Oxford United: Takeover battle and stadium site protagonists
9:00am Friday 4th July 2014
9:00am Friday 4th July 2014
THE KEY FIGURES
CHARLIE METHVEN has close links with U’s chairman Ian Lenagan, having worked in an advisory role with Oxford United’s board.
He is fronting the group of Oxfordshire businessmen who have made a formal offer for the club.
The consortium includes Stewart Donald, a lifelong fan whose company Bridle Insurance were shirt sponsors from 2010-13.
Methven was appointed as a trustee of the Oxford United Youth and Community Sports Trust in May 2011 and played a key role in setting up fans’ group the Yellow Army.
MARK ASHTON is a former goalkeeper for West Bromwich Albion who has been chief executive of both Watford and Wycombe Wanderers Football Clubs.
He is leading a takeover group which is backed by Birmingham-based businessman Darryl Eales.
Publicity-shy Eales dealt with United chairman Ian Lenagan as part of LDC, an arm of the Lloyds Banking Group, which bought Lenagan’s Workplace Systems company in December 2011.
Eales was once reportedly interested in trying to take over Birmingham City, whom he supports.
THE OWNER and chairman of Oxford United who so far has refused to comment on any takeover talk. His last public interview was with this newspaper in April.
Lenagan, who also owns rugby league side Wigan Warriors, became involved with the U’s when his company, Woodstock Partners Ltd, bought the club from Firoz Kassam in 2006.
In July 2012 he replaced Kelvin Thomas as chairman of the League Two side.
AN Oxford United fan, Mr Hudspeth has been leader of Oxfordshire County Council since 2012. He succeeded the outspoken Keith Mitchell and is seen as a less divisive figure, although some elements of his tenure have been controversial because of swingeing cuts which central government has imposed.
He has no direct influence over planning policy but is chairman of the spatial planning and infrastructure partnership, a body made up of every council in Oxfordshire to coordinate planning issues.
THE MAN who owns the stadium where Oxford United - and rugby side London Welsh - play their home matches.
Kassam bought the club for £1 in 1999, taking over its debts. He sold their old home, the Manor Ground, to his own holding company for £6m, and then to developers for £12m before completing work on the half-built stadium at Minchery Farm in 2001.
He also owns Heythrop Park, in Oxfordshire, and Alexandra Palace, in London.
HE has been leader of Labour-controlled Oxford City Council since 2008 and his party has a commanding majority.
A London Welsh fan, one of his key tasks is finding a way of accommodating the 28,000 homes in Oxford which a housing study says are needed by 2031.
THE Cherwell District Council leader and his controlling Tory group want to maintain the Green Belt at Water Eaton, but have been told they must find space in the district for up to 23,000 homes.
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