News round-up – WHERE’S MY PASSPORT?

You know what it’s like rushing around getting all those little jobs finished before you scoot off on holidays. Before Merry and Jim fly off to top up their not inconsiderable tans we’ve had a slew of announcements. The programme of friendlies has been announced. The stadium and pitch will always help secure Premiership opposition; so Birmingham are the big boys in town, but there’s also the ignominy of hosting Wycombe in a friendly; how we’ve fallen.

Season ticket prices have been frozen for the umpteenth year running. At some point either inflation will align Kassam Stadium prices to the level of football on offer, or we will actually improve to the point where value is being offered. Yes, yes, yes, Boo, it’s a disgrace, £20 for this pile of crap etc. You (and me) will have our season ticket forms in before long.

Contracts are being tied up, Quinn, Yemi and Willmott are all in, leaving just Corcoran and Foster as ‘rebels’. For me, getting these two on board will signal real hope for next year.

It’s a bit disappointing to see Braveheart Hargreaves complaining about being released. Yes, at his age he now has some real life decisions to make; like does he continue the increasingly desperate scramble to make a living from football, or should he go and get a proper job. Perhaps it’s one last desperate hit of narcissism; as professional footballers are always fed a disproportionate sense of worth when they’re playing. As previously mentioned, given a free range I would have kept him, but as a veteran of eight clubs, he understands the peculiarities of professional football resource planning.

As shambolic as the club has been, if Hargreaves et al had been good enough then there wouldn’t be concerns over contract renewals. If you’re not part of the solution and all that.

And finally, in the first of possibly many vacuous rumours in the close season, it seems we’re fighting with, um, Mangotsfield to land Devises hotshot Nick Stanley. Expect a big money move to Malborough Rovers in the next few weeks.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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