Oxford MailMethven announces his vision for United (From Oxford Mail)

Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us

Report this comment
  • "Really sad you did not take our club over. I liked what you had to say."
  • 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

Oxford Mail: 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

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

CYCLING: Inaugural league ends on a high

Oxford Mail: generic image of a racing cyclist for the sport desk

8:20am Friday 1st August 2014

A full field of 80 riders turned out as the Oxfordshire Road Race League’s first season concluded on the Stadhampton circuit.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford out to cause a big upset

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 1st August 2014

Oxford make their third trip to the South Leeds Stadium on Sunday when they tackle the Hunslet Hawks, looking to record their first win in four matches against their second-placed opponents in Kingstone Press Championship 1.

TENNIS: Mixed results for Canter in British squad at SW19

Oxford Mail: tennis racket hitting ball for sport

8:00am Friday 1st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Alexis Canter has been representing Great Britain in a competition at Wimbledon.

CRICKET: Stronger Oxfordshire aiming to move up

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 1st August 2014

Oxfordshire will be trying to move off the bottom of the Western Division table when they take on Berkshire in a three-day contest at Great & Little Tew on Sunday (11am), writes MICHAEL KNOX.

U's get to grips with new sponsor

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 1st August 2014

Tyre firm Black ‘n’ Rounds have agreed to become Oxford United’s home shirt sponsor next season.

CRICKET: Great Tew dare not dream of Lord's fiinal

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 1st August 2014

Great & Little Tew will try to banish all thoughts of playing at Lord’s when they visit Dinton on Sunday in the semi-finals of the Davidstow Village Cup.

TENNIS: Maskens joy as Oxon hit highest level in a decade

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Friday 1st August 2014

Oxfordshire men’s captain Jon Maskens praised the efforts of his side after they clinched promotion to Group 4 following a highly successful week in West Worthing.

ROWING: Gold for Wallingford in Cork and Munich

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Friday 1st August 2014

Wallingford's women won a gold medal when representing England in the Home International Regatta at Cork.

CRICKET: Oxon Academy taught a lesson

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

7:00am Friday 1st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Academy side were taught a tough lesson as they lost to the Club Cricket Conference by seven wickets in a one-day friendly match at Bicester & North Oxford yesterday.

CRICKET: Phillips and Foster put Horspath in the mix

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 1st August 2014

Horspath skipper Will Eason praised the consistency of leading batsman Jimmy Phillips and strike bowler Pat Foster ahead of their all-Oxfordshire Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 2 clash at home to Great & Little Tew tomorrow.

Local Businesses

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