Oxford

No deal reached in talks to buy Oxford United

Oxford United Image copyright Getty Images

Talks between a Uruguayan businessman trying to buy Oxford United and the club's owner have broken down without a deal being reached.

Juan Sartori made an offer for the League One club earlier this year and has also been speaking to stadium owner Firoz Kassam.

Speaking exclusively to BBC Oxford, he said he got "quite close" to a deal with current club owner Darryl Eales.

But he said it was a "personal decision" by Mr Eales not to sell.

Mr Sartori said he thought he could have built "a great project" around the club.

He said: "The idea was to strengthen the academy, to develop the ground, to work at resolving the real estate issue."

'Disappointed'

Mr Sartori added: "[It was] 100% a decision from Darryl, to continue a little bit more. He thinks he can still give the club a lot of things, to go for the promotion."

He said he was "a little bit disappointed" but that he is sure "Darryl will do a great job and take the club further from here".

Mr Eales, who has always said publically the club is not for sale, said it was "a personal decision, a judgement call" to break off talks.

He added: "It was probably just easier to end the speculation and say 'not right now'."

Monaco-based Mr Sartori first expressed an interest in Oxford after watching their home game against Bolton in March.

The 36-year-old is the son-in-law of AS Monaco chairman and Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Oxford United have been owned by Mr Eales since July 2014 and have won promotion from League Two and made two Wembley appearances in the EFL Trophy final since then.

Mr Sartori has met with members of the club's supporters' trust, OxVox, and minority club shareholder Stewart Donald.

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