Report this comment
  • "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."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

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 Headlines
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425451

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.”

Latest Sport news

RUGBY UNION: Grove stage late fightback to claim dramatic Oxfordshire Cup glory

Oxford Mail:

10:16pm Wednesday 1st April 2015

Grove produced a stunning comeback to win the biggest prize in the club’s history and beat Oxford Harlequins 24-22 in the Oxfordshire Cup final.

MICHAEL DUBERRY COLUMN: Great to watch Oxford United show their character in vital clash

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Wednesday 1st April 2015

It was great to be back at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday as it was my first visit in a while.

ICE HOCKEY: Coach Darren Elliott salutes Oxford City Stars' survival

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Darren Elliott has hailed Oxford City Stars ice hockey team’s achievement in avoiding relegation from English National League South Division 1.

RACING: Henrietta Knight eyeing up more success with Calgary Bay

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Henrietta Knight could aim Calgary Bay at Cheltenham’s hunter chase meeting after the veteran gave her a first winner since making a low-key return to racing earlier this year.

RUGBY UNION: Coach Craig Burrows urges Grove to topple holders Oxford Harlequins

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Craig Burrows says Grove will only settle for beating defending champions Oxford Har - lequins in their first Oxfordshire Cup final tonight (8).

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Oxfordshire Under 16s are champions

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Oxfordshire Schools' Under 16s were crowned champions in the South West Counties competition following a 1-1 draw with Somerset at Milton United.

FOOTBALL: Dan Trinder puts Mansfield Road on the right path

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division leaders Mansfield Road returned to form with a narrow 3-2 victory at Horspath.

FOOTBALL: George run riot after the break

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Four second-half goals gave the George a comfortable 4-0 away win over Summertown Stars in the Oxford City FA Premier Division.

RACING: Phare Isle adds to Ben Case's tally

8:00am Wednesday 1st April 2015

Ben Case, who trains at Edgcote, near Banbury, continued his most successful season to date when Phare Isle ran out an easy winner at Huntingdon yesterday.

YOUTH FOOTBALL: Hedges hat-trick helps Harwell & Hendred to brink of title

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Wednesday 1st April 2015

A SUPERB hat-trick from Josh Hedges saw Harwell & Hendred move closer to the Oxford Mail Youth League Under 11 A title, writes PAUL LYON.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree