The parties at the centre of the potential Oxford United takeover were all remaining tight-lipped yesterday and said they had nothing to say . . . yet.
U’s owner and chairman Ian Lenagan again failed to break his silence when contacted, although his son, Simon, did answer our call.
“As soon as there is something that needs to be communicated, it will be,” Simon Lenagan, who is also a board member, said.
A consortium led by Mark Ashton appear to be the favourites to take over the club should it be up for sale, with a team of Oxfordshire businessmen, led by Charlie Methven, also interested.
Although Ashton is the man fronting the bid for his group, the Oxford Mail understands that the person leading the talks is Darryl Eales.
Eales was once reportedly interested in trying to take over Birmingham City, whom he supports, and has strong connections with Ian Lenagan.
The United owner made £19m when selling Workplace Systems in December 2011 to LDC – part of the Lloyds Banking Group.
Eales is listed on the LDC website as an ‘advisory chairman’.
Further investigations show that last month a new company was founded – ENSCO 1070 Ltd – which lists Ashton and Eales as directors, along with Michael O’Leary and Frank Waterhouse.
There is no evidence, however, that this company is involved in the potential takeover of Oxford United.
When the Oxford Mail contacted Ashton yesterday, we were told: “Mark is unable to talk about anything at this moment, which you will hopefully appreciate.”
Oxford United supporters’ trust OxVox have also tried to speak to Ashton about the potential deal.
OxVox chairman Mark Sennett commented: “We have tried to contact Mr Ashton and are hoping for a conversation with him.”
Rumours of a takeover surfaced on Wednesday, with Ashton’s consortium first linked.
Methven’s group, all United supporters, then went public 24 hours later with their interest.
If any deal is struck, it is not clear whether it would involve just the purchase of Oxford United Football Club, or include the stadium, which is owned by former chairman Firoz Kassam.
Talks about the purchase of the stadium have taken place with Kassam in the past, but no deal has ever been struck.
United’s players report back for pre-season training on Monday, with head coach Gary Waddock having made just one addition to the squad this summer, striker Danny Hylton.
Our top stories:
6:30pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 23-year-old man has been jailed for a year following the death of Long Hanborough man Richard Reed in a car crash last year.
8:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN 880-PUPIL free school in Oxford has been hailed as the beginning of a new solution to the county’s shortage of places.
5:06pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A JUDGE has postponed sentencing a designer clothing firm over health and safety failures that led to a four-year-old boy being crushed by a 7ft mirror.
5:00pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A WOMAN who found a hidden camera in the shower of a hotel says she feels disgusted by the incident.
3:28pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 34-year-old man has been arrested for aggravated burglary and criminal damage.
1:10pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A BURST pipe in Banbury is gushing water onto Broughton Road.
1:01pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A CYCLIST hit a driver with his helmet after a road rage incident near Wallingford.
12:45pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A radio was stolen from Wilko in Banbury and food and alcohol was taken from a Co-Op in town.
12:34pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
POLICE have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a series of shoplifting incidents in Wallingford.
11:57am Thursday 3rd September 2015
A MAN and a boy have been charged on suspicion of burglary from a funeral parlour in Wantage.
9:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN ANIMAL charity in Oxfordshire has launched an appeal to find a new home for one pet every hour by the end of the year.
8:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
WITH his surname, Jonathan Wynn was never going to settle for second best when he appeared on TV word game Countdown.
6:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
THE mother of one of the victims of the Bullfinch gang has described £16,500 compensation offered to her daughter as “utterly disgusting.”
6:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
THE number of complaints upheld by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) in Oxfordshire plummeted in 2014, despite an overall rise in grievances.