ALMOST a month after Jim Rosenthal’s resignation from Oxford United’s board, the reasons behind the sudden move became clearer yesterday.
U’s chairman Ian Lenagan, who had not previously made any public comment about the exit, explained it was down to a £100,000 loan which the popular sports television presenter asked to be repaid.
Lenagan claimed he initially understood the investment, made by Rosenthal with an unnamed colleague in 2006, had been a personal loan to former chairman Nick Merry, which was then put into the club.
The initial request to reclaim the money was made in April, but with little progress made Rosenthal resigned publicly last month.
Lenagan said: “Once I had validated the legality of the loan, I tried for some months to persuade them to leave the £100,000 in the club, on the same terms as I was doing with my loans.
“But my delays and our inability to agree terms meant Jim and his colleague threatened, in writing, legal action against the club to have their loan repaid quickly.”
The money was finally paid in full last week, from new funds made available by the Lenagan family.
The U’s chairman now considers the matter to be closed.
When asked whether he could see Rosenthal, a long-term high-profile U’s supporter, having another role in the future, Lenagan said: “I think time has got to pass.
“Both of us are slightly bruised from what has happened.”