Rosenthal quits in Oxford United bombshell

Jim Rosenthal

Jim Rosenthal

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

Oxford United were shocked last night by the news Jim Rosenthal had res-igned from the club’s board with immediate effect.

The move is a significant blow to the U’s, with the well-known television sports presenter a major influence behind the scenes.

In an email to the Oxford Mail, the 64-year-old gave a brief statement, but declined to give a reason behind the decision.

He said: “I have felt it necessary to resign from the board of OUFC with immediate effect. I don't believe it is in the interest of the club to air my reasons at this time.

“I offer my continued support to Chris Wilder and the team and will support home and away as I have done for more than 50 years!

“I will not be making any further comment at this stage.”

It is the second high-profile exit in recent months, after Kelvin Thomas stepped down as chairman in July.

Rosenthal was appointed to the board as a director in 2010, but he had been very active with the club since Thomas joined in 2008.

A lifelong U’s fan, the former Oxford Mail reporter went down in folklore for wearing a United hat on air after the Milk Cup victory at Wembley in 1986.

When contacted last night chairman Ian Lenagan refused to comment on Rosenthal’s resignation.

Lenagan, who owns the club and succeeded Thomas in July, now makes up the board with sons Simon and Adrian.

Mark Sennett, chairman of supporters’ group OxVox, paid tribute to Rosenthal.

He said: “Jim has been a great supporter of Oxford United and we thank him for his involvement as a director and sponsor.

“We wish him all the best in everything he does and look forward to seeing him again in the future.”

Despite Rosenthal following Thomas out the door, Sennett felt there was no need for fans to be concerned for the club’s future.

“Not at all,” he said. “With the fact that Ian Lenagan has taken over the day-to-day running of the club, it is always good to see the owner wants to get involved.

“We met with Ian Lenagan last month and the relationship between us and him is good. It was a very positive meeting.”

Sennett said that OxVox would be asking Lenagan if he intended to recruit replacement board members.

“The key thing is the owner of the football club is still committed to the football club, so from our point of view that is all you could ask,” he added.

Comments (18)

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10:25am Tue 11 Sep 12

Joe1 says...

No need to worry??
Who do think they are kidding? Something must be going on for two so deeply supportive Board members to resign. I agree to see the owner have a hands approach can be a good thing. However, it must be for the benefit of the club LONG term.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
No need to worry?? Who do think they are kidding? Something must be going on for two so deeply supportive Board members to resign. I agree to see the owner have a hands approach can be a good thing. However, it must be for the benefit of the club LONG term. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS" Joe1
  • Score: 1

10:34am Tue 11 Sep 12

Ians view says...

Sennett said “With the fact that Ian Lenagan has taken over the day-to-day running of the club, it is always good to see the owner wants to get involved." - just like Mr Kassam!
Sennett said “With the fact that Ian Lenagan has taken over the day-to-day running of the club, it is always good to see the owner wants to get involved." - just like Mr Kassam! Ians view
  • Score: -2

11:02am Tue 11 Sep 12

bigchet says...

very bad news for the club. jim rosenthal has been a lifelong supporter and much more than just adirector, something serious must have happened to cause him to resign and i think its 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.
very bad news for the club. jim rosenthal has been a lifelong supporter and much more than just adirector, something serious must have happened to cause him to resign and i think its 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. bigchet
  • Score: 1

11:39am Tue 11 Sep 12

Ian Faulkner says...

I'd like to see Lenagan appear at a fans' forum, or at very least an OxVox members' meeting, so that he could field some questions about Kelvin's and Jim's departures as well as other topics of interest. Sadly, I can't see this happening any time soon - but I can see a third departure occurring before too long.
I'd like to see Lenagan appear at a fans' forum, or at very least an OxVox members' meeting, so that he could field some questions about Kelvin's and Jim's departures as well as other topics of interest. Sadly, I can't see this happening any time soon - but I can see a third departure occurring before too long. Ian Faulkner
  • Score: 1

1:31pm Tue 11 Sep 12

jonny1976 says...

one word only is required to the reason for his resignation. LENAGAN!
one word only is required to the reason for his resignation. LENAGAN! jonny1976
  • Score: -1

1:47pm Tue 11 Sep 12

northampton yellow says...

