AT this potentially pivotal time in the history of Oxford United, it is interesting that talk is growing of a new stadium at Water Eaton.
As we have been reporting recently, there are two consortiums interested in taking the club off the hands of Ian Lenagan.
But – while there are thousands who bleed yellow and blue and love the club unconditionally – for any new investors there has to be a solid business case for taking United on.
And that has to revolve around ownership of a stadium, be it the Kassam or new home. Match-day revenues and other uses during the week are major revenue streams to fund the football operation and that is currently denied to the existing regime given the Kassam belongs to the eponymous former chairman.
Size-wise, United is a club that should not be sitting in League Two. But sustaining a League One or Championship place relies heavily on a business that owns its own home.
Water Eaton, as council leaders Ian Hudspeth and Bob Price both say today, makes a lot of sense and not just because it would, hopefully, have four sides.
The transport links, with new rail station and sitting beside the A34, is a no-brainer.
There is also the secondary benefit for the city that, if United were to vacate its current home, it is not hard to imagine the site being turned over to housing to help out another of our critical problems.
A lot of water is to flow under this particular bridge, but it will be very interesting to see where the U’s are, literally, in five years.
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