OXFORD United supporters should not be concerned by the latest accounts which show a £2.4m loss, according to owner Darryl Eales.

The figures cover the first 12 months after the Eales-led takeover in July 2014 and show the club’s deficit was almost £1m more than in the previous year.

It is also the fourth successive set of accounts which show a seven-figure gap between income and expenditure.

The accounts show the difference was covered by a £3.15m loan from Eales’s Ensco 1070 company, taking United’s total debts to more than £11.3m.

More than half is owed to former chairman Ian Lenagan’s Woodstock Partners Limited, although the amount due fell by £1.15m to £6.38m.

But Eales is keen to reassure fans the loss – which includes several one-off investments putting new structures in place that it is hoped will yield returns in the medium term – was expected.

And while the goal is to build a sustainable club, he has no concerns about bridging the gap himself in the meantime.

“I don’t know whether I look at this too simplistically, but an owner of a football club knows he’s got to fund it,” Eales said.

“What you really want to know is: is the owner happy to continue funding the club on the current basis?

“I’m 100 per cent comfortable with the direction the club is going and the progress we are making.

“I’m absolutely delighted with how far the club has come in the last 12 months.

“The most important thing for me is the fans should just concentrate on enjoying the football. Don’t worry about the finances.

“I will absolutely tell you if you should have any concerns over the numbers.

“You don’t need to at the moment.”

United made 22 signings during the period of the accounts, 13 of them loans brought in as Michael Appleton looked to build a squad at short notice.

Settlements were also agreed on the contracts of several players deemed surplus to requirements.

The playing side has been much more settled this season and it will contribute to what should be an improvement in the next set of figures.

United have had profitable runs in the FA Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, where last weekend’s final alone is expected to have earned the club £350-400,000.

There has also been a 6.5 per cent increase in attendances at the Kassam Stadium as the side bid for automatic promotion from Sky Bet League Two.

But as long as the club are below the Championship or continue to rent their home they are going to struggle to become sustainable.

Until at least one of those problems is solved, the only way to break even is to sell players.

United’s squad is far more valuable than it was when Eales took over and investing in a recruitment department which can unearth players with potential has been central to the plan.

The U’s chairman said: “Even adding all that (extra revenue from cup success) together the club is still not sustainable, but I don’t think at League One and League Two level that’s achievable, without some benefit of player trading.

“We’ve been pretty candid throughout about saying part of the model is to invest in our recruitment and scouting.

“It builds infrastructure that allows us to identify players on a consistent and sustainable basis that means we can recoup some of that financial deficit through player trading.”