THE prospect of Oxford United putting up a fourth stand at the Kassam Stadium appears to have hit a brick wall.

The Oxford Mail can exclusively reveal the reasons Firoz Kassam is refusing to allow U’s chairman Darryl Eales to go ahead and build a temporary structure at the open end of the ground.

The landlord says he is owed money by the football club and is not happy they are querying some charges.

But Eales contests the claims and says all payments are up to date.

The United chairman admits there are some disputes over certain charges, but says ‘they do not add up to much at all’.

Eales last week said the ball was in Kassam’s court over the progress of the temporary stand, which United were granted planning permission by Oxford City Council to put up last month.

The club are ready to start work, but need approval from the ground’s owner before they do so.

However, that does not look like it will be forthcoming – for the time being at least.

“I saw something that said the ball was in my court over the fourth stand. Well it is not,” Kassam said.

“If the people in charge at Oxford United will not pay their bills on time, I will not allow them to build a fourth stand.

“Why should I allow them to build on my property if they are not paying me what I am owed?

“They are querying payments over things that have been paid for years.

“There are a lot of issues outstanding.”

But Eales says that is not the case.

“The club is up to date with all bills, except for normal trade credit and a few disputed items that do not add up to much at all,” he said.

“I have checked today and that is absolutely the case.

“If Firoz wants to call me and discuss any item he feels we are behind on, I have no problem with that at all.”

The whole issue of the fourth stand could prove insignificant if Kassam presses ahead with his intention of selling the stadium so it becomes a community-based asset.

The former chairman revealed on Saturday he is keen to offload the site ‘for the benefit of the local community’ after holding positive talks with supporters’ trust OxVox.

Although not part of those discussions, Eales has welcomed the news and is hoping a deal can be struck quickly.

“If you have a willing buyer and a willing seller, there’s no reason why it should take longer than ten to 12 weeks,” he said.

“It is hugely-positive news.”