London Welsh considering buying the stadium
Radio Oxford broke the news this morning that London Welsh who play at the Kassam stadium would be interested in purchasing the stadium from current owner Firoz Kassam.
In 1999 Firoz Kassam bought Oxford United for £1 which included the clubs debts reported at the time as £13million. These debts were cleared by some being written off while others were part paid. In the following years OUFC football club and the Manor ground football stadium were separated as two legal entities.
It was after this point that the Manor ground was sold to the now Manor Hospital for a sum in the region of £12million pounds. In 1997 OUFC had started work on a stadium near Greater Leys, Oxford but due to funds the work ground to a halt. When Firoz took oversaw the development of the site and Oxford United moved in 2001 to play its football at the new stadium named the Kassam stadium.
However supporters of the football club have always wanted the club to own the stadium with the belief that if the club were to rise up the football league it would need the additional revenue which the stadium could generate.
It was in 2006 a consortium led by front man Nick Merry bought OUFC for £2million pounds which included debts from Firoz Kassam. It was later revealed that the real owner of Oxford United was the Lenagan family Ian and his two sons Simon and Adrian. Ian has always stated that the club could survive without owning the stadium.
But with today's breaking news that the other tenants London Welsh are keen in the idea of the Rugby club owning the Kassam stadium. It could escalate and encourage OUFC to seek a means or purchasing the stadium before it could be lost for ever.
Another Interesting chapter in the yellows history. As a committee member of OxVox I would encourage you to join Oxford United's supporters trust so we can put our efforts together.
All the best Terry.