Businessman Methven launches Oxford United takeover

Charlie Methven is leading a group of businessmen who want to take charge of Oxford United

Charlie Methven is leading a group of businessmen who want to take charge of Oxford United

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425451

The leader of a group of Oxfordshire businessmen who have launched a takeover bid for Oxford United, says they have the financial muscle to take the club forward.

Charlie Methven confirmed last night that talks have taken place between his consortium and U’s owner Ian Lenagan.

However, the United supporter doubted they were the frontrunners, with a rival group, led by Mark Ashton, believed to still be in pole position to take control.

Methven, who has been working in an advisory role with the U’s, says his group have spoken to Lenagan and will provide him with an “alternative option”.

“We approached the owner about a month ago and indicated that if the club came up for sale, we would be interested,” Methven said.

“We held conversations that were both friendly and constructive.

“Those conversations have dried up in recent weeks, I am not sure exactly why, but it might indicate that somebody is in a stronger position than us.”

He added: “In previous years when Oxford United have been in difficulties, there has only been one offer on the table.

“I do not believe this is healthy, and so we are keen to provide an alternative option.

“We have raised significant funds, and feel the amount would be sufficient.

“However, we could have more funds as a back-up if needed.

“We have given a firm indication we would be interested, and believe Ian was grateful for that interest.”

The situation has arisen due to speculation the United chairman is unwilling to continue pouring money into a club which has lost more than £1m for two successive years.

The latest available accounts, which cover the 12 months up to the end of June 2013, show Lenagan’s total investment, through his Woodstock Partners Ltd company, was in excess of £6m.

Methven is hoping his group’s affinity with Oxford United could work in their favour.

“I have, and remain, a major supporter of what the Lenagans have done,” Methven said.

“They have put a number of very good things in place at the club, and I was concerned – and still am – that whoever comes in, if they are an unknown quantity, won’t be the best people to complete those things.”

Methven was appointed as a trustee of the Oxford United Youth and Community Sports Trust in May 2011 and last year played a key role in setting up fans’ group the Yellow Army.

His name was revealed in a statement from supporters’ trust OxVox, whose calls for Lenagan to break his silence and put fans in the picture of developments have fallen on deaf ears.

The U’s owner has still to return any calls from the Oxford Mail or reply to any of our requests for an interview.

Our top stories:

Update: Murder investigation after man "stabbed on a boat" in Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

7:09am Monday 20th October 2014

A MAN was stabbed to death in Abingdon last night.

Severe weather warning for Oxfordshire following Hurricane Gonzalo

Oxford Mail: After the heatwave comes the thunderstorms: 'Yellow Alert' as heavy rain forecast

2:40pm Monday 20th October 2014

SEVERE weather warnings are in place for Oxford tomorrow.

On-target Alfie Potter hails dream day as Oxford United regain winning habit + VIDEO

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 20th October 2014

ALFIE Potter hailed a “perfect day” as he came off the bench to score and give Oxford United a much-needed victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Man who scared off burglars with a sword from his Witney home is left feeling 'a bag of nerves'

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 20th October 2014

A BURGLARY victim who scared off his intruders while holding a sword said the incident had left him emotionally scarred.

Britain's Got Talent star Fabia and her feathered friends go burlesque for breast cancer funds in Cowley

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 20th October 2014

OXFORD’S own burlesque star Fabia Cerra hosted a special dancing class over the weekend to raise money for charity.

DIDCOT POWER STATION FIRE: 'It was a bit of an inferno' + Video

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 20th October 2014

A HUGE fire ripped through a cooling tower at Didcot Power Station last night.

Taking the sugar out of diet is film’s sweet plan for Oxfordshire residents' health

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Monday 20th October 2014

YOUNGSTERS from Rose Hill have taken to the silver screen to encourage families across Oxfordshire to make healthier food choices.

Cheers! Thousands hail the ale

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

THOUSANDS of beer-lovers flocked to Oxford Town Hall to raise a toast to real ale at the annual Oxford Beer Festival.

‘Save trees from chop to shield us from eyesore'

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

CONCERNS have been raised that felling trees near the Port Meadow student flats could worsen their impact on neighbouring people.

Network Bicester makes second attempt for planning permission to create business site

Oxford Mail: Cherwell district council logo

6:40am Monday 20th October 2014

PLANS for a new multi-million-pound business site on the edge of a Bicester housing estate have been re-submitted to Cherwell District Council.

Rising social care demands following child exploitation cases lead to council cash warning

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

6:30am Monday 20th October 2014

RISING demand in social care will make it even harder for the county council to balance the books next year, its leader has warned Ian Hudspeth revealed there was an overspend on adult and children’s social care this year.

Didcot steam enthusiast chuffed by Combe Mill show’s popularity

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 20th October 2014

TRADITIONAL industries of wood and steam came together at the original sawmill and workshop of the Blenheim Palace estate, Combe Mill.

