It was another busy week for Oxford United but one full of ups and downs. The U’s recorded contrasting results over the last seven days, including an dominant win and an outperformed defeat, while there has also been plenty going on off the field.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Manager Linked to Birmingham City Job, Contrasting Results and Takeover Talks
Karl Robinson Played Down Talks of Birmingham City Job
The week began with U’s boss Karl Robinson playing down talks of taking the managerial role at Championship side Birmingham City. Although the Blues later appointed Lee Bowyer, Robinson told the Oxford Mail: “I often talk about what’s building here and what I have the flexibility to do.
“I’d love to make this a top-30 club in England over the next five years.
“That might sound like a ridiculous statement because that means a top-ten team in the Championship really competing to get to the level above.
“We have long-term plans – sometimes it means the medium and short-term implications could be negative, but we have a long-term goal.”
Robinson has been linked to two Championship jobs in the past month, with reports claiming the U’s boss was on a shortlist at Bournemouth before appointing assistant manager Jonathan Woodgate on a permanent basis.
It is high praise and highlights the good job that the former MK Dons and Charlton Athletic manager is doing at Oxford.
On Friday, Jason Burt of the Telegraph reported that Oxford United are subject to a proposed takeover by a consortium of Indonesian investors. Led by former board member Erick Thohir, the group are looking to buy a 51 per cent share in the club, thus gaining enough control to run the club.
The proposed takeover would be a major boost for Oxford for several reasons. The lease on their rented Kassam Stadium expires in 2026, and while the club can renew, plans for a new site or new stadium have already been mooted. Also, financial security would be increased. Thohir is the former owner of Inter Milan and was in charge of DC United when the MLS side signed Wayne Rooney.
Thohir initially joined the U’s board in November 2018 but was forced to step down in October 2019 after being appointed Indonesia’s ‘state-owned enterprises minister.’ Whether current chairman Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth, who took over the club in February 2018, remains as part of the board is unclear at this stage.
Contrasting Results As Oxford Pick Up Three Points From Two Games
It was another busy week on the field as Oxford played two games against promotion rivals, but with contrasting results.
On Tuesday, the U’s welcomed Doncaster Rovers to Grenoble Road. The Yorkshire side sat comfortably in the playoffs before the game but the hosts romped to a 3-0 win.
The game was already over by half time, thanks to a brace from Matty Taylor and a strike from Mide Shodipo. The result moved the U’s to two points off the playoffs.
However, Oxford came back down with a bang with defeat against Blackpool on Saturday. Two first-half goals from the Seasiders was enough and the U’s were unable to find a way past the division’s second-best defence.
Although the loss was disappointing, Oxford find themselves just three points off the top six with games still in hand on some of the sides above them.