We would not usually publish such a lengthy article (12,000 + words) in one go. However, friends and colleagues have pointed out that the opportunity to bring together so many issues in a single document is well worthwhile.
Anyway, the article is broken into convenient sections, so you don't have to read it all in one go! Just click "Next" at the end of each section, or choose from the Table of Contents at the top of the article.
Deflecting the Blame
Coventry City Football Club is less than 3 months away from playing what could be its last ever game at the Ricoh Arena on 28th April 2019. Legal action that endangers the business of the landlords, Wasps Rugby Club, is preventing negotiations from taking place for the Sky Blues to play at the Ricoh in 2019/20 and beyond. Without a home ground and with no apparent alternative, Coventry City may soon cease to exist.
In recent weeks, there have been attempts by Coventry City management to turn the focus of Supporters’ complaints away from owners Sisu and onto the parties that Sisu are pursuing within their legal action, Wasps and Coventry City Council.
The arguments from CCFC Chief Executive, Dave Boddy are that:
- Sisu won’t stop their relentless litigation over the sale of shares to Wasps in Arena Coventry Limited (“ACL”), which is the leaseholder for the Ricoh Arena, so fans need to turn their attention onto Wasps.
- Coventry City Council gave a cast-iron assurance that the Football Club wouldn’t be adversely affected by Wasps’ acquisition.
These claims are not supported by the facts. The first is a false premise, because Sisu could and should cease action which has failed at all points to date. The second is an exaggerated interpretation of comments made in the context of Council debate and public relations.
The fundamental reasons that Wasps now occupy the stadium built for our football club which faces a homeless future, if not extinction, are:
- The failed strategy of Joy Seppala and Tim Fisher to get the Ricoh on the cheap, thereby leaving the way open for Wasps to make a purchase at value acceptable to the shareholders in ACL;
- The insistence on legal action, taken partly in the name of Otium Entertainment which trades as Coventry City FC, which poses a direct threat to Wasps’ survival, yet has little apparent chance of success.
Throughout this article, I will evidence the failings of Sisu and its associates with quotations from the leading protagonists.
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