MR lenagan will proberly bring his own people in cw will be next as he is on his own now im surprized cw has lastest this long without thomas ,soon see this week with coventry interviewing and now chesterfield also interested this could be cw get out clause
MR lenagan will proberly bring his own people in cw will be next as he is on his own now im surprized cw has lastest this long without thomas ,soon see this week with coventry interviewing and now chesterfield also interested this could be cw get out clause northampton yellow
  • Score: 1

2:09pm Tue 11 Sep 12

Snowy69 says...

Shame as Jim is a supporter of the club. It will be interesting if Ian puts a statement out?

It could be that things were going wrong which prompted KT to leave early. 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 in Ian.
Shame as Jim is a supporter of the club. It will be interesting if Ian puts a statement out? It could be that things were going wrong which prompted KT to leave early. 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 in Ian. Snowy69
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Tue 11 Sep 12

hokuspokus says...

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.

https://twitter.com/
rosentweets/status/2
45313807927361536

Draw your own conclusions.
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. https://twitter.com/ rosentweets/status/2 45313807927361536 Draw your own conclusions. hokuspokus
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Tue 11 Sep 12

dave from witney says...

Blimey, a bit of over reaction from some people. Jim has resigned, he was not a full director was he?. The fact is that the club are in a far better position, pre Kassam...during Kassam and when Merry took over. IL bailed the club out and one assumes he is trying to get the club running alike to Wigan RLFC, that can't be a bad thing can it?
I was as sad as anyone when Kelvin left the club, but you have to wonder whether he was just too close to the manager to run the club for the best. The MD needs to take decisions, sometimes not popular, it all goes with the job. Look at Spurs, who would have thought six months ago that 'Harry' would have been fired. All the rumours are flying round, but until the club makes a statement, as it has to, given time, we can only assume that OUFC is going in the right direction. Of much more importance to me are the playing problems, not the administration.
Blimey, a bit of over reaction from some people. Jim has resigned, he was not a full director was he?. The fact is that the club are in a far better position, pre Kassam...during Kassam and when Merry took over. IL bailed the club out and one assumes he is trying to get the club running alike to Wigan RLFC, that can't be a bad thing can it? I was as sad as anyone when Kelvin left the club, but you have to wonder whether he was just too close to the manager to run the club for the best. The MD needs to take decisions, sometimes not popular, it all goes with the job. Look at Spurs, who would have thought six months ago that 'Harry' would have been fired. All the rumours are flying round, but until the club makes a statement, as it has to, given time, we can only assume that OUFC is going in the right direction. Of much more importance to me are the playing problems, not the administration. dave from witney
  • Score: 4

4:48pm Tue 11 Sep 12

mandate says...

It's a shame that a high profile like Jim has left the club. As for Lenagan, I hope it's not a case of "my way, or the highway."
It's a shame that a high profile like Jim has left the club. As for Lenagan, I hope it's not a case of "my way, or the highway." mandate
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Tue 11 Sep 12

CamView says...

The problem is by not stating his reasons Jim has left it open for all sorts of rumours to fly around. I, for one wonder, if Kelvin's departure was as friendly as it was made out to be. See - I am strating to ask questions Right now It does not sound like a very happy ship. Jim, I am sure, was a very popular guy at the club. It is worrying that such a staunch supporter of the club has decided to call it a day as a director- which I am sure he was proud to be. It certainly is not good news!
The problem is by not stating his reasons Jim has left it open for all sorts of rumours to fly around. I, for one wonder, if Kelvin's departure was as friendly as it was made out to be. See - I am strating to ask questions Right now It does not sound like a very happy ship. Jim, I am sure, was a very popular guy at the club. It is worrying that such a staunch supporter of the club has decided to call it a day as a director- which I am sure he was proud to be. It certainly is not good news! CamView
  • Score: 2

6:00pm Tue 11 Sep 12

OxRoxBox says...

If CW does go to Coventry (and if they come knocking it will be a hard one for him to refuse) there is a very capable manager/coach whom did a fine job at our near neighbours (Aston Villa) not so long ago - A certain John Gregory. Given a vision he loves a challenge but needs full Chairman backing too.
As far as Jim is concerned I for one would like to thank him for all he has done and look forward to seeing him as ever - THANKYOU Jim!
If CW does go to Coventry (and if they come knocking it will be a hard one for him to refuse) there is a very capable manager/coach whom did a fine job at our near neighbours (Aston Villa) not so long ago - A certain John Gregory. Given a vision he loves a challenge but needs full Chairman backing too. As far as Jim is concerned I for one would like to thank him for all he has done and look forward to seeing him as ever - THANKYOU Jim! OxRoxBox
  • Score: 1

9:30pm Tue 11 Sep 12

make mine a double says...

Jims a top bloke yes, but the club need to move forward. Talking to a Wigan Warriors fan, he had nothing but praise for Mr Lenagan. Lets at least give him a chance
Jims a top bloke yes, but the club need to move forward. Talking to a Wigan Warriors fan, he had nothing but praise for Mr Lenagan. Lets at least give him a chance make mine a double
  • Score: 1

9:55pm Tue 11 Sep 12

Mature supporter says...

I am bothered. We were on a downer at the end of last season and nothing major has changed this season except that two directors have gone.
I am bothered. We were on a downer at the end of last season and nothing major has changed this season except that two directors have gone. Mature supporter
  • Score: -1

11:32pm Tue 11 Sep 12

Open your eyes says...

I am not overly concerned.

Lenagan tends to act in a professional business manner whereas Mr Rosenthal resigns and goes running to the Mail with a 'I'm resigning but I am not telling you why' scenario.

Let's hear the side of Lenagan for a change and perhaps then we can learn more about the situation with Jim and his close pals resigning and the real reasons why!
I am not overly concerned. Lenagan tends to act in a professional business manner whereas Mr Rosenthal resigns and goes running to the Mail with a 'I'm resigning but I am not telling you why' scenario. Let's hear the side of Lenagan for a change and perhaps then we can learn more about the situation with Jim and his close pals resigning and the real reasons why! Open your eyes
  • Score: 1

7:27am Wed 12 Sep 12

hawkeye1 says...

They need to let the fans know something, otherwise the clicking of the turnstyles will grind to a halt for the U's, don't know if would for the rugby,
They need to let the fans know something, otherwise the clicking of the turnstyles will grind to a halt for the U's, don't know if would for the rugby, hawkeye1
  • Score: -1

11:55am Wed 12 Sep 12

hokuspokus says...

Jim's son's remarks on Twitter are quite clear. If Jim is "gutted" to be leaving that strongly suggests it's not something he would have chosen to do if left to his own devices.
If "it was always him and Kelvin Thomas really" that strongly suggests he felt he had no option once Kelvin had stepped down.
Furthermore, Jim has apparently said it would not be in the interests of the club to reveal his reasons for leaving now.
Overall I would say IL is doing a good job, but he needs to be open with the fans and show that there are positive intentions behind these changes.
It's a real shame because anyone who has lived through the Maxwell-Kassam era knows the benefit of having a true United fan on the board in addition to the required financial support.
Thanks Jim.
Jim's son's remarks on Twitter are quite clear. If Jim is "gutted" to be leaving that strongly suggests it's not something he would have chosen to do if left to his own devices. If "it was always him and Kelvin Thomas really" that strongly suggests he felt he had no option once Kelvin had stepped down. Furthermore, Jim has apparently said it would not be in the interests of the club to reveal his reasons for leaving now. Overall I would say IL is doing a good job, but he needs to be open with the fans and show that there are positive intentions behind these changes. It's a real shame because anyone who has lived through the Maxwell-Kassam era knows the benefit of having a true United fan on the board in addition to the required financial support. Thanks Jim. hokuspokus
  • Score: 0

11:25am Wed 7 Nov 12

Captain Yellow says...

" I don't believe it is in the interest of the club to air my reasons at this time."

But it is in the best interests of the club to make a statement which just promotes speculation?!
" I don't believe it is in the interest of the club to air my reasons at this time." But it is in the best interests of the club to make a statement which just promotes speculation?! Captain Yellow
  • Score: 0

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