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United still tight-lipped over Rosenthal

Jim Rosenthal (left) and Kelvin Thomas (centre) have left Oxford United, leaving U’s chairman Ian Lenagan (right) and his sons, Simon and Adrian, as the only directors of the club

Jim Rosenthal (left) and Kelvin Thomas (centre) have left Oxford United, leaving U’s chairman Ian Lenagan (right) and his sons, Simon and Adrian, as the only directors of the club

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

QUESTIONS over Jim Rosenthal’s sudden resignation from Oxford United ’s board remain unanswered – with the club continuing their silence on the story.

The popular television sports presenter stunned the U’s on Monday by quitting as a non-executive director with immediate effect.

When contacted yesterday, club owner and chairman Ian Lenagan had not changed his stance, again refusing to comment.

As of last night, United’s website had made no mention of it.

With Rosenthal, who is known to have had a big influence behind the scenes, unwilling to add to his initial short statement, which said he “felt it necessary” to step down, the reasons behind the move are unclear.

Another pressing question is whether the club are looking to add anyone to the board, which is now just made up of Lenagan and his sons, Simon and Adrian.

The only hint over the departure came from Rosenthal’s son, Tom, who tweeted: “For Oxford fans asking about Dad, he’s gutted, loves the club and will always be a fan, but it was always him and Kelvin Thomas really.”

The 64-year-old got involved with the club when Thomas became chairman in 2008, joining the board two years later.

Thomas stepped down in July, which may have been the catalyst for Rosenthal’s resignation.

It would provide a logical explanation, but the lack of official comment, however brief, is a cause for concern with some fans.

On the Oxford Mail website, Bigchet commented: “Very bad news for the club. Jim Rosenthal has been a lifelong supporter and much more than just a director.

“Something serious must have happened to cause him to resign and I think it’s imperative that the reason is made public so that we have some idea in which direction the club is going. A sad day as far as I can see.”

On our Twitter feed @OxfordMailOUFC, Simon Godfrey said: “The lack of reasoning is concerning and I’d hope to hear from IL regarding the resignation.”

However, Snowy69 said he believes fans should not read too much into it, saying: “Possibly Ian is steadying the ship and getting the club running how he sees fit.

“As the Lenagan money is in OUFC he will tighten the ship where it needs to be tightened.

“Ian has a good track record in business and sport so I have faith.”

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