KELVIN Thomas has resigned as Oxford United chairman after almost four years in charge, the Oxford Mail can confirm.

U’s owner Ian Lenagan, who will become the club’s new chairman, will announce the unexpected decision at a press conference at the Kassam Stadium this morning.

During his time in charge Thomas, who had earlier served as a director, oversaw a transformation of the club’s fortunes, both on and off the pitch.

He took over from Nick Merry in October 2008 with the cash-strapped U’s 19th in the Blue Square Conference.

One early decision was to bring in Chris Wilder as manager, replacing Darren Patterson, and the pair combined to create a successful period for United.

With Thomas shoring up United’s finances, going from disastrous losses to turning a profit, the first-team improved their final league position every year, culminating in a ninth-place finish in npower League Two last season.

But the undoubted highlight came in May 2010, when United won promotion back to the Football League with a 3-1 victory in the Blue Square Premier play-off final against York City at Wembley.

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