Oxford Ultras - Over & Out

Concretebob

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6 Dec 2017
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1,343
I really do hope there isn’t a sinister reason behind this. Thank you for the last decade guys. Certainly has added to the matchday experience.
 

Fat bloke

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22 Dec 2017
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10
Wrong time for Ultra's move it back some 30 years to the 80's proper ground the MANOR which most older folk can relate to,with Pluggy on the wall directing the singing on both sides of London road.
With Ultra's around same time you would of made a huge amount of noise and the end to which used to vibrate loads of times of which most big time clubs couldn't handle.
Sadly the Kassam is and never will be held in same context as it's a souless sh-- h---.
 

bashamwonderland

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19 Dec 2017
Messages
236
No properly run business would allow the one thing which makes its match-day experience enjoyable to fold.

But this is Oxford United. Not a properly run business. Home games can be such a drag, I'm barely hanging on to attending them.
 

Yellow

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12 Feb 2019
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1
I must have been away for a while as I had to re-register for the forum!! As one of the founders back in 2009 it's interesting coming back on and reading the comments having been away for so long. I can count the games on one hand that I have been to in the last 5 years, my job to begin with meant it was impossible to attend, but the more games I missed the more I realised I didn't actually miss it. Having only missed 7 games home and away in the 7 years before it was actually a welcome break to take a step away from it, and have something to make that decision for me. I can understand why the group has decided to call it a day, it's no easy job, and a pretty thankless one at that. Certainly a lot more to it than just having enough of hanging banners up on the back wall - although things like this certainly don't help, all they do is just make the match day a lot less enjoyable than it can be. It's when a match day becomes a chore, often the match itself can be painful enough, let alone having several hours either side of the match and evenings for weeks leading up to a big display being taken up by preparation. For me one of the most demoralising things is the fact the group never grew, it never really took off. Looking back at the early days, it was just a few of us, 16 years old most of us, so I can understand why people wouldn't want to get involved to begin with, but as things progressed and we all grew older, the interest never really grew either. There was the second wave of people who have been flying the flag for the last few years, but apart from that it never took off and got fresh blood involved in the group to share out the work. There has probably only been 5 people in the 10 years that it's been active that have done the majority of behind the scenes work and that will eventually take it's tool. It's heartwarming to read all the comments on here, but also frustrating at the same time. This is no way a dig at the fan base or anything like that, but reading the comments, there was obviously a lot of respect for the group and people appreciated what it achieved and it's a shame they never got involved more hands on. Ultimately the group was what the fans made it to be, it could have been as big as it wanted if people got involved, just unfortunately it never got enough people interested enough for it to snowball. The people involved are some what responsible as well, perhaps the group was never seen as approachable enough and people were put off about coming over for the first time. There is lots of reasons why I'm sure, but for me, that's a big factor, when you picture it being something and after 10 years it still isn't then calling it a day is the right thing to do. If the group is noticeably missed then perhaps it will inspire a new set of people to start something, who knows. The age of the majority of members never helps either, as it's the time where people get proper jobs, uni etc, and decisions have to be made. For me I don't really miss it, there is a couple of aspects but they are mainly social, and you can do that on a saturday without having to go and stand in a 3 sided stadium and enjoy yourself a lot more. Unfortunately it's just one of those things that has run it's course, I don't believe there is any big reason for it to happen now, just a combination of lots of little things that make sense for it to finish on a high rather than be dragged on.

There was some good times for sure, the early days in non league were some of the best i've ever had and the memories will last a life time. Fair play to the lads who continued to fly the flag. I can't believe that something we started 10 years ago actually achieved as much as it did.

OU09 x
 

McXal

Junior Member
Joined
23 Dec 2017
Messages
104
Many thanks to the folk who clearly gave up heaps of your time to enhance the match day experience at (and away from) the Kassam.

For me there is a wider issue to address here. Taking away the issue of bureaucracy, disagreements with the club and the hours of voluntary work it takes up - why are groups of young adults who clearly care passionately now drifting away (3 games in 2 years as someone said above)?

To me that is evidence of a critical, shocking disconnect in a crucial demographic of young adult supporter. For a club which does so much to engage with families (and pats itself on the back very strongly for doing so), neglecting the wants and desires - and failing to meet the needs of - young adults in their late teens/early 20’s and allowing even the most ardent of fans to slip away seems like a genuine concern (and a lot of lost revenue).
 

Fanatica

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Joined
8 Apr 2018
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19
I always wonder what could have been had the club responded well in 2015/16 when we were at our peak. Those days were 3 to a seat in Block 19 & we had continuously asked them that summer to do something for the first season in league one. Nothing happened.

If anything, the start of the end was Flag Gate, and the reaction from Eales. In the meetings that followed, I can assure you that they managed to kill all enthusiasm in a number of our lads, to the point that it almost ended there and then.

