REPRESENTATIVES from Oxford United have met with counterparts at the city and county councils to discuss moving to a new stadium. 

A statement issued by the three organisations this morning said the club has identified sites and appointed a planning consultant, although it did not specify where the options were.

The joint message said there was a 'shared commitment' to finding a way forward after relations with current stadium owner Firoz Kassam reached an 'all time low'.

The club has long been searching for an alternative venue to play home matches, largely because of the fraught relationship.

In recent years potential sites including Water Eaton and Stratfield Brake, near Kidlington were said to be 'not viable' because they would involve building on green belt land. 

The Oxford Times:

READ AGAIN: 'All time low' - U's search for alternative place to play after row with Firoz Kassam

Today's statement reiterated the club's ambition to move and said plans were progressing. 

The full statement said: "The leaders and senior officers of county council and city council have held discussions with the directors of Oxford United about their search for alternative sites for a potential new stadium.

"Both councils value Oxford United as important to the residents of Oxford city and Oxfordshire.

READ AGAIN: Latest sites for new stadium scuppered by planners

"Any future move would not be a short term process and would be subject to the normal planning requirements.

"However, there is a shared commitment to ensure that Oxfordshire has a multi-use sporting venue that we are all proud to be associated with.

"Oxford United have identified potential sites and has appointed a planning consultant in order to progress its ambition."

The club's current lease at the Kassam Stadium runs out in 2026.

Last week, at a council meeting, Lib Dem leader Andrew Gant quizzed Oxford City Council leader Susan Brown on what support the council could offer the club in finding a solution. 

In her response, Ms Brown said: "Oxford United play an important role in the city and since becoming leader I have met with both them and Firoz Kassam to talk through their plans, most recently last week. 

"Clearly there are currently issues that the club needs to resolve and the city council is supportive of Oxford United and the good work they do in our local communities and will provide them with any advice that they need."