ANNELIESE Dodds has become the first MP to give their backing to Oxford United’s new stadium proposals.

The Labour MP for Oxford East hosted a reception on behalf of the U’s at the Houses of Parliament this week.

The event looked at Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review of football governance and how United’s own experiences highlight how the review is needed.

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The U’s are looking to build a new ground at The Triangle, south of Kidlington Roundabout, with the club’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium running out in 2026.

Asked whether she supports the proposed move to The Triangle, Ms Dodds responded: “Yes I do. I think everyone locally would love if they could stay playing their matches at the Kassam, but sadly that has just not proved possible given the current situation.

“We need to secure the future of Oxford United, so I do support the plans.

“I’m really pleased that if that move does happen, as I hope it will, we’ll still have enough activity taking place in Oxford and all that support from the club for communities in Oxford.”

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Ms Dodds also highlighted the impact a new ground could have on Oxford United Women, who currently play at Oxford City’s Court Place Farm as current operating restrictions deny them the opportunity to play at the Kassam.

“I’m an Oxford City supporter as well, and it’s great to see the women playing there, but ultimately it would be fantastic if they could both play in the same stadium,” said Ms Dodds.

“They’d also have much more flexibility for other events that take place.

“It would be great to give Oxford United Women that boost with a new stadium.”

Oxford United Women general manager Gemma Sims, who previously played for the club, also stressed the positives a move to The Triangle could bring for the team.

She said: “It’s so important. We’d love to play at the club’s main stadium just like our rivals MK Dons and my previous club Reading, but we’re held back by the current stadium operating restrictions, which is really frustrating for us.

“I’m delighted that the club’s committed to letting the women’s team play all of our home games at the new stadium.

“The new stadium is going to be one of the best in the country and playing our matches there will inspire girls from across Oxfordshire and beyond to take up football.”

It was revealed earlier this week that Oxfordshire County Council officers have recommended selling land to United, for the purpose of a new stadium.

The officer recommendation comes with a condition the U’s must produce a net zero plan which comes with ‘clear timescales and outcomes from design, construction and full operation of the stadium’.

The advice to approve also includes the agreement that the use of the land is for football/ community sports and leisure/ sports stadia ‘in perpetuity’, with limited ancillary commercial use.

Should the cabinet approve the sale of the land on Tuesday, the club still requires planning approval from Cherwell District Council as the local planning authority.

The fan-led review followed the collapse of Bury FC and includes 10 recommendations, including a new independent regulator for English football.

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