We are giving Oxford United fans the chance to share their views on the club every Thursday this season. This week, Andy Wilmer looks at the buy to sell model and why it doesn’t sit right with him.

I don’t remember exactly when we started buying young upcoming players with a view to selling them on for a profit, but I know when we started doing it I wasn’t really a fan.

You could probably look back to Kemar Roofe as one of the first players we signed with the plan to sell on for a profit.

Chey Dunkley, Rob Atkinson, Rob Dickie and Luke McNally are all recent examples of players who were relatively unknown when they came to us and who have then gone on to play for teams in a higher league for a tidy profit, but is the buy to sell model really the right way for us to go?

To get a team that plays well together week in, week out, you need consistency.

While we had those players and they were playing regularly with a settled team, we played well and had good results and relative success.

Once they left, there were at times a dip in form and an element of having to rebuild. Was that the players or was it just coincidence?

The players mentioned were with us for a fairly short period, pretty much a season give or take, and then moved on.

Have we made progress during those seasons? I don’t think we have.

We’ve benefitted from them, had short periods of success and then had to start again in the summer.

In some instances, we haven’t replaced those players for players of an equal or better calibre and it’s left fans baffled as to why.

If they had stayed with us, would we have been able to go that one step further? Would we have been in and around the automatic promotion places?

That remains to be seen but I’m not a massive fan of buying players to make a profit out of them.

Oxford Mail: Kemar Roofe celebrates a winning goal against Bristol Rovers. Picture: David FlemingKemar Roofe celebrates a winning goal against Bristol Rovers. Picture: David Fleming

Football should never be a ‘business’ in the purest sense of the word, and I’m reluctant to agree that players should be used as assets to increase that business’ profits and make short-term gain.

The current CEO has referred to fans in the past as ‘customers’, which I find a little disrespectful.

Granted we are a mechanism for getting money into the club but fans go because they want to experience an exciting atmosphere, see entertaining football and support their team.

If the current owners, board and management have aspirations of being a top 30 club, then we need to keep the best performing players, replace those that aren’t with improved versions and have a squad that knows each other and play week in, week out.