Gran 'had no alternative' but to starve herself to death

Oxford Mail: Scales of Justice

6:20am Monday 20th October 2014

AN Oxford grandmother who starved herself to death said before she died that she had “no alternative” given the UK’s laws against assisted suicide.

Patients facing delays when trying to see GP across county, says survey

Oxford Mail: Andrew Smith MP

6:00am Monday 20th October 2014

A THIRD of patients could not see their own doctor or get an appointment within a week, a survey revealed.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:39pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Oxokuba says...

Sounds like a well intentioned effort from Mr Methven but it sounds like a group of boys wanting to own a car they can't really afford to run. If the other interested party is the guy who spent a brief time at Watford&Wycombe and who doesn't appear to have made any friends at either club then I'd prefer Mr Methvens involvement than another Kassam clown. You can't help but love the tortured journey our club has taken us!!
Sounds like a well intentioned effort from Mr Methven but it sounds like a group of boys wanting to own a car they can't really afford to run. If the other interested party is the guy who spent a brief time at Watford&Wycombe and who doesn't appear to have made any friends at either club then I'd prefer Mr Methvens involvement than another Kassam clown. You can't help but love the tortured journey our club has taken us!! Oxokuba
  • Score: 15

4:19pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Headington Jim says...

When he first took over FK promised he would take us on a journey and he's still taking for a ride now!
When he first took over FK promised he would take us on a journey and he's still taking for a ride now! Headington Jim
  • Score: 18

6:07pm Fri 27 Jun 14

happyharryhardon says...

If we get investment in to the club or a takeover are they going to do anything about the FACT that we have the smallest wage budget in the football league, because if we want promotion you have to by good players.
If we get investment in to the club or a takeover are they going to do anything about the FACT that we have the smallest wage budget in the football league, because if we want promotion you have to by good players. happyharryhardon
  • Score: 3

11:07pm Fri 27 Jun 14

The Black Prince was off-side says...

Charlie Methven is a life time oxford supporter who despite running a global pr company from london gives an extraordinary amount of time to the u's at grassroots level; that alone shows real commitment. When he is not abroad he can be seen at every home match with his kids working behind the scenes. He has unbelievable contacts and everyone should get behind him if IL has lost the appetite to move our club forward. We certainly don't want another chancer who wants the ego of owning a football club. Having said that the first priority has to be freeing us of a £500k annual ball and chain rent
Charlie Methven is a life time oxford supporter who despite running a global pr company from london gives an extraordinary amount of time to the u's at grassroots level; that alone shows real commitment. When he is not abroad he can be seen at every home match with his kids working behind the scenes. He has unbelievable contacts and everyone should get behind him if IL has lost the appetite to move our club forward. We certainly don't want another chancer who wants the ego of owning a football club. Having said that the first priority has to be freeing us of a £500k annual ball and chain rent The Black Prince was off-side
  • Score: 8

8:10am Sat 28 Jun 14

Brenda Jackson says...

The way fk is cosying up to oxvox should be a warning, he's not in the habit of being chummy- unless it means his wealth grows because of it. The key to all these take over talks lies with the stadium and the land surrounding it, occ, oufc and other parties see the potential here to amass profits and build much needed housing, oufc should be wary of thisand the fact they hold an ace card by their leasing of the stasdium.
The way fk is cosying up to oxvox should be a warning, he's not in the habit of being chummy- unless it means his wealth grows because of it. The key to all these take over talks lies with the stadium and the land surrounding it, occ, oufc and other parties see the potential here to amass profits and build much needed housing, oufc should be wary of thisand the fact they hold an ace card by their leasing of the stasdium. Brenda Jackson
  • Score: 1

8:19am Sat 28 Jun 14

bigchet says...

sounds like a promising development on the surface so lets hope that it progresses favourably and the necessary finances are available . this period of uncertainty may well have an effect on player recruitment so lets hope it is resolved as quickly as possible. and i think that thanks are due to ian leneghan for his considerable financial support.
sounds like a promising development on the surface so lets hope that it progresses favourably and the necessary finances are available . this period of uncertainty may well have an effect on player recruitment so lets hope it is resolved as quickly as possible. and i think that thanks are due to ian leneghan for his considerable financial support. bigchet
  • Score: 3

9:26am Sat 28 Jun 14

howardl says...

Lenegan!!!!
Lenegan!!!! howardl
  • Score: -3

9:19pm Mon 30 Jun 14

JamesSmythe says...

Whilst I don't doubt his motives, I do hope that Mr. Methven has moved on from the days when he poured condescending vitriol on anyone who dared to disagree with his views on the old 'This is United' forum back in the day...
Whilst I don't doubt his motives, I do hope that Mr. Methven has moved on from the days when he poured condescending vitriol on anyone who dared to disagree with his views on the old 'This is United' forum back in the day... JamesSmythe
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree