There may be a glimmer of hope for the future of Coventry City Football Club today, though it comes in the form of “no news is good news”.
Following the recent verdict from the Court of Appeal, declining the application by the owners of CCFC for the grant of a Judicial Review of the sale of the Ricoh Arena, it had been anticipated that Sisu Capital Limited would apply to the Supreme Court to reverse that decision.
It is our understanding that no such application has been submitted and that the time limit for the process has now passed.
This litigation had been brought in the name of Otium Entertainment Limited, which is the legal entity of Coventry City Football Club, together with its parent company Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Limited and Arvo Master Fund, which holds a debenture over the assets of the football club.
The defendants were Coventry City Council and Wasps Rugby Club, who are effectively the owners of the Ricoh Arena via their subsidiary company, Arena Coventry Limited holding an extraordinarily long lease on the stadium.
With Coventry City having no realistic alternative to playing their home matches at the Ricoh, these legal proceedings which have pitted the football club against its landlords, Wasps Rugby Club, have put the future of the Sky Blues at serious risk. The current arrangement ends at the end of the 2018/19 season and Wasps have made it clear that there will be no extension if legal action is continued.
Therefore, the passing of the deadline to prolong the Judicial Review application appears to be a step in the right direction, as far as future relationships between Coventry City and the Wasps are concerned. There remains significant uncertainty because:
- In exceptional circumstances, the Supreme Court could extend the deadline if it is given good reason;
- There may be other legal avenues, including civil action, that Sisu may wish to pursue against Coventry City Council and/or Wasps.
While such uncertainty remains, Wasps may not wish to enter into negotiations for CCFC to play at the Ricoh beyond next May.
We therefore call upon Joy Seppala of Sisu and her associates, including Tim Fisher as Chairman of Coventry City, to make it clear immediately that ALL legal action regarding the Ricoh Arena has now been stopped permanently, at least as far as Wasps are concerned.
In those circumstances, we would urge Nick Eastwood as CEO of Wasps and their Chairman, Derek Richardson, to commence negotiations with David Boddy of Coventry City Football Club as soon as possible.
I’m sure that most Sky Blues supporters would welcome these developments and will be hoping that this long drawn out saga will have a happy and swift ending.
The Jimmy Hill Way Campaign