Report this comment
  • "His comments regarding ego ring hollow when you consider that when heading up a bank funded by you and me it sponsored a Motor racing team in which he had an interest"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

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 U's News 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.”

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win against Carlisle United

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

12:54pm Sunday 29th March 2015

WATCH the key moments from Oxford United's 2-1 victory against Carlisle United at the Kassam Stadium.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Carlisle?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

6:14pm Saturday 28th March 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Hoban 38, Vassell 80), Carlisle Utd 1 (Corry 9)

Oxford Mail:

4:57pm Saturday 28th March 2015

KYLE Vassell came off the bench to score within five minutes of his debut and give Oxford United a priceless victory at the Kassam Stadium.

Oxford United leave it late on whether O'Dowda starts against Carlisle

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 28th March 2015

Michael Appleton will make a late call on his line-up, with a decision to be made on whether Callum O’Dowda is fit to start the crunch home clash with Carlisle United this afternoon.

Oxford United chief Ashton calls for fans to come in great numbers

9:00am Saturday 28th March 2015

Chief executive Mark Ashton has called on supporters to ‘pack the Kassam’ for Oxford United’s next two crunch Sky Bet League Two clashes.

Jake Wright urges Oxford United players to display mental strength

Oxford Mail:

1:30pm Friday 27th March 2015

SKIPPER Jake Wright has urged Oxford United’s players to ‘man up’ and block out any negativity at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow, writes MARK EDWARDS.

Michael Appleton expects Carlisle to try and exploit home woes

Oxford Mail:

1:30pm Friday 27th March 2015

MICHAEL Appleton believes Carlisle United will come to the Kassam Stadium confident of adding to Oxford United’s home woes.

New signing Kyle Vassell keen to give Oxford United a boost

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 27th March 2015

KYLE Vassell is hoping to end the season with a bang – by scoring goals and firing Oxford United to safety.

It's time the Oxford United strikers delivered, says Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 27th March 2015

MICHAEL Appleton knows it is the issue that has dogged Oxford United all season.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree