The leader of a group of Oxfordshire businessmen who have launched a takeover bid for Oxford United, says they have the financial muscle to take the club forward.
Charlie Methven confirmed last night that talks have taken place between his consortium and U’s owner Ian Lenagan.
However, the United supporter doubted they were the frontrunners, with a rival group, led by Mark Ashton, believed to still be in pole position to take control.
Methven, who has been working in an advisory role with the U’s, says his group have spoken to Lenagan and will provide him with an “alternative option”.
“We approached the owner about a month ago and indicated that if the club came up for sale, we would be interested,” Methven said.
“We held conversations that were both friendly and constructive.
“Those conversations have dried up in recent weeks, I am not sure exactly why, but it might indicate that somebody is in a stronger position than us.”
He added: “In previous years when Oxford United have been in difficulties, there has only been one offer on the table.
“I do not believe this is healthy, and so we are keen to provide an alternative option.
“We have raised significant funds, and feel the amount would be sufficient.
“However, we could have more funds as a back-up if needed.
“We have given a firm indication we would be interested, and believe Ian was grateful for that interest.”
The situation has arisen due to speculation the United chairman is unwilling to continue pouring money into a club which has lost more than £1m for two successive years.
The latest available accounts, which cover the 12 months up to the end of June 2013, show Lenagan’s total investment, through his Woodstock Partners Ltd company, was in excess of £6m.
Methven is hoping his group’s affinity with Oxford United could work in their favour.
“I have, and remain, a major supporter of what the Lenagans have done,” Methven said.
“They have put a number of very good things in place at the club, and I was concerned – and still am – that whoever comes in, if they are an unknown quantity, won’t be the best people to complete those things.”
Methven was appointed as a trustee of the Oxford United Youth and Community Sports Trust in May 2011 and last year played a key role in setting up fans’ group the Yellow Army.
His name was revealed in a statement from supporters’ trust OxVox, whose calls for Lenagan to break his silence and put fans in the picture of developments have fallen on deaf ears.
The U’s owner has still to return any calls from the Oxford Mail or reply to any of our requests for an interview.
Our top stories:
UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak
11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.
9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.
1:56pm Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a stun gun after an incident in Mayfair Road on Tuesday evening.
12:00pm Saturday 25th April 2015
WILD boar have been spotted in parts of Oxfordshire.
8:57am Saturday 25th April 2015
A CONSERVATION group has said historically important sections of The Randolph Hotel were left largely unscathed by last week’s major fire.
8:53am Saturday 25th April 2015
CYBER crime in Oxford is becoming so prevalent it is replacing traditional thefts, a police chief has said.
8:47am Saturday 25th April 2015
HUNDREDS of experienced postmasters will be lost as part of changes to our post offices, a union secretary has warned.
8:41am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAJOR clean-up is under way to smarten up Oxford’s Gloucester Green bus station.
Kidlington man to lay wreath at Cenotaph to recognise Grandfather and Great-Uncle's Gallipoli sacrifice
8:33am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE HUNDRED years ago Robin Atherton’s grandfather went into battle along with his twin brother – but only one of them survived the day.
8:30am Friday 24th April 2015
A BEDBLOCKING crisis in the county has forced health bosses to launch a week-long blitz.
7:07pm Friday 24th April 2015
POLICE officers have tonight returned to a house in Cowley after two arrests were made in the Barton murder investigations.
4:11pm Friday 24th April 2015
A MAN has been arrested after a woman was attacked at a house in Bicester.
3:19pm Friday 24th April 2015
A MISSING parrot has been found in Wallingford following a police appeal.
2:46pm Friday 24th April 2015
TRAINS are delayed between Oxford, London Paddington, Reading and Swindon after a vehicle struck a bridge at Pangbourne.