AN appeal launched by the owner of the Kassam Stadium into its protected status has been thrown out.

Firoz Kassam and his company Firoka took Oxford City Council’s decision to list the Grenoble Road stadium as a community asset to a tribunal at Oxford Magistrates’ Court last month.

But the appeal was rejected, it was announced yesterday.

The stadium was listed as a community asset in 2013 – believed to the first to be designated under the Localism Act 2011.

It means that if Mr Kassam wants to sell the stadium, he will have to inform supporters and give them six months so they can mount their own bid. Firoka had argued it would be inappropriate to designate the building and its car parks as a community asset.

But Judge Nicholas Warren said: “The cultural, recreational and sporting interests with which I am concerned extend wider than the hour and a half or so for which 20 to 30 men play a game of football.

“The existence of a home town club, intrinsically linked to the use of its home ground, fosters community pride, stimulates daily conversations in pubs, work places and online, forges friendships and encourages the mix of generations.”