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Stewart Donald: Time's right to make move for Oxford United
Stewart Donald believes Oxford United are at a ‘critical stage of their history’.
And that is why he has decided to back Charlie Methven’s consortium in their takeover bid of the club.
The wealthy businessman, whose company Bridle Insurance were the U’s main sponsors, yesterday gave his backing to their proposal, which was submitted to United owner Ian Lenagan.
Donald is a lifelong fan and says he is getting involved because he is confident his money will assist the club long-term.
“I was approached by Charlie Methven about helping them out, and I have agreed to do this,” he said.
“I am a huge Oxford United fan and feel that the club are at a critical stage of their history.
“That is why I have decided to get involved.
“I support the club and hopefully I might be able to help it maximise its potential.”
Although not wanting to give detailed figures, when asked how much his financial contribution would be, Donald replied: “It’s substantial. I think that’s the best way to put it. It’s seven figures.”
Donald revealed he had contacted Lenagan earlier in the year about helping the club secure the Kassam Stadium, but the idea never got off the ground.
“I did contact Oxford United and said that if they wanted assistance for funding in order to buy the stadium, I might be willing to help,” he said.
“But for one reason or another, that didn’t proceed.
“OxVox were aware of this and I think they put Charlie in contact with me because of my interest.
“They know I will help the club without any personal benefit.”
He added: “I do still think the numbers are quite high, but I am doing this because I know my funds will be used for the good of Oxford United Football Club.
“I think that is a realistic concern with people that others have not made clear their intentions.
“But it could be that the other consortium will have Oxford United’s interests at heart too.”
Donald owns Conference Premier club Eastleigh, but says his involvement in Oxford will have no bearing on that.
“None whatsoever,” he said.
“It does not impact at all. I am fully committed to Eastleigh and I am in the middle of a project there, maybe not even in the middle.
“I cannot own more than ten per cent of another club because of that involvement, so it will have no impact at all.”
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