Liverpool and Oxford United legend John Aldridge believes the U’s should be aiming to reach the Premier League with their new stadium plans, reports the Witney Gazette.
Oxford are currently looking to build a new ground with the club’s license agreement running out at the 12,500-capacity Kassam Stadium in 2026.
Aldridge compared the situation to that of Brentford’s, who moved into the Gtech Community Stadium in August 2020, before being promoted to the Premier League the following May, with the 64-year-old insisting that Oxford are a much bigger club than the Bees.
The League One side first approached Oxfordshire County Council in 2021 with a proposal for the new football stadium as the club must establish its new home for the 2026/27 season.
A five-hectare area of land called ‘The Triangle’ is the targeted site, which is approximately a 20-minute drive from the city centre and located south of the Kidlington roundabout.
In September, the County Council’s cabinet is set to decide whether to lease or sell the land to the 1985/86 League Cup winners, but they will only do so if the club’s proposal will bring benefits to the local community and the people of Oxfordshire.
The football club has since launched its Community Pledge, which will see them fund local sports pitches, create job opportunities, and use the new stadium as a home for their women’s team and community finals as part of a 10-point visionary plan.
What’s been said?
Legendary forward Aldridge, who fired home 90 goals in 142 appearances for the U’s before a £775,000 move to Liverpool, has backed plans after keeping an eye on the club’s future.
“Times are hard and you need good owners to do well,” said the 1988/89 FA Cup winner.
“We’re a bigger side than Brentford and have been for years and years.
“If they can go and do it with the new stadium, why can’t Oxford?
“A new ground can make things happen, and Brentford have done amazing.
“I don’t know the politics behind it all, but the sooner Oxford get a new ground, the better it is for everyone.”
Whilst a new stadium will not automatically equal two promotions through to the Premier League, it will provide a way for the club to generate more revenue to achieve that dream.
Having a modern arena that can be used all year round will help the sustainability of the project, and with the intention of buying the land, it will secure the club’s long-term future.
The owners have shown to be generous with their financial support in the past, having fully funded a £4.2 million loss in the previous financial year, with the club’s finance director Tim Davies believing that with further backing from the owners, any repayments to external creditors would be settled within two years.