THE chairs of Oxford United supporter groups have welcomed the long-awaited change of ownership at the club.
Indonesian investors Anindya Bakrie and Erick Thohir have finalised a deal which sees them take a controlling 51 per cent stake in the U’s.
The move has rumbled on since March 2021, when news emerged an offer to secure a minimum 51 per cent stake in the club had been submitted.
Paul Peros, chair of OxVox, told this newspaper the changing of hands would be welcomed by fans.
He said: “We kept speaking to the club and they were very positive going forward.
“It’s a really positive move that they’re now here, it’s a really positive day and puts to bed any fears that these guys would only be here temporarily.
“They’re here to push the club forward.
“This is Oxford United – we’ve had our fair share of tribulations and problems with owners over the years.
“The club has been moving forward in the right direction though, putting money in the academy and the training ground, and the facilities there are great.
“The new owners have been keen to build from the ground up, and building sustainably is what it’s important for us at OxVox.
“We needed this confirmation, it’s a marked moment we can push on from.”
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Peros also praised the new board for bringing in the likes of Grant Ferguson as chairman.
Ferguson was on the board at Inter Milan from 2014 to 2017, when Thohir owned the Italian giants.
“They’ve been respectful of what Tiger has done, and he’ll still be around, but these guys are now at the helm,” said Peros.
“They’re bringing in big names, for example people like Grant, who’s been at Inter Milan.”
Paul Scaysbrook, chair of the Oxford United Supporters’ Panel, said: “It’s good to get things resolved, fans have been concerned at how long things have taken.
“It’s good to get clear direction going forward, we’ve got that bit of stability now.
“Hopefully this will prove to be positive, not just on the pitch.
“People have got confidence in the background they’re from – they’ve got footballing minds and footballing brains, so that can only be positive.
“We can focus on the important things, which are going up to the next division and resolving the stadium.
“Having this resolved now will put the focus on where it should be and I don’t see any reason why we can’t have confidence in them.”
At the club’s annual general meeting (AGM), when the changes were announced, United’s head coach Karl Robinson said: “Today for me is one of the most significant moments in Oxford United’s recent history.
“It’s exciting, we know pressure comes with that.”