DARRYL Eales admitted a variety of approaches had failed to deal constructively with Firoz Kassam during his three years in charge of Oxford United.

The U’s owner made the admission during a wide-ranging and candid 80-minute question and answer session with 26 shareholders following the formalities of the club’s Annual General Meeting last night.

The fact it was being held at Court Place Farm, where United have arranged a partnership with Oxford City, rather than the Kassam Stadium showed the frosty relationship between Eales and landlords Firoka.

Since taking over in 2014 Eales has sought to reach a deal over the ownership of the ground.

After making no progress, the U’s chairman has taken a back seat in recent months while supporters’ trust OxVox have attempted a different approach.

Eales, who revealed he had invested £10m in the club, hopes it bears fruit, although seven months on from the trust’s initial announcement, he is keen for the process to reach a conclusion one way or the other as quickly as possible.

The U’s chief, who allowed the media to attend the AGM in a change from recent years, said: “It’s almost the last throw of the dice.

“If the supporters’ trust can’t persuade Firoz to help the club then probably no-one can. We are all as frustrated as each other about the situation.

“It’s a weakness of mine, but I don’t know how to deal with Firoz effectively. I have tried multiple strategies.

“I would always regard myself as being reasonably capable of getting on with most people.

“Being nice to him didn’t work and not being nice to him didn’t work.

“As someone passionate about driving this club forward the sooner we get some clarity the better.”

The speculation surrounding Juan Sartori’s interest in the club was also brought up.

Eales reiterated he was not looking to sell and did not expect a change in the status quo.

He said: “If I was a betting man I would put a reasonable wager on when we get to the first day of the season I will be the controlling shareholder.”

But on the Uruguayan, he added: “I do think Juan is credible and has some really interesting connections.”