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  • "Nice to know we're a new project. If it goes t**ts up he can go back to being a banker. Hope it doesn't but this whole thing stinks. I'll fully support the playing team though."
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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.”

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

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:50pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

Oxford Utd 0, AFC Wimbledon 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

4:56pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

OXFORD United's winning run against AFC Wimbledon came to an end as they played out a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium.

What's in our interactive back page of the Oxford Mail today?

Oxford Mail:

1:02pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

Getting ready for a sporty weekend? Explore our interactive back page, with links to the stories and the latest headlines

Brainpower is the key for Oxford United says head coach Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United will need to be intelligent if they are to keep heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa quiet for AFC Wimbledon today.

Oxford United boss eyes more Irish talent after Hoban signing

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 21st November 2014

MICHAEL Appleton is keen to explore further the talent pool on offer in Ireland following the signing of Patrick Hoban.

Interactive Oxford United big match preview spread

Oxford Mail:

1:50pm Friday 21st November 2014

Here's our match preview spread for Oxford United v AFC Wimbledon with links to all the stories to explore.

'The Hobanator' relishing return to England with Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 21st November 2014

NOT many players would pick Sky Bet League Two over the Champions League, but Patrick Hoban is relishing the prospect of a second crack at playing football in England.

Oxford United sign Irish striker Hoban but he can't play until January

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 21st November 2014

Patrick Hoban has put pen to paper at Oxford United, but will have to watch for six weeks before his debut.

Dunkley ready to battle for place in Oxford United's side

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 21st November 2014

CHEY Dunkley is unfazed about the prospect of battling with three more experienced centre halves to get into the Oxford United side.

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