Methven announces his vision for United

Charlie Methven says his consortium's first priority is to clear  United's debt

Charlie Methven says his consortium's first priority is to clear United's debt

First published in Sport
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Charlie Methven says the first priority of his consortium, should they take over Oxford United, would be to clear the debt and invest in the playing squad.

Although it would appear Methven’s group of Oxfordshire businessmen may not be front-runners to take over the U’s, they yesterday made their intentions clear after submitting a formal offer for the club.

A rival consortium headed by Mark Ashton and Darryl Eales is understood to be in advanced talks with United owner Ian Lenagan.

Methven was philosophical about what may happen, but said his group – which was given a huge boost with the backing of wealthy businessman and United fan Stewart Donald – had a clear strategy.

“Ultimately, what will be will be,” he said.

“But our bid comes from people whose commitment to the club is unquestionable.

“The final decision is entirely up to Ian Lenagan, but he has always said that he will do what’s best for Oxford United and its supporters.

“We believe that if we were successful, our plan would ensure that happens.”

Central to any takeover would be the U’s owning their ground, but investment into the playing side is also crucial.

Methven added: “We do not believe Oxford United should be saddled with any debt.

“It is a business turning over £3.5m a year, so the first thing would be to make sure it is debt free.

“We would inject a significant amount into the playing side of the club in order to deliver a squad that we believe could justify expectations of achieving.

“It could be that we invest £3m of equity into the playing side over the next two years.

“We would obviously discuss with the manager what needs to be done, but with the club losing £1m a year, those figures would mean that around £500,000 could be added to the playing budget for each season.”

As revealed in yesterday’s Oxford Mail, there is potential to move the club to a new site at Water Eaton.

This is the preferred outcome for Methven, but he would not rule out staying at the Kassam Stadium.

“What is clear is that Oxford United must own their own stadium,” he said.

“There are two options for this.

“One is to acquire the Kassam Stadium, and it would be no disaster if this happened.

“However, we believe that Water Eaton presents a huge opportunity.”

The support of Donald, whose Bridle Insurance company were United’s shirt sponsors from 2010-13, provided Methven’s consortium with a huge lift.

“The backing of the Donald family is immense,” Methven commented.

“They are massive Oxford United fans who have given us their commitment.

“They have the finances and have agreed to help us.”

Since first going public with their interest last week, Methven confirmed that no further discussions had taken place with Lenagan, who is still refusing to break his silence.

“I don’t take this as a negative because any discussions would need a firm, factual basis.

“But we now have this.”

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Comments (4)

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11:06am Fri 4 Jul 14

Richard Wickson says...

Thank you Mr Methven for making your intentions clear, full credit to you. I have heard others on here talk scornfully on the Ashton bid although I personally know only what I have read as regards Wycombe Wanderers and don't feel enamoured by his bid for OU. Having Been involved with the youth trust is a thing in The Methven bids favour and having the Bridle people involved is another plus. As the article states staying at the Kassam wouldn't neccecarily be a disaster but Water Eaton would be a huge new start and needs full and further appraisal. Let's hope that Ian Lenagan is prepared to talk to the Methven people as this could be a good thing for the whole club. It would be huge for the club to no longer be beholden to Firobber Kassam.
Thank you Mr Methven for making your intentions clear, full credit to you. I have heard others on here talk scornfully on the Ashton bid although I personally know only what I have read as regards Wycombe Wanderers and don't feel enamoured by his bid for OU. Having Been involved with the youth trust is a thing in The Methven bids favour and having the Bridle people involved is another plus. As the article states staying at the Kassam wouldn't neccecarily be a disaster but Water Eaton would be a huge new start and needs full and further appraisal. Let's hope that Ian Lenagan is prepared to talk to the Methven people as this could be a good thing for the whole club. It would be huge for the club to no longer be beholden to Firobber Kassam. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 10

3:20pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Richard Wickson says...

Hard luck Mr Methven, sounds like you came in a bit too late, Stewart Donald says he talked to IL some time ago about investment but sounds like IL was already doing a deal with Mr Eales. Stick around though because their is a very strong rumour this lot won't be here for long. Let's just hope while they are here they do build the club up although it may cost you a bit more than it would now.
Hard luck Mr Methven, sounds like you came in a bit too late, Stewart Donald says he talked to IL some time ago about investment but sounds like IL was already doing a deal with Mr Eales. Stick around though because their is a very strong rumour this lot won't be here for long. Let's just hope while they are here they do build the club up although it may cost you a bit more than it would now. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 1

8:24pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Joe1 says...

Really sad you did not take our club over. I liked what you had to say.
Really sad you did not take our club over. I liked what you had to say. Joe1
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Fri 4 Jul 14

marathon2012 says...

How about building the new stadium sounds like the city councill are on your side taking over oxford city bringing in new players from the league climbing up the table this year moving Oxford City in to a new stadium end of next year UTD will be in the Conference next year city will be climbing the league ready for div 2 you will now have a new stadium better team .i know its not utd but we will have a passionate consortium running a club who have a passion for football.
Lets face it OX City are not in as much debt as UTD by a long way.
i am an out and out UTD fan having supported them for 40
+ years
but this may be the only way to get good football in to our City not that the U's arn't a good team just the people running it have not a clue.
How about building the new stadium sounds like the city councill are on your side taking over oxford city bringing in new players from the league climbing up the table this year moving Oxford City in to a new stadium end of next year UTD will be in the Conference next year city will be climbing the league ready for div 2 you will now have a new stadium better team .i know its not utd but we will have a passionate consortium running a club who have a passion for football. Lets face it OX City are not in as much debt as UTD by a long way. i am an out and out UTD fan having supported them for 40 + years but this may be the only way to get good football in to our City not that the U's arn't a good team just the people running it have not a clue. marathon2012
  • Score: 0

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