DISCUSSIONS over a temporary fourth stand at the Kassam Stadium continue, but Oxford United chairman Darryl Eales admits he does not know when construction will begin.

The U’s chief told the Oxford Mail in May he would be disappointed if the season kicked off on August 6 without a structure at the west end of the ground.

That now looks unlikely, although the derby clash with Swindon Town on September 10 is viewed as a realistic deadline.

While plenty of progress has been made, talks go on with stadium owner Firoz Kassam.

Eales remains optimistic despite not knowing when everything can be agreed.

He said: “Everything is ready, I’m talking to Firoz about it and the planning is going in.

“The great news is the physical construction of the stand takes about three days, so once everything else is done it’s very easy to install.

“I can’t tell you when that will come to pass, but I’d like to think certainly by the Swindon game it will be in place.”

Meetings have been taking place through the summer to iron out the logistical details and a formal planning application is due to be submitted shortly.

After lengthy research, United have appointed a supplier, Arena Seating, for a 735-seater stand to remain for a minimum of three seasons.

And there is enough room behind the goal to accommodate the new infrastructure without the need to remove the fence, so no car parking will be lost.

Once it is constructed, United may opt to decide which set of supporters use the new stand on a game-by-game basis.

Eales said: “I would prefer even on big games not to put away fans in there because hopefully we’ve got so many home fans that want to come and support the club.”

A profitable summer for United, who have recouped more than £4m following the sales of Kemar Roofe and Callum O’Dowda, continued this week.

Almost 9,500 fans watched the 2-1 friendly defeat to Leicester City, with all the proceeds going to the hosts.

The U’s chairman said: “That’s fantastic, I can’t thank them enough.

“The players loved it. The atmosphere was good so all I’d say is ‘come back against Brighton (next Tuesday)’.”