OXVOX chair Paul Peros is pleased to see Oxford United address arguably the most important issue surrounding any new stadium.

The U’s have released a statement pledging to ensure they control the ground at Stratfield Brake, should plans progress.

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It comes after a report published ahead of next Tuesday’s Oxfordshire County Council cabinet meeting - where United’s proposal to secure the land will be discussed – suggested the 250-year lease would be taken on by a ‘corporate entity, owned 100 per cent by Oxford United directors shareholders’.

This raised concerns the U's could be vulnerable to a repeat of their situation at the Kassam Stadium, where they are tenants to former chairman Firoz Kassam.

Independent supporters’ trust OxVox have made it a priority that any new ground cannot be separated from the club and Peros was encouraged by today’s statement.

He said: “There’s a lot of negotiations to go with the council, us and the owners to get to the point where we’re all satisfied.

“But to put in writing that they’re committed to keeping the ground wedded to the club is a great first step.

“A lot of work will need to be done to get to the stage where we have the legal assurances that we know we are safe.

“It’s absolutely our primary role to ensure this goes through with the club and the stadium wedded to offer us the financial sustainability to avoid relying so heavily on the money put in by the owners.

“We need that stability to ensure we aren’t as unsustainable as we are now.”

United have made it a ‘key objective’ that legal protections are put in place to ensure the stadium remains part of the club for the full 250-year lease.

It follows a formal proposal to the county council, which owns the site, to lease 18 hectares at Stratfield Brake.

This is with a view to building an 18,000-capacity stadium, community and sports grounds and hotel, retail and conference facilities on the site.

Cabinet members are recommended to approve the proposal for the land on Tuesday, which would enable the U’s to enter into negotiations with the council and its tenants.

Following that, they can begin to seek planning permission from Cherwell District Council.