Craig Bellamy says he agreed terms to become Oxford United manager prior to club’s takeover

Speaking on The Debate, Craig Bellamy explains that a change in ownership was the main reason why he decided against taking the manager’s job

Craig Bellamy says he agreed terms to become Oxford United manager before pulling out of the running following a takeover of the club.

The former Wales international spent several weeks in negotiations with the club before it was taken over by Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth.

Thanakarnjanasuth confirmed Bellamy was on a four-man shortlist for the role, but the Welshman subsequently decided to withdraw.

Speaking exclusively on The Debate, he said: “I was approached for the job so I went and spoke to them. We had a number of meetings over about three weeks.

“They were good people who really wanted to push the club forward. We fitted each other really well and I was really looking forward to it.

“We got as far as agreeing terms and then at the eleventh hour they got taken over by a new owner. I was always informed it possibly could happen.

“I had the opportunity to go and meet the new owner and discussions with him were different to with the previous owner. I wanted a little bit longer to think about it.

“I’m already in a role at Cardiff and I’m loving every minute. I wasn’t working for a week and it’s not fair on Cardiff.

“I had to be conscious of the fact they’re the ones who have given me this opportunity in football. I thought it was right to pull out at that time.”

Bellamy explained that, while he is still keen to enter the world of football management, he wants to ensure it is with the right club.

He said: “For the time being I’m really happy where I am. I do want to go into management but it has to be right.

“Your first role in football is so important because if I get it wrong I might not be able to come back from it.

“I don’t care where it is – Conference, League Two, League One, Championship – it doesn’t bother me, as long as I have a relationship with the owner.”