This email was sent to OxVox members on 25 March 2021
I hope this update finds you well. The glimpses of sunshine around seem to mirror a cautious optimism around the place. We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and that a return to watching football at the stadium could be within reach. Fingers crossed we keep doing the right things and get there sooner rather than later. OxVox have been working hard on a number of projects but as often happens, events from inside the club have overtaken us somewhat, so we decided to address those first.
As most will have seen it has been reported in a national newspaper and by local media that board members based in Indonesia were looking to take a controlling stake in the club. While we had no warning of the news I don’t think it is a huge surprise and seems to fit with some of the conversations we have had in and around the club over the last year. We spent the weekend not only chasing the relevant people at the club but people connected to it. While we have yet to have any concrete confirmation on the deal we have also not had any rejection of it either and added to that, Karl’s pre-match interview leads us to believe that these discussions are well under way.
We will of course keep you updated with everything we know but it is important to reiterate that we feel communication with all levels of the club is vital and we are working hard to speak to all members of the board and get a clearer picture of not only this potential deal, but their plans moving forward. We have made it clear to the club that fans deserve more for their unwavering support in this difficult year than to be kept in the dark over such important issues and we continue to press them for greater clarity.
While it is always exciting (and heaven knows we all need a little excitement after the year we have had) to speculate on what may happen if this deal does go through I think it’s important to note a few things. Firstly, nearly everyone mentioned in connection with these articles is already involved in the club, so at the risk of slipping into management speak, this may be a case of evolution rather than revolution. There has also been a lot of discussion regarding the stadium with many people already picking out seats at the new ground. While this is all lots of fun it’s been a little disappointing to see it polarising some views among fans with supposition now being replaced with claims of certainty and some being shouted down for offering alternate views.
The addressing of the stadium situation has been a priority of ours for as long as I have been involved with OxVox (and for many years before) and will remain until the situation is resolved. While we are not privy to every meeting or conversation involved it is still our strong understanding that no site is confirmed and that all options regarding how the club move forward, including development of the Kassam stadium, are still being considered. We are aware of the work going on in the background and while positive moves appear to have been made with regards to a new stadium, we have been told that none are yet suitably advanced.
We have worked with the club for over two years trying to help them move the situation forward, offering our time, contacts and experience and we continue to do so, but we have always stressed that we think the communication with the fans on this needs to improve dramatically. In a year that has seen fans support the club in such great numbers and under such difficult circumstances, it is vital that fans are not left in the dark and that our views shape the future of our club. OxVox put a huge amount of work into the various options and we continue to do so while also supporting the club’s efforts but it is absolutely our role as a trust and as supporters to scrutinise what is being done and to allow members and supporters the right to comment. Our club has seen too many difficult years based on decisions that were made and deals that were done without our input.
We will continue to press and work hard on behalf of members and supporters and any information we get we will pass on as soon as we can, but now surely is a time for a cautious, open minded and transparent approach. We were left with one option last time and that ‘journey’ is still costing us dearly.
Thank you for reading and thank you for those who got in contact recently. It’s always good to hear from members and supporters and we value all the comments we get. Please keep them coming.
Stay safe and as always…..COYY !