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.

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Comments (8)

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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: 7

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

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