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:
8:30am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
DRIVERS on three of the county’s busiest roads have been hit by delays more than 28 times every day this year.
7:20am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
ALMOST 40 firefighters were tackling a straw bale fire in a field in Hanwell near Banbury last night.
9:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
THE headteacher at a leading Oxford independent school has claimed mobile phones offer “limitless” possibilities for education in the classroom.
8:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
SLEEPING residents claim they have been abruptly woken in the middle of the night by drilling at the Westgate building site.
7:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
GOBLETS, old muskets and vintage cigar boxes are just some of the £2.5m worth of antique items Oxford City Council owns.
6:30am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
THE Leys Festival could be marred by dog fouling, with a councillor warning of a recent spate at Blackbird Leys Park.
6:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
A NATIONAL heritage body has called on an Oxford college and developer to scale back plans for student accommodation near a historic cemetery.
8:30am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A WOMAN who was attacked and raped while out jogging is preparing for a tough challenge – raising cash for the centre that helped to rebuild her life.
3:34pm Tuesday 1st September 2015
A DANGEROUS convict who escaped from prison and was seen heading towards Oxford has been re-arrested.
3:05pm Tuesday 1st September 2015
AN “unrepentant paedophile” has been convicted of voyeurism and sexual offences against children in Oxford.
10:25am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A TEENAGE motorcyclist was taken to hospital after being involved in a crash with a van.
9:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A DAREDEVIL granny has jumped from a plane to raise more than £15,000 to help sick children.
8:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A NEW Arabic school set to bring youngsters of all faiths together is aiming to be the top Sunday school of its kind in the country.
7:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
AT LEAST 40 people marched through the rain on Bank Holiday Monday to protest against Oxford City Council’s plans to take over the running of East Oxford Community Centre.