OXFORD United’s playing budget could be reduced slightly next season – but owner Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth believes it will be high enough to compete for the top six.

The Thai businessman arrived yesterday for a series of meetings with staff, before returning to Bangkok after tomorrow’s home game with Wycombe Wanderers.

Planning for next season cannot begin in earnest until the U’s know which division they will be playing in come August.

The chances of staying in Sky Bet League One have improved markedly on the back of a strong recent run which means two wins from the final seven games should be enough.

Also read: Oxford United director Erick Thohir set for first visit next month

But expectations were far higher at the start of the campaign, with boss Karl Robinson estimating he had the eighth biggest budget in the division.

The level of resources for the next campaign is on the agenda during Tiger’s visit.

He said: “The playing budget will be very competitive again. I’m talking to Karl this week about it.

“We all know we have underachieved this year for the budget available.

“I don’t know exactly (the level) but you can see the January window if we need to invest we will.

“It will be about the same, or a little less.

“Next season we’ll be aiming for the play-offs.”

The move would appear to signal United getting a tighter grip on their finances.

In January, Tiger admitted “there was a lot of underestimating of the expenses” following his takeover 13 months ago, which has led to off-field issues dogging the club this season.

From a financial point of view avoiding relegation would certainly help – and the struggles have made for nervous viewing.

Tiger said: “I couldn’t breathe until last week, but I think we will stay in League One.”

Robinson is also hoping to finalise plans for United’s pre-season trip during Tiger’s visit.

The U’s boss said: “We have a great relationship.

“We know things have been cut here and there, but so much more money has gone into this club that not many people see.

“The support he’s shown Oxford United off the pitch has been unbelievable.

“These are things I know that aren’t massively relevant to fans in the short-term, but they will be long-term.

“I think it’s quite an exciting place to be.”