Over the course of our first season in L1, we saw our first drop in numbers. Then, as soon as Pep came, our usual influx of newbies never came to replace them. I don’t neccessarily think this is a club thing - moreso a change in culture of some of the younger fans coming through.

I’m sure none of this comes as any surprise - our lads are strongly opinionated and there was lots said online. But this decision is one that we’ve all agreed on - and unfortunately this won’t change, but I can say that every lad is thankful for the comments, it certainly means a lot.
 

Paul B

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14 Dec 2017
Messages
372
Time moves on and nothing stays the same for ever. That’s an indisputable fact of life. But I find it all very sad.

Fans of my age sitting in the SSU are never going to get involved in groups like the ultras – old gits on tour with a few beers thrown in – is probably a more accurate description of the people I travel with. As for home games I’ll be honest and say it’s just get to Minchery Farm, park up, watch game, go home. I no longer have any desire to go anywhere for a pre-match pint. Again, sad. (Perhaps that will change at some stage).

I’d like to think that the ultras, who no doubt were Oxford Utd fans in their heyday, still are Oxford Utd fans and can, do and will attend games like anyone else. Just rock up before 3 o’clock and watch 90 mins of football like the rest of us then go home.

Those directly involved as has been posted here have explained why it has all come to an end, and it clearly is not just one factor, but it was never the same after Flaggate was it. The club killed something then and threw away a free gift regarding atmosphere and ultimately bums on seats (or more to the point feet on concrete) …… bring back terraces, it would be so much easier all round.

As for me when I started watching OUFC decades and decades ago once I could afford to go regularly home and away the only time I took time out was to play local football. And even then when I didn’t have a game I was watching my team. As they say when it’s in your blood that’s it. If the club at the time destroyed such a feeling in the Ultras then that is absolutely scandalous. Two sides to every story of course.
 

CheltenhamYellow

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Joined
10 Dec 2017
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757
I think it would be interesting to look at the age demographic of the core support here. It seems to me to be quite a lot of old gits like me who have been around for a while and probably now don’t have the young family commitments we had thirty years ago. This looks particularly true at away games recently. Something to do with money, I’m sure. The thing is: any real chance of being “Ultras” vanished in the eighties. 😊 But you’ll still find me at Accrington and Blackpool.
 

Foley

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2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
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7 Dec 2017
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2,142
I echo a lot of what has been. Said and understand the frustration that things didn't really take off.
I guess a reduced Crystal Palace would be ideal but as has been said not enough were involved and it did seem to be the right faces.
Too late but maybe would have been good had the announcement been made at the start of the season with an attempt to ge5 an overlap with some new younger people.
Whatever the club have to think hard about this and it would be good to hear from Oxvox re the mural at the back of the stand?
 

OxfordYankee

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Joined
8 Dec 2017
Messages
239
When Eales decided he’d had enough and wanted his money back he chucked it all under a bus. All that goodwill gone. Flag-gate, the lack of investment in the supporter engagement process , which led to Sarah Gooding going and empty promises to Appleton. In about three months he destroyed everything that he had helped build.

And yet, to some, the hot-dog Prince is all but untouchable. I’ll never understand their short-sightedness.
 

carefreeoufc

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7 Dec 2017
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232
Lets be honest the actual product from offer (aside from a couple of seasons) is not that great.

I think those that have seen us in some loftier positions over the years coupled with a ground that had a bit of soul probably forget that for anyone under 18-19 they’ve not known anything other than the Kassam, Kassam, Lenagan, Wilder, Pep, Tiger and so on with only the feint glimmer of hope that was Ashton & Appleton.

As a couple of the chaps have said above people end up finding other things to do with their Saturdays, I still meet up with them and we still have the same laugh we’ve always had.

OUFC have more to compete against than before and they don’t offer a great deal. A couple of your group fade out and you’re turning up on your own or just a coupl a touch before 1500 to watch us play on a freezing Feb afternoon with the wind whistling over the fence end.

I don’t know the reasons other than have been posted on here for the current lads but things change, people move on and as a club OUFC has to adapt to keep people in touch before they’re meeting in a pub 2 miles from the ground and reminiscing about Accrington away or something else.
 

PottersRightBoot

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11 Dec 2017
Messages
364
I’m fed up with this constant decrying of the ground as a ‘ soulless breezeblock’. It wasn’t on Saturday was it? It wasn’t against Portsmouth was it? I hope a revised variant of the Ultras can come again next season.
 

PottersRightBoot

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11 Dec 2017
Messages
364
I’ve read plenty of away supporter comments saying they enjoy the atmosphere and the view from the north stand.

We all know what the ground needs - a fourth stand..
 
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