush.

James Roberts sets sights on new goal target for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 30th January 2015

JAMES Roberts is aiming to reach double figures for goals before the end of his first season as a professional.

Oxford United's John Campbell waiting on Roofing extension

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 30th January 2015

JOHN Campbell’s career at Oxford United rests on whether Jarrow Roofing are willing to agree a delay over receiving a fee for the striker.

Westley highlights Oxford United's January investments

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 30th January 2015

STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley says Oxford United’s movements in the January transfer window show they “mean business”.

Composed Josh Ashby deserved his chance - Oxford United striker

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 30th January 2015

DESPITE grabbing the headlines with his last-gasp effort last weekend, it was the performance of another Oxford United youngster which impressed James Roberts.

Will Hoskins goes under the knife to help ease groin issue

Oxford Mail:

6:40am Friday 30th January 2015

WILL Hoskins went under the knife yesterday in a bid to relieve ongoing pain associated with a groin injury.

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