Trust statement on Darryl Eales’ shareholding and the Lenagan family

7th Jun 2016

Darryl Eales’ increased shareholding in Oxford United is good for the club, says OxVox 

7 June 2016

Supporters’ Trust OxVox today welcomed the official confirmation that Oxford United Chairman, Darryl Eales, has increased his stakeholding in Oxford United to 84% with the purchase of all remaining shares owned by Ian Lenagan.

We are delighted Darryl has acquired these shares quickly and ahead of schedule, following Ian’s appointment as the new Football League Chairman. A clear ownership structure is as important to a football club as it is to any business.

In parallel we continue to progress our advanced dialogue regarding formal fan representation by OxVox with both the Board of Oxford United and Supporters Direct, with the aim of concluding discussions this summer.

The relationship the Trust has had with our club owners in recent years is stronger than it has ever been. We have struck excellent working relationships with both Darryl and Ian based on mutual trust. OxVox’s relationship with Oxford United is regarded in the Supporters Trust movement as an example for other Trusts to aspire to, and that is as much a credit to both owners as it is to anything that the Trust itself has done.

Our sincere appreciation and thanks are due to Ian and his sons, Adrian and Simon for their sterling and dedicated support for our football club in a time of transition. Our relationship with all three were in the main excellent and whilst we did at times cross swords, we hope that they realise that it was always respectful and for the benefit of the club! The relationship blossomed when Ian took over as Chairman and we worked closely together until he sold the club to Darryl in the summer of 2014.

It was the Lenagan family who played a major role in rebuilding our football club and helped return Oxford United to the Football League. Further, it was the family’s ethos and commitment to youth that is now bearing fruit. They never sought the praise they deserved but they should be very proud of that. It will be their legacy.

Under Darryl and Michael Appleton the conveyer belt of quality local youngsters, re-started by that philosophy, has given many local youngsters the opportunity to play for our proud club. Finding and developing young players is the life-blood of virtually every football club. Our crop of exciting youngsters now wear our shirt, having helped get this football club back into League One. Republic of Ireland International Callum O’Dowda, New Zealand U21 International Max Crocombe, Antigua and Barbuda International AJ George, local youngsters Josh Ruffels, James Roberts, Sam Long and Josh Ashby and others have all graduated in the last 12 months. Our thanks go to the Lenagan family, Darryl Eales and Michael Appleton for embracing youth and providing a real pathway to local youngsters in representing this football club.