Methven announces his vision for United

9:30am Friday 4th July 2014

By Mark Edwards

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

BRADLEY SMITH'S VIEWS: Brno is in the past, let's get ready for Silverstone

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Thursday 21st August 2014

No good dwelling on the Brno result and unfortunately it seems to be the way my season has panned out, but it certainly keeps me focused and ready for Silverstone.

LONDON WELSH: Olly Barkley backs Exiles to surprise this season

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 21st August 2014

LONDON Welsh are not just in the Aviva Premiership this season to make up the numbers.

Oxford United boss admits results could put off some targets

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Thursday 21st August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton admits Oxford United’s losing start to the Sky Bet League Two season could have an effect on their search to attract players before the end of the transfer window.

BAR BILLIARDS: Patey stars at the double

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

John Patey led the way for West Oxford Democrats Club in their 4½-1½ win over Vikings in Group A of the Oxford Summer League, writes PETE EWINS.

BOWLS: Ley and Petersen denied in national agony

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Alan Ley and Mike Petersen suffered an agonising 20-18 defeat in the Bowls England Men’s National Senior Pairs Championship final at Royal Leamington Spa.

RUGBY UNION: Tombleson is 'significant' appointment for England

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

TRIPLE Oxford Blue Tom Tombleson has been appointed as England’s strength and conditioning coach.

BOWLS: Oxon veteran Ley reaches 800-game milestone

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxford City & County’s Alan Ley chalked up another landmark with his 800th game for Oxfordshire in their 129-89 win over Buckinghamshire in a friendly at Long Crendon.

BOWLS: Headington to face City & County in final

Oxford Mail: Headington’s Jason King kept up his impressive record in the win over Oxford City & County A

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Headington A will face Oxford City & County A in the Oxford & District League Cup final for the third time in four years.

CRICKET: Barbados dream over for Rowant

Oxford Mail: Wesley Morrick

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Aston Rowant’s dreams of a trip to the Caribbean were dashed as they fell to an agonising six-run home defeat against Reigate Priory in the Barbados & Smile Group Travel Cup semi-final.

BOWLS: Central duo's challenge flounders in last four

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Carole Galletly and Caroline Campion reached the Bowls England Women’s National Pairs Championship semi-finals before seeing their title dreams shattered.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/