SUPPORTERS’ trust OxVox say Oxford United’s take-over talks explain why there has been no further news of the plan to make the Kassam Stadium a community-based facility.

The Oxford Mail revealed yesterday that Juan Sartori has made a firm offer to U’s chairman Darryl Eales to buy the Sky Bet League One club.

The Uruguayan businessman was also meeting stadium landlord Firoz Kassam this week as his desire to gain control of United gathers pace.

Last year OxVox announced, in conjunction with Kassam, plans to transfer ownership of the stadium to a community trust.

The group say they are in regular dialogue with the ground’s owner and also keep close to all other stakeholders.

But the sensitive nature of talks have forced them to adopt a watching brief, meaning their self-imposed deadline for reaching a key stage of the deal has passed without comment.

“OxVox’s main objective has always been to be mindful and assist, wherever possible, in the long-term future of Oxford United and if we can, help it to be healthy and secure,” trust chairman Jeremy Faulkner said when contacted by the Oxford Mail.

“That is critical and we believe everyone with an interest in OUFC would agree with that stance.

“At the end of last year, we made public some significant progress with Firoz Kassam over making the ground a community-owned asset, and in January said that we hoped to be able to reach some form of agreement by the end of the season.

“An agreement would then enable the broader community and the club to come together and agree the best course of action to make it happen “While we remain in dialogue over this, the situation which has become public regarding the interest in the club by Juan Sartori, has meant progress has needed to reflect this, while we (and indeed Firoz Kassam) watch to see how things might develop.”

“The delicate nature, and indeed confidentiality of these talks, has meant the trust has had to keep our counsel and of course no-one should wish to risk any instability in what is a crucial time for Darryl and his team in planning for the new season.”

Faulkner met Sartori at United’s home match with Bolton in March and believes discussions between the prospective owner and Kassam were to be expected.

But whatever happens, he says the trust are keen to ensure the work done by Eales to transform the U’s from a mid-table League Two club to promotion-chasing League One outfit was recog-nised.

“It obviously makes perfect sense for anyone who is potentially interested in getting involved in OUFC to fully appraise themselves of the Kassam Stadium situation and to find out first hand what the current status is and what might be possible in the future,” they said.

“Therefore it is no surprise that Juan Sartori has had dialogue with Firoz Kassam – as we’re sure others have had over the years.

“We are aware people may be frustrated by a lack of stadium information, but we hope that supporters can appreciate the position.

“Let’s see if anything develops, but we can assure everyone that OxVox’s work is continuing to be done confidentially behind the scenes, with the objective of helping OUFC.

“We have collaborative and regular dialogue with the club and remain very supportive of Darryl and indeed, like all fans, are grateful to him for the remarkable turnaround of our football club over the last few years.”

Oxford United said they would not comment on the story.