Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Stadium Update and Playoffs Secured

Oxford United headed into the final week of the regular season knowing the playoffs were still a realistic opportunity. Would they secure a top six finish?

Elsewhere, the club celebrated their end of season awards and there was another positive step in their hunt for a new stadium.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Awards, Stadium News and Playoffs Secured

End of Season Awards

Oxford’s end of season awards actually took place on Sunday night but it seemed fitting to include them in the final matchweek.

Midfielder Cameron Brannagan scooped both the men’s supporters’ player of the year, and the community player of the year, while skipper Elliott Moore collected the men’s players’ player of the year.

Tyler Goodrham was handed the young player of the year award, having built further on his breakthrough season during the previous campaign.

Oisin Smyth’s stunning long-range strike at Charlton Athletic on New Year’s Day, scored with five minutes remaining on the clock, and to win the game 2-1 for the U’s, was voted the men’s goal of the season on the night.

Heads of Terms Agreed for New Stadium Site

On Monday, Oxford received some positive news with the city’s County Council agreeing on the heads of terms to lease the land for the club’s proposed site to build a new stadium.

The club could be homeless in 2026 as the lease for the current stadium at Grenoble Road expires, but this is another positive step in the right direction.

A council statement read: “An agreement has been reached on heads of terms for the county council to lease land it owns near Kidlington for Oxford United to develop a new football stadium.

“The council’s cabinet agreed in principle for land known as ‘The Triangle’ to be leased at its meeting in September 2023.

“Detailed negotiations have now led to heads of terms being agreed. A number of other key legal and partnership agreements will follow to meet the council’s strategic objectives and also to ensure that the club fulfils its commitments to the local community and sports groups.

“This agreement represents positive progress in helping the club secure a long-term home in the county. However, while this is an important milestone, it is only one step in a wider process.

“In addition to agreeing heads of terms, the lease of land comes with a number of conditions that the club must meet. These were agreed by the council’s cabinet in September 2023.

“These include the club securing planning permission from Cherwell District Council, the production of a net zero carbon plan and a detailed set of proposals that show how the club will meet its commitments around addressing the council’s strategic priorities – including improving public transport, sustainable transport and infrastructure connectivity.

“The county council is a statutory consultee in this planning application in its role as local highways authority and officers will continue to scrutinise the club’s plans in detail.”

Oxford United Secure Playoff Spot

Oxford headed into the final game of the season at Exeter needing a win while hoping either Barnsley or Lincoln dropped points.

Mark Harris netted his 19th goal of the season before Cameron Brannagan converted a penalty to double a deserved advantage heading into the break.

However, it was a nervy second half and the hosts did reduce the deficit. Despite that, the U’s held on to secure the win.

Barnsley led against Northampton but conceded a 94th-minute equaliser while the Imps lost 2-0 at home against Portsmouth.

Those results mean Oxford finish the campaign in fifth place and face Peterborough in the playoffs.

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