Today sees the start of yet another legal battle launched by Sisu Capital, owners of Coventry City FC against Coventry City Council. Permission to obtain a second Judicial Review, this time regarding the sale of the Ricoh Arena to Wasps Rugby Club, is sought in the Birmingham Law Courts. Although Sisu are not actually named in the petition – the case is formally brought by Otium Entertainment (aka Coventry City FC), its parent company Sky Blue Sports & Leisure and Arvo Master Fund, an investment vehicle of Sisu which has provided loan funding to the football club – it is apparent that Sisu and its boss, Joy Seppala, are the driving force behind this action.
As well as targeting Coventry City Council, the application also names Wasps Holdings, Arena Coventry Limited and the Alan Edward Higgs Charity under the category of “Interested Parties”. Essentially, in the construction of this litigation and despite protestations to the contrary from Tim Fisher (CCFC Chairman), Sisu have placed CCFC in a dispute with their landlords at the Ricoh Arena.
Sisu and Ms Seppala are hardly strangers to the Courts, having resorted to the legal system on several occasions in connection with Coventry City and other matters. It could be concluded that legal action is a preferred business tactic for Joy, to the extent that one wonders if her company should be re-named “She Sues”.
While Joy Seppala is certainly entitled to pursue legal remedies on behalf of her investors, this perhaps conflicts with her duties as steward of Coventry City, since it potentially harms the relationship between the club and its landlords.
It would not be appropriate to comment on the merits of this latest legal case, that is a matter for the judiciary. However, as there is scope for Ms Seppala to require Coventry City Council to defend itself repeatedly in the law courts, surely there is a case for Joy and her close associates to answer concerning the appalling record under their ownership and control of the Sky Blues?
Therefore, on behalf of those Supporters of Coventry City FC who share our concerns about the conduct of Sisu and its fellow participants in the CCFC saga over the past 10 years, a “Summons” has today been served on Joy Seppala. A copy of this document is below this article. This affords the opportunity to Ms Seppala to attend a hearing in Coventry, one month from today, to answer for the actions and decisions taking during the period of her control that have reduced Coventry City to its current parlous state.
The case against Joy and her associates is set out in the “Particulars of Claim” section. This comprises 10 points that, in the opinion of the Plaintiffs, demonstrate that Ms Seppala is not a fit and proper person to be engaged in the ownership or control of Coventry City, or indeed any football club.
While the “Summons” is a spoof and has not a shred of legal validity, the intent to offer Ms Seppala an opportunity to defend her record, including that of her colleagues, is absolutely genuine. Fans would be particularly keen to hear why she considers that Sisu should retain ownership of our beloved Sky Blues, when historical evidence suggests a complete lack of competence and care on their part.
Unlike Ms Seppala herself, we would not actually inflict the indignity of dragging anybody into a Court Room. If she is willing to attend an Open Meeting of Coventry City Supporters at which she would be enabled to answer for the performance of the club owners and directors over the past decade, Joy can be assured of a fair hearing, though it is certain to be largely a critical one. At least she would get credit for facing up to her critics.
Alternatively, Joy can ignore our Summons and the very serious charges that it contains. In which case, Supporters of Coventry City FC must surely conclude that Ms Seppala is guilty as charged.