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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 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.”

Battling Oxford United bow out of FA Youth Cup at Manchester City

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

9:08pm Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United pushed Manchester City all the way as they were edged out of the FA Youth Cup 2-0 in the third round.

Oxford United's young guns relishing Manchester City clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United’s rising stars will get a taste of the big time tonight as they attempt a giant-killing against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup (7).

Roberts pushes claims for Oxford United recall after featuring in development squad victory

Oxford Mail:

6:30pm Wednesday 17th December 2014

JAMES Roberts edged closer to a first-team return for Oxford United after playing in a 2-0 win for the development side at Bournemouth.

Jake Wright's frustration as Oxford United miss out on Swansea clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 17th December 2014

OXFORD United’s shot at hosting Swansea City in the new year disappeared as they paid the price for failing to kill off Tranmere Rovers in their FA Cup second-round replay.

Tranmere Rovers 2 (Odejayi 36, Power 76), Oxford United 1 (Potter 29)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

9:42pm Tuesday 16th December 2014

OXFORD United's FA Cup hopes came to an end as they let a lead slip to lose their second round replay against Tranmere Rovers at a sodden Prenton Park.

Battling Oxford United bow out of FA Youth Cup at Manchester City

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

8:58pm Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United pushed Manchester City all the way as they were edged out of the FA Youth Cup 2-0 in the third round.

Michael Appleton: Depleted Oxford United will attack FA Cup replay

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 16th December 2014

A lack of strikers will not stop Oxford United going on the attack against Tranmere Rovers in their FA Cup second round replay tonight, says head coach Michael Appleton.

Danny Hylton happy to lead the line in Oxford United's FA Cup replay

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 16th December 2014

Danny Hylton is unfazed by the prospect of carrying Oxford United’s goalscoring burden in the FA Cup tonight.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's win over Bury

Oxford Mail:

11:31am Monday 15th December 2014

OXFORD United extended their unbeaten run to six games with a 2-1 win at home to Bury on Saturday.

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