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:
11:48am Tuesday 24th November 2015
Two of Elton John's five UK 2016 concert dates will be in Oxfordshire, the star reveals today
8:30am Tuesday 24th November 2015
RESIDENTS have accused hospital chiefs of keeping them in the dark over plans which could mean 18 months of disruption on Headington’s roads.
4:43pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
PLANS for a new Aldi in Oxford will be submitted before the end of the year.
3:00pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
A GROUP of travellers who camped on the Marston Ferry Road cycle track for more than a month have now left.
9:00am Tuesday 24th November 2015
LONELINESS affects thousands in the county every year and some areas are particularly vulnerable, according to Age UK Oxfordshire.
8:00am Tuesday 24th November 2015
FUNGUS has forced an Oxford football club to abandon its £800,000 new pitches and clubhouse.
7:00am Tuesday 24th November 2015
A PROPOSAL to allow Oxfordshire County Council to raise an additional two per cent in council tax to help fund vital social care has been given a cautious welcome by its leaders.
6:30am Tuesday 24th November 2015
OXFORD’S new £12m Hilton hotel will help to meet growing demand for rooms in the city, according to its new manager.
6:00am Tuesday 24th November 2015
POLITICIANS have welcomed plans to tackle the county’s bedblocking crisis.
2:26pm Monday 23rd November 2015
A broken component on signalling equipment was the cause major problems at a Bicester rail crossing, closing it to traffic for more than 14 hours yesterday.
8:46am Monday 23rd November 2015
THE A34 southbound carriageway is now fully reopened between Islip and Pear Tree after a collision.
1:31pm Saturday 21st November 2015
PLANS to improve the health of those in Blackbird Leys have been unveiled to help improve life expectancy.
12:00pm Saturday 21st November 2015
A DAD and his two children regularly race to beat each other’s fastest time completing the Rubik’s Cube.
8:10am Saturday 21st November 2015
CAMPAIGNERS have accused council leaders of making “backroom deals” after they agreed to share up to 15,000 homes aimed at easing Oxford’s housing shortage across the rest of Oxfordshire.