A pair of articles examining Oxford's poor home form and speculating on the reasons why. In the first we lay the blame on the counter-attacking system. In the second, we examine the role of the home fans.
latest potential crisis is the intention of London Welsh to use the
Kassam Stadium to host Premiership rugby next season. The initial
announcement was met with an inevitably mixed reception, but debates
over the state of the pitch appear to have taken a back seat to more
pressing issues following Welsh's Championship playoff final victory
over Cornish Pirates. The issue is muddied by the ongoing tussle
between London Welsh and the Rugby Football Union over the club's
eligibility to enter next season's Premiership. However, while the
national and even local media becomes caught up in the wider
debate regarding rugby's Minimum Standards Criteria, Oxford fans
have become increasingly alarmed by the potential implications of
recent developments, while the football club itself has remained
silent on the issue.
uncertainty over the potential ground-share comes down to the RFU'srules regarding primacy of tenure. In a ground-share situation
such as those at London Wasps, Saracens and London Irish – where
the rugby club is a tenant of the football club – the rugby club
must arrange to have a backup ground within 30 miles of its principal
ground. In the case of London Welsh, this is rumoured to be
Brentford's Griffin Park (42 miles from the Kassam), clearly in
breach of the regulations. And yet London Welsh remain convinced that
they have met the RFU's criteria. Their chairman, Bleddyn Phillips,
is a notable
lawyer, he is not likely to have missed this detail. This, of
course, suggests that something else may be afoot. It could well be
that London Welsh mean to challenge the RFU's Minimum Standards
Criteria in a court of law, though they must have been aware of the
rules before agreeing to them at the start of the season. The other
possibility, and the one that has been causing unease amongst yellows
fans, is that London Welsh have secured primary tenancy over the
Kassam Stadium, which would relegate us to the status of secondary
tenants and could have a number of implications for the club.
among these is that such a move would place Oxford in violation of
League's own rules regarding primacy of tenure. This would
obviously leave us vulnerable to sanctions, and though I'm unsure how
serious this might be we would almost certainly have to apply for
special dispensation to compete in the League. This is the most
serious possible consequence, but there are many others as well.
OxVox have worked hard to get their Stadium
Heritage Project off the ground, but the arrival of London Welsh
will make it much more difficult to get permission for any future
signage and it is possible that all traces of the club's identity,
which the club and its supporters have had to fight for, could be
removed from the stadium and be replaced with signs bearing the
London Welsh logo (and anyone who watched their playoff final at the
Kassam could see how keen they were to hide any trace of the football
club). The club's fixtures would also be affected by such an
arrangement, with rugby activities taking precedence over football.
This could result in fixtures being moved at late notice, or having
to play on Fridays or Sundays, which would considerably inconvenience
until further information is revealed we can only speculate. Much of
the 'evidence' to support this scenario comes from remarks in the
press that leave much room for interpretation. Mostly we are getting
concerned over London Welsh's stated aim to 'turn
Oxford into London Welsh' and comments from the club's Managing
Director, John Taylor, who appeared to dismiss Oxford by stating that
the club is irrelevant to their deal with Kassam. Such comments are
contrary to the earlier impression given before the RFU's rejection
of London Welsh, when it was suggested that a ground-share might be
Sounds good, eh? This isn't a full article, so to speak, but it seems only right to highlight the tremendous achievements of Oxford United Ladies, who, as we've discussed before, have just had a quite incredible season.
part of their recent 'Geographies of Football' series, the excellent
Two Unfortunates website
cast its eye over the economic
potential of Oxford to progress to a higher level. Their
conclusion, that Oxford have “League One potential but unlikely to
rise higher” contradicted the generally received wisdom among
Oxford fans that the area could support a Championship side at least.
The opinion was dismissed out of hand as “pub banter thinly
disguised as intellectual analysis” when word of the article
reached the Yellows
Forum, but were we right to dismiss it so quickly? Have we been
guilty of excessive optimism over the medium term prospects of our
club? There seems little doubt that we could – even should – be
able to compete at League One level, but could we ever go higher?
has certainly been a memorable season, if not necessarily a
successful one. The end of the season, whether successful or not, is
always a time to reflect on the events of the previous 12 months and
we're now in full swing here on TBFUTH. We asked for your votes and
we got them, so here are the people and the events that defined the
2011/12 season, as voted for by you.
name Oxford Lions is probably unfamiliar to you. That's no
surprise, this club is a baby both in terms of its size and age.
However, in just over a year's existence they have risen to become
one of the leading futsal clubs in the country. Perhaps the whirlwind
success of the Lions is something we at OUFC should look to for
Failure to even reach the playoffs this season has sparked heated debate over the future of manager Chris Wilder. Yellows Forum has come to resemble an online battleground since the curtain went down on our ultimately disappointing season, with every discussion degenerating into petty squabbling about whether Wilder should retain his job. Many of the sensible, well-reasoned points from both camps seem to be getting lost amongst the insults and childishness, so we've opened our pages to some sensible debate. Having
brought you the views of several Oxford fans who thought Wilder
should stay, we continue our debate over the future of the
manager with why Wilder should leave.
to even reach the playoffs this season has sparked heated debate over
the future of manager Chris Wilder. Yellows Forum has come to
resemble an online battleground since the curtain went down on our
ultimately disappointing season, with every discussion degenerating
into petty squabbling about whether Wilder should retain his job.
Many of the sensible, well-reasoned points from both camps seem to be
getting lost amongst the insults and childishness, so we've opened
our pages to some sensible debate, starting with those who want
Wilder to stay.
another season has drawn to a close and this one has ended in
failure. Already the discussion has become a postmortem and no doubt
the debate over what went wrong will continue relentlessly over the
next few months. As is usually the case with any important OUFC
matters, we'll be attempting to add our own piece to the debate and
analysis, but to kick things off we're opening the site up to you
with our inaugural TBFUTH Awards!
your votes below, the polls will close on Sunday May 20th
and we'll announce the winners here!
THE POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED. YOU CAN VIEW THE RESULTS HERE.
this is the big one. Everything is riding on this weekend's clash
with Port Vale – fail to win and our season is over; even a win
won't be enough if Aldershot fail to get anything from Crewe (who are
currently unbeaten in 15 games). And yet there's still that chance.
Here's Matt Peck to
preview the match that will decide our fate.