Hard to believe....

Anything yellow and blue
Post Reply
Roo
Mid-life Crisis
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:16 pm

Hard to believe....

Post by Roo » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:35 pm

..... But it's TWENTY TWO years since Robert Maxwell went for his final swim!

It's a real 'I remember where I was when I heard' moment for most Oxford United supporters of a certain age I imagine!

tomoufc
Dashing young thing
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:56 pm

Re: Hard to believe....

Post by tomoufc » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:49 pm

I suppose what's interesting about it for me, being too young to remember Maxwell, is that our success was funded by money that didn't really exist. Were we the first club to go through that process of having a ludicrous amount of short-lived success, only for that success to bring the club to its knees for years to come? I mean what happened to Portsmouth in last ten years seems so similar (save for the fact that they took the sensible step of turning to fan ownership), and you look around at the same mistakes being repeated. Fleetwood, anyone?

For me all I've known is the hangover period, and we are still recovering from Maxwell's regime. Maybe it was all worth it for some of you oldies, but for me it's been testing, not least because some fans still have unrealistic expectations for a club of our size.
&quotI've been a slave to football. It follows you home, it follows you everywhere, and eats into your family life. But every working man misses out on some things because of his job. &quot

Dr Bob
Mid-life Crisis
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:16 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Hard to believe....

Post by Dr Bob » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:10 pm

My knowledge of the club's off-field story is not what it should be, but my dodgy memory certainly is telling me that Robin Herd's reign was when the rot really set in, because of such problems as very weak financial control. Happy to be corrected on that. Oh - didn't some environmental company based in one of the Channel Islands also really help screw things up?

Trouble is, too many happy memories of being the first (and still the only?) club to go from Divisions 3 to 2 and 2 to 1 in successive seasons as champion on both occasions; and of course that unforgettable day in1986 - albeit tainted by the charade of having Kevin as "Chairman" because Cap'n Bob could not own (openly) both us and Derby.

As for expectations now, I reckon with Premiership parachute payments, even Division 2 would be asking a lot (cf Yeovil).

tomoufc
Dashing young thing
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:56 pm

Re: Hard to believe....

Post by tomoufc » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:16 pm

Dr Bob wrote:My knowledge of the club's off-field story is not what it should be.
Same here, really. One day I'll read Boris's books.
&quotI've been a slave to football. It follows you home, it follows you everywhere, and eats into your family life. But every working man misses out on some things because of his job. &quot

SWA
Puberty
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:59 pm

Re: Hard to believe....

Post by SWA » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:12 am

BIOMASS

Kernow Yellow
Grumpy old git
Posts: 2899
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:16 pm

Re: Hard to believe....

Post by Kernow Yellow » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:15 am

Dr Bob wrote:and of course that unforgettable day in1986 - albeit tainted by the charade of having Kevin as "Chairman" because Cap'n Bob could not own (openly) both us and Derby.
Not quite true on a few levels. Kevin didn't 'take over' until the start of the 87-88 season (from memory) - Fat Bob was very much milking the adulation at Wembley as Chairman. And actually Maxwell could openly own us and Derby - it was only when he tried to buy Watford as well that the Football League introduced the rule to stop multiple club ownership, but he was allowed to keep his existing stakes in Us, Derby and Reading, of which he owned 19% up until his death, as these preceded the rule. Maybe he couldn't be Chairman of both? Or maybe he just didn't want to be, I don't know.

I'm not sure it's really true that our success was built on money that didn't exist. Sure, by the time of his death Maxwell had plundered his companies' pension funds to keep Mirror Group Newspapapers solvent, but to say that everything he invested before that was ill-gotten is probably over-simplistic, isn't it? We certainly built up a debt (£1.8m to him iirc) under his ownership, and that's what really screwed us when he died - subsequent owners couldn't live with the debts and we spiralled out of control until FK stepped in and 'rescued' us again.

What is clear is that he saw OUFC as a stepping stone to bigger things in football, and never really cared for the club at all, and certainly not Us fans. Which is ironic, because he delivered the greatest ever era in OUFC history.

Dr Bob
Mid-life Crisis
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:16 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Hard to believe....

Post by Dr Bob » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:36 pm

Hi KY - I am well aware Cap'n Bob was still our Chairman in 1986 - I was there on The High for the end of the open-top bus ride and the presentation of the trophy to fans from the Town Hall balcony. However, some appalling punctuation and misplacing of semi-colons and hyphens does give the impression that I thought he had given up the Chairmanship by then. In the tradition of this forum, consider me suitably chastised.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests