‘I fear this is gonna turn ugly’ – These Oxford United fans see trouble ahead after latest news

Oxford United have been issued with a winding up order this afternoon, with former owner Firoz Kassam at the heart of their current trouble.

Kassam’s company Firoka own the Kassam Stadium in which the U’s currently play. There’s been issues between the two parties for a while, not quite as severe as the situation at Coventry, but enough for them to feel like visitors at their home ground.

The club is paying around £1m in rent each year and have admitted to missing a payment recently, albeit with a request for a meeting that was cancelled by Firoka. Now, that money they owe is the subject of the winding up order and perhaps the spark that has ignited a smouldering wreck of a relationship.

Speaking to BBC Radio Oxford, the former owner was bullish about the situation. “It’s very straightforward – if the company can’t pay, you have to wind them up,” he said. “This is about a tenant-landlord relationship. I’m not a bank, I don’t service other people’s companies. To have that situation continuously tells its own story and that the business is not in control of what it’s doing.”

The club feel differently, claiming to be disappointed with the situation, obviously. They put out a statement on their website, saying:

“We are extremely disappointed that a winding up petition was issued and that the press were notified. The club is reviewing its position and reserving its right to instigate further arbitration proceedings if necessary, but we remain hopeful that we can work with Firoka/Mr Kassam to finally find a FAIR deal for all concerned and for the club to work with a FAIR stadium agreement going forward.”

In the middle of this tit for tat arguing and clearly toxic relationship are the fans, people like you and I who want to support their club. They’ve had a tough season and are currently 12th, but just seven points clear of the drop. Results in recent weeks have seen them climb out of the bottom four and, more than likely, helped retain their League One status.

Will they have a club to support next season? These fans on Twitter fear the worst.

 

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