CRAIG Bellamy has revealed the change in ownership at Oxford United is the reason he has not become the club’s new boss.

The Cardiff City player development manager said he had agreed terms with former chairman Darryl Eales, but following last week’s takeover by Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, he ended up withdrawing.

Speaking on Sky TV’s ‘The Debate’ last night, Bellamy described the U’s outgoing chairman as the ‘perfect owner to work for’.

“We fitted each other really well,” he said.

“We got as far as agreeing terms and then at the 11th hour they got taken over.

“I was always informed it could happen down the road, but once or twice it didn’t and then at the last minute it came in after we agreed.

“But that’s fine, because the welfare of Oxford is way more important than who the manager is, even if it is myself.”

Many presumed Thanakarnjanasuth was planning to rubber-stamp the appointment of Bellamy, whose odds with bookmakers to land the job were as short as 1-12 at one stage.

But despite indicating a desire to finalise an appointment in “a day or two” the assertion at the start of the week there were still up to four people in the running indicated a change of tack.

The former Wales striker said: “I had the opportunity to go and meet the new owner, but the discussions with him were different from where the previous owner was.

“That’s normal in football. He wanted to go about it in his way, wanted a bit longer to think about it and me to think about it.”

He added: “Darryl has done a brilliant job and he seemed like the perfect owner – the owner you’d want to work for.

“Whoever goes in there will be going into a very good situation because Darryl has done a great job, but the new owner will want to go his own way.”

And Bellamy believes time is of the essence in a process which is now in its sixth week.

He said: “It took a while for me and Darryl to have a number of meetings to get comfortable with each other and by the end we felt we both wanted the same things for Oxford.

“To go through that process with a new owner would have taken a couple of weeks because I want to get to know him and what he wants, but also he’d want to see that from me.

“The club don’t need another three or four weeks, they need an immediate appointment.”

With Bellamy out of the frame, Brian McDermott has emerged as the new favourite.

The 56-year-old has a link with Tiger – who is now understood to be out of the country on business – having worked under him during a second spell at Reading, which ended in 2016.

Ex-England boss Steve McClaren who, like McDermott, played for the U’s, is another whose odds have tumbled since the news about Bellamy.

In the meantime, caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley is gearing up for the seventh game of his reign, at home to Fleetwood Town on Saturday, and is due to face the media this morning.