The parties at the centre of the potential Oxford United takeover were all remaining tight-lipped yesterday and said they had nothing to say . . . yet.
U’s owner and chairman Ian Lenagan again failed to break his silence when contacted, although his son, Simon, did answer our call.
“As soon as there is something that needs to be communicated, it will be,” Simon Lenagan, who is also a board member, said.
A consortium led by Mark Ashton appear to be the favourites to take over the club should it be up for sale, with a team of Oxfordshire businessmen, led by Charlie Methven, also interested.
Although Ashton is the man fronting the bid for his group, the Oxford Mail understands that the person leading the talks is Darryl Eales.
Eales was once reportedly interested in trying to take over Birmingham City, whom he supports, and has strong connections with Ian Lenagan.
The United owner made £19m when selling Workplace Systems in December 2011 to LDC – part of the Lloyds Banking Group.
Eales is listed on the LDC website as an ‘advisory chairman’.
Further investigations show that last month a new company was founded – ENSCO 1070 Ltd – which lists Ashton and Eales as directors, along with Michael O’Leary and Frank Waterhouse.
There is no evidence, however, that this company is involved in the potential takeover of Oxford United.
When the Oxford Mail contacted Ashton yesterday, we were told: “Mark is unable to talk about anything at this moment, which you will hopefully appreciate.”
Oxford United supporters’ trust OxVox have also tried to speak to Ashton about the potential deal.
OxVox chairman Mark Sennett commented: “We have tried to contact Mr Ashton and are hoping for a conversation with him.”
Rumours of a takeover surfaced on Wednesday, with Ashton’s consortium first linked.
Methven’s group, all United supporters, then went public 24 hours later with their interest.
If any deal is struck, it is not clear whether it would involve just the purchase of Oxford United Football Club, or include the stadium, which is owned by former chairman Firoz Kassam.
Talks about the purchase of the stadium have taken place with Kassam in the past, but no deal has ever been struck.
United’s players report back for pre-season training on Monday, with head coach Gary Waddock having made just one addition to the squad this summer, striker Danny Hylton.
Our top stories:
5:00pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A boy has been taken to hospital after being involved in a crash in Bicester.
5:10pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was raped in Barns Road, Cowley on her way to the bus stop. According to Thames Valley Police the girl was walking to the stop before Blackbird Leys bridge between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday, September 20. She was approached by a man who walked alongside her. As they came to the bridge he grabbed her arm and pulled her down to a muddy track at the side of the bridge. He then raped the victim and left her on the track, walking away. The offender is described as white, aged in his late teens, 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins tall and slim. He had very short dark hair, blue eyes, freckles on his face and a short ginger beard, and was wearing a chain around his neck, black trainers and dark grey Nike jogging bottoms. The girl reported the rape to police on Tuesday ((06/10)) this week. Investigating officer Det Insp Steve Raffield of Banbury CID said: “Specialist officers are supporting the victim who has reported this rape to us. "What happened to this young girl is unimaginable and I am sure that members of the public will be shocked to hear about this incident, which happened in broad daylight. "“A full investigation is now under way and there are officers in the area today making enquiries and providing reassurance to members of the public who may have concerns. “Incidents like this are extremely rare, but it is essential that we identify the offender as soon as possible. I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident, or who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary in the Barns Road area around the time of the offence, to contact me as soon as possible by calling 101.”
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
AN E-FIT of a man who ran away after being caught holding a little girl's hand in Greater Leys has been released by Thames Valley Police. According to officers, a two-year-old girl was playing outside a property in Shepherds Hill at about 6.20pm on Friday, September 11. When her mother came to check on her she saw a man holding the girl's hand. When she challenged the man, he ran away. He is described as white, in his thirties, about 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins with short spiky blond or brown hair. He was wearing a knee-length jacket that may have been leather. Investigating officer Det Con Lorna Briggs of Force CID in Oxford said: “We are keeping an open mind regarding this incident. There might be a innocent explanation as to why the man was holding the girl’s hand. “If anyone recognises the man in the E-fit or has any information about the incident then please contact your local police station."
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A BEGGAR has been banned by police from approaching people in Oxford and asking them for money, food or cigarettes.
1:51pm Thursday 8th October 2015
AN OXFORD traveller family accused of keeping a man as a slave took him to see his football team play and threw him a 21st birthday, Oxford Crown Court was told this morning.
7:50am Thursday 8th October 2015
MISSING teen Michaela Rose from Chipping Norton was found safe and well last night.
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A shop manager had to put out a bin fire after a suspected arson attack.
3:27pm Thursday 8th October 2015
Arsonists set a tent ablaze on Sunday afternoon.
10:05am Thursday 8th October 2015
FIRE crews battled a blaze believed to be started by children at a disused factory in Bicester yesterday evening.
9:00am Thursday 8th October 2015
REVITALISED book sales will get a further boost today as literature lovers rush in to buy up 503 new hardback titles.
8:00am Thursday 8th October 2015
A NEW scheme to build more starter homes in Oxford has been angrily dismissed as a “get-out clause” for house builders.
7:00am Thursday 8th October 2015
BUSKING and begging will remain part of a controversial crackdown on city centre antisocial behaviour, despite concerns it will breach human rights laws.
6:30am Thursday 8th October 2015
A HOSPICE is urging qualified children’s nurses who may have taken a break from work to consider getting back into it.
6:00am Thursday 8th October 2015
ALMOST 100 people have signed a petition demanding more frequent bus services in Littlemore.