Email to members – various topics

25th Jul 2022

The following email was circulated to OxVox members at 11.00 am on Friday 22 July 2022. To be among the first to receive these emails, join the trust using the online links on this site.

Firstly I hope everyone has had an enjoyable start to the summer and while the last month has seen holidays being taken and our fair share of colds and illness, OxVox has continued its work as the start of the season draws ever nearer.

There were a number of issues we felt needed to be raised with the club and those discussions continue.

Stadium

We continue to work closely with the club to help progress the Stratfield Brake stadium project. Lots of work is being done behind the scenes to prepare the ground for the planning application. It is vital that the club engages with the local community and is able to outline the tremendous benefits to Kidlington and the wider area.

To that end, communications and a survey have been sent out to Kidlington residents and we would ask any of our members who have received that survey to fill out and show your support.

The club has also this week launched a fan survey on the stadium proposals which can be found here: https://www.oufc.co.uk/news/2022/july/stadium-fan-survey/ 

All these little steps matter and the club are determined to have the strongest case laid out before moving forward with planning.

We are also keeping up to date with some of the groups that have sprung up in opposition to the stadium. It is worth remembering that everyone should have the right to express their view on the subject. Rude or aggressive responses, to what has often been provocative output from some of them, will only damage our case. We will be speaking to local councillors to highlight some of the worst communications which have focused disappointingly on the race and integrity of our owners, but we would ask members and supporters to keep your frustrations in check and if you do engage with any of it, please do so in a calm and reasoned manner.

The board / OUFC ownership

We have been pressing the club for clarification on the issue of share allocations and the ownership structure of the football club. We are confident that the ‘newer’ board members are taking a fully active role and that the shares and ownership will be settled soon. That said. we have expressed our view that the prolonged process and the lack of communication on this and other issues is liable to cause concern among supporters. This process will, we hope, be completed soon but we believe communication with supporters must be improved, whether by fans forums or by other means.

To discuss this and other matters Ali Wolfe and myself have arranged to meet board representatives today. We will of course report back once we have written up the meeting.

Joey Fund

We continue to work closely with the club to raise attention and funds for Joey’s young family. OxVox are donating money towards the framing of a shirt that the club will auction off to help that fund. We will update you once the fund is officially launched.

Play It Forward

We have been working with the club for some time on getting more tickets into the hands of supporters who may not have the opportunity to see a game. Following on from this we are delighted to get behind the ‘Play It Forward’  scheme  ( see https://www.oufc.co.uk/news/2022/july/play-it-forward/ ) unveiled by the club. The owners and local businesses are working with Oxford United in the Community to set up a ‘bank’ of 50 season tickets to be given to supporters who may need a little help in what are difficult times for all of us. They are also co-ordinating sales from fans who are able to purchase an extra ticket for a one off game or season ticket to be used for the scheme. OxVox has donated tickets in the past and having seen the fabulous effects these efforts can produce we are firmly behind this great initiative from the club and have already introduced one supporter to the club under the scheme.

We are delighted to say that we have received the first ticket under this scheme and that the supporter in question has this morning received their ticket.

Season tickets

We continue to talk to the club with regards to the season ticket marketing, shirt release and other issues that members have raised with us in pre-season. Having had less input this year, we think that, while the overall offer was acceptable, and a modest price increase was to be expected in the current economic climate, some of the timing, marketing and details could and should have been handled much better, and indeed more professionally. Where practical, for example with the ‘lounge’ package, some changes have been made or are in process, but some frustrations remain. Looking forward, the club has agreed to involve OxVox at an earlier stage of planning so that we, along with OUSP, can provide more feedback from supporters before final commitments are made.

We hope that this fuller consultation will be regarded positively by the club as an opportunity to identify anticipated issues and ensure smooth product launches next year.

Player recruitment and transfers

It is not OxVox’s role to get involved in the transfer or recruitment side of the club. It is however important to us that the impressive recruitment model built up over the last few years continues. We are confident that, while there are a small number of clubs in League 1 that will outspend us, substantial funds are available for the right new players to join the club. Having spoken at length to the club we are confident that is the case. All of us involved in OxVox are just supporters and we would love to have seen an early influx of exciting new players, but we are also aware that some deals take patience and time to secure. We hope to see the fruits of the hard work being put in with signings over the coming days and weeks.

Finally

We hope this year to raise the profile of OxVox on match days and in other ways, and to get more and more supporters on board as we help the push to make the exciting prospect of the Stratfield Brake Community Stadium a reality. This will be the pivotal year for the project.

As members you can play a vital role. Please help us spread the word and help us give strength to our voice. If each member could encourage just one friend to join OxVox then the message sent out to council decision makers would be hard to ignore.

Please ask someone to join TODAY via our website at www.oxvox.org.uk 

We would also ask you to continue sending in questions, comments and suggestions on how we can improve regarding Stratfield Brake or other issues. We are guided by you in all the work we do.

Thank you for your time and support and as the excitement of the new season draws ever closer….COYY !

Paul Peros
OxVox Chair