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Saturday 6th April 2013 ko 15.00

League 2

OXFORD UNITED 0

WYCOMBE WANDERERS 1 (Grant 19)

Att 6,777 (1,132 away)

Entry S/T

Programme £3 (incl Oxford Mail)

In the morning I received an email from the club with renewal details for my season ticket. In truth I couldn’t work out whether it represented an increase or not, so convoluted were the discounts, and special offers. My suspicions were confirmed when I looked up the Oxford Mail website, who’d clearly employed a mathematician, and the increase is around 3%. That’s hardly surprising with the club posting a £1million loss, but the cynical bit is only giving the full discount for renewals before 17th May. At that point the decision would be based on this year’s team, management, and performance.

Many years ago I wasn’t popular with the nuns at catechism classes, as my hero was doubting Thomas. Even as a 13-year-old St Thomas’ refusal to believe Jesus Christ had risen from the dead,

“Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-29)

struck me as an entirely sensible attitude, much to Sister Marie-Anne’s consternation.

And that’s how I feel about my renewal, and that’s how a felt about this non-event of a local derby. Two sides with absolutely nothing to play for, save for individual careers, and on the Oxford side many look to be terminating at the Oxford end of the line. One piece of class won it, Joel Grant jinking past 2 challenges to fire home into the bottom corner. After that it was a dull as dishwater encounter that owed far too more to fear than expression.

The other side of that early renewal date is the trust that new, better players will be signed to replace much of the dross that clutters up the back of my programme. I don’t trust manager Chris Wilder to bring in the correct calibre of player, and I don’t believe that any manager chairman Ian Lenagan chooses will have the funds to put together a competitive side with the losses that the club are racking up.

The clarion call will be to speculate to accumulate, and there are enough clubs entering administration to show the folly of that thinking. These are tough times, and tough decisions need to be made.