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London Welsh chairman in rallying cry
LONDON Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips has urged fans to turn out in force and help the club progress in Oxford.
Phillips hopes to see crowds of between 3-4,000 for big games at the Kassam Stadium as the Exiles bid for success in this year’s Greene King IPA Championship.
And Welsh’s chairman said strong support was key to make the club financially viable in Oxford where they hope to be in the long term.
“One of the messages that I would want to put out is to encourage everybody in the area to come to our home games and give us as much support as possible,” said Phillips.
“Only through that can we ensure a continued commercially viable club presence in the area.
“For that, we need the support and commitment of the local area.”
The Exiles, who open their campaign against Bedford at Allianz Park on Saturday, took their time before announcing they would stay at the Kassam Stadium next season after securing a rent reduction from owners Firoka.
Phillips said: “We are delighted that we can reinforce and build on the foundations that we made last year, which hopefully, by the end of this season, we will take back with us into the Premiership.
“That is our goal and that is what we are working towards.”
He added: “We hope to attract larger crowds to the Kassam than we had last season. I think that must be our goal.
“We are also pleased that we have been able to develop our relationships with the football club as well.”
Although their non-playing staff are now based in Oxford, Welsh are still training at Old Deer Park, Richmond.
The club plan to move that to the area too, but they have no concrete news to report yet.
“If the season goes as successfully as we hope it will and we become more and more entrenched in the area, then clearly that is something that we will pursue with added vigour as the season progresses,” said Phillips.
He has also confirmed that long-time Welsh financial backer Kelvin Bryon has returned to the board as deputy chairman, while they have a new commercial director in David Jenkins.
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