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.”
- Game on - consortium fronted by Charlie Methven makes bid to take over U's
- Who are the main players?
- Stewart Donald: Now is the right time to take over United
Latest Sport news
9:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
MICKEY Lewis backed James Roberts to come back stronger than ever after Oxford United were boosted by the news the striker’s hamstring injury was not serious.
4:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to Lewis Hamilton on winning the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship for the second time in his superb career.
1:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
Here's our interactive back page for you to explore today with links to all the stories and latest headlines
12:31pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
OXFORD University hammered Loughborough University 43-0 in their penultimate Varsity Match warm-up at a very wet Iffley Road last night.
12:29pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
BANBURY United exited the Birmingham Senior Cup after losing 6-1 at Coleshill Town.
9:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
LONDON Welsh could see first-choice half backs Olly Barkley and Piri Weepu return to face Northampton at the Kassam Stadium in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
8:50am Wednesday 26th November 2014
With their closest rivals in cup action, Carterton Town A increased their lead at the top of the Witney & District FA Premier Division to eight points with a 3-1 home win over bottom club Brize Norton, writes ANTHONY BARLOW.
8:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014
North Berks League Division 1 leaders Berinsfield made short work of bottom side Saxton Rovers with a comfortable 5-0 home win, writes PHIL ANNETS.
8:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
DAMINI Bhagat hit a hat-trick for Oxford City in the Under 12 Red League as they ended leaders Tower Hill Vixens’ perfect record with a 6-2 away win.
8:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
KIDLINGTON Old Boys won an epic Oxfordshire Charity Cup second round tie at home to West Witney following a 2-2 draw after extra time.