Darryl Eales said his three-and-a-half year stint as chairman of Oxford United was a “privilege”.
The private equity expert from Birmingham took a step back last week after Thai businessman Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth took over the club as chairman and majority shareholder.
Under his stewardship, Eales, who will maintain an influential role on the club board, implemented a coherent plan that transformed a drifting League Two club into a third-tier side with Championship ambitions.
Promotion, Wembley experiences (albeit defeats), cup runs and some scintillating performances are undoubtedly the highlights since Eales took the helm in the summer of 2014.
Frustrations over stadium ownership will linger, but Eales looks back on his tenure fondly, both as a chairman and a football fan.
He said: “It has been a privilege to serve as chairman over the past three-and-a-half years.
“To be part of a team which changed the culture and mindset of the club and achieved promotion from League Two was fantastic.
“Crowds have risen from around 5,000 to an average of over 8,000 and there have been unforgettable moments, not just two trips to Wembley but the promotion day against Wycombe and the wins over Swansea and Newcastle, not forgetting those great battles against our rivals from Swindon.
“I am so proud to have been part of that.”
He added: “Sharing so many experiences with our fantastic fans – sometimes on the terraces with them – has been a personal highlight.”
Eales also said an update on a new training ground would be provided “in the very near future”.