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New Oxford United chairman tells fans: My door is open

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.”

Whing and Clarke make Oxford United returns

Oxford Mail: Andy Whing is hoping to be back in training by early March

2:43pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014

ANDY Whing and Ryan Clarke played their first games of the season as Oxford United's development side came from behind to win 2-1 against Southend United.

Oxford United duo return to action today

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Tuesday 23rd September 2014

OXFORD United will get a double fitness boost today as Ryan Clarke and Andy Whing make their re-turn to playing after surgery this summer.

Oxford United Women bounce back to climb off the bottom

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Tuesday 23rd September 2014

OXFORD United came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Durham, extending their unbeaten run to three games in the process, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

WATCH: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with Stevenage

Oxford Mail:

12:50pm Monday 22nd September 2014

OXFORD United extended their unbeaten run to five games with a goalless draw at home to Stevenage.

Appleton praises dominant Oxford United but rues missed opportunity

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 22nd September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton rued some over-elaborate finishing, but was heartened by Oxford United’s commanding display against Stevenage.

Riley: We can't just rely on Hylton

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 22nd September 2014

JOE Riley said no-one at Oxford United would be critical of Danny Hylton after the top scorer wasted several good chances in the goalless draw with Stevenage.

Oxford Utd 0, Stevenage 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:03pm Saturday 20th September 2014

OXFORD United produced an entertaining display but had to settle for a draw as they were unable to find a way past a dogged Stevenage.

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

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:49pm Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxford United Wright issues warning

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

Jake Wright believes it will be key for Oxford United to avoid getting dragged into a physical contest if they are to build on a midweek win when Stevenage visit today.

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