Oxford United fan left ‘stunned’ by abusive letter over stadium plans

U’s supporter Charlie Smith backed the stadium plans through Cherwell District Council’s planning portal.

The consultation process means publication of person addresses is a legal requirement.

This left the football fan open to receive an anonymous letter which has been described as “unacceptable” and “completely uncalled for”.

READ MORE: Rebekah Vardy’s former Oxford United ex jailed for cannabis factory

The alleged letter reads: “Your comments on the planning application show that you are a total d******d with no concept of how to keep your large nose out of someone else’s local community affairs.

“Local councillors have a duty to their local social communities, not to commercial enterprises.

“Your c****y football team is owned by a bunch of corrupt foreigners whose governments are busy burning down their own countries.

“They don’t give a flying flip about the UK, still less about your personal wellbeing. They care about lining their pockets with your tax cash.

“Stop being a dimwit and pipe down.”

Herald Series: The letter sent to Oxford United fan

The letter was signed by “someone who actually lives near the Triangle”. 

It finished by saying “PS: Forgive the large typeface which I am using because I expect your reading age is somewhere around that of a four-year-old.”

Mr Smith said he was left “stunned” when he opened the letter sent to his address.

He added: “I couldn’t believe somebody would go so out of their way to send such a childish letter.”

Responding to the letter, the Oxford United Supporters Panel said in a statement: “So disappointed and upset to see that one of our supporters received this.

“This sort of bullying and racist abuse is not tolerated at our football club, and should not be tolerated in wider society.”

Liam Walker, Conservative councillor for Hanborough and Minster Lovell, has since raised concerns with Cherwell District Council over the names and addresses of those who have commented on being made public and have asked for them to be removed.

READ MORE: Four teens arrested on suspicion of attempted knife robbery in alleyway

Herald Series:

He said: “I think it’s completely unacceptable for those against the stadium plans to be targeting Oxford United supporters in this deeply personal way.

“It really goes to show the lengths that some will go.”

Damian Haywood, an independent councillor for Iffley Fields and St Mary’s, hopes the law can be changed to restrict public access to personal details on planning applications.

Herald Series: Councillor Damian Haywood standing in Iffley Fields, where many residents have complained to him

He said: “That level of abuse is out of order in any situation.

“I understand planning of this scale is emotive and so people’s feelings may run high, but subjecting another person to the offensive diatribe contained within the letter is completely uncalled for.

“I am of no doubt this person would not behave in such a manner if they were face to face. Shocking.”

Ian Middleton, the Green councillor for the Kidlington division, is also raising the issue of addresses being made public.

Herald Series:

He said: “I absolutely condemn it in the same way I have condemned similar and worse levels of personal abuse from some fans directed at individuals opposed to the stadium.

“This is a very contentious application and there are strong feelings on both sides, but that doesn’t excuse this kind of behaviour from or to anyone.

“I agree, it’s worrying that with controversial applications like this, personal addresses are published on the planning portal.

“I raised this with the planning department a few weeks ago after I was contacted by residents who were reluctant to lodge objections for fear of reprisals from fans.”

The Oxford Mail has approached Cherwell District Council and Thames Valley Police for a statement.

Oxford United is not commenting on the letter.

Latest news
Related news