Fraudster turned businesswoman buys football club
9:25am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Local
IF ANYONE knows about life’s ups and downs, it is ambitious business woman Donna Oxendale.
A convicted fraudster turned business mogul, Ms Oxendale has now set her sites on conquering the world of football with the £50,000 purchase of Farnworth Town FC, which plays in the Lancashire Amateur League.
The 27-year-old’s growing DW Business Group empire, based in Barton Road, Farnworth, spans across recruitment, law and beauty training and she says her new venture could be the most exciting yet.
Ms Oxendale, who lives in Farnworth, found out about the club through her business partner at DW Fitness, Arron Whalley. She went to watch the team in action and was impressed by the support for the club.
She said: “It’s my first venture into football and it is purely an investment. The reason I bought it was to make money. It’s very new and exciting for me.”
Donna now owns a 49 per cent stake in the club, with manager Jason Tyldesley also owning 49 per cent and the club holding the remaining two per cent.
But Ms Oxendale admits she has had a chequered past.
In 2009 she was sent to prison for two-and-half years for fraud. She admitted using the internet to swindle £20,000 from concert-goers by auctioning off tickets that did not exist.
But her time in Styal and then Peterborough Prison proved to be the making of her. During her time in prison Ms Oxendale completed a Masters in Criminal Justice and vowed to change her ways.
The divorcee said: “I just decided breaking the law wasn’t for me and completed my law degree. When I came out I went straight into business in recruitment and it went from there.
“I put my success down to being in some very bad places and vowing never to go back there. The whole of my family work in the police and prison service and they have completely disowned me.”
Ms Oxendale, originally from Middlesborough, was living in Manchester as a law student when she committed the crime.
She said: “I knew the law but I did not expect it to land me in prison. I was made an example of because I was a law graduate. I don’t regret it. I don’t let anybody get in my way and if I want something, I will get it.”
Determined to succeed, Ms Oxendale’s businesses have gone from strength to strength. She employs more than 90 people in her DW Business Group, which has offices in Bradford, London and Manchester, and consists of four hair salons, a beauty training company, a recruitment consultancy, a law firm and two gyms.
“It’s stressful running all the different businesses but I love it,“ says Ms Oxendale.
“I am nervous about investing in Farnworth FC, but in a good way. I know how to make money and the club is already earning money, which will all get reinvested in the club.”
She plans to make money through advertising.
And if Ms Oxendale has faced any scepticism about her latest investment, she does not let it bother her.
She added: “I get it all the time, you always get it in business so it’s nothing new. I just laugh and think: ‘Well I’m the one making all the money.’ Ms Oxendale plans to invest up to £75,000 in Farnworth FC’s four football teams and will be working with club manager Jason Tydesley.
Mr Tyldesley said: “Donna’s investment has been ideal for us. It’s a really exciting time.”