The board of directors at Oxford United has admitted that it is “dismayed” over the lack of progress being made over the ownership of the Kassam Stadium, the English League One football club’s home ground.
In October, OxVox, the supporters’ trust of the third-tier side, announced that it was in talks with Firoz Kassam, the ex-owner of the club and current owner of the stadium that is named after him.
Oxford City Council later revealed that it would consider providing financial support to a proposal for the stadium to be placed in community ownership.
Little progress appears to have been made and the board has called on those involved to “accelerate the process for the good of the club, the fans, and to safeguard the future of OUFC”.
OxVox said it hopes to agree Head of Terms to take the ground into community ownership by the end of the 2016-17 season in May.
In a statement, Oxford’s board of directors said: “We do not understand why, as stated by OxVox, it will take until the end of the season to reach Heads of Terms over the sale of the ground.
“While we understand that certain issues cannot be resolved until later, there is no reason why an outline of the deal cannot be signed in weeks, even days, and not months as suggested. Mr Kassam made a public statement on October 7, 2016 of his desire to sell the stadium. It is only reasonable to ask why it is taking so long to conclude Heads of Terms?
“While we are supportive of the three-party discussions, we find it strange that we are not included in them. As the tenant, we are clearly a very interested party, and without any direct involvement, we continue to be left in the dark as to how the final deal may impact the club and indeed when such a deal is likely to be finalised. We remain happy to join the negotiations at any stage.”