Plus ça Change: The High Court Damning Of Coventry City

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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10 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    The football league must act and protect football fans, their support of SISU in itself promotes the fact that they are not fit for purpose, their vision is football for football fans and yet they sit back after making a statement of agreement with SISU which has been broken.
    SISU have not paid what they owe, they have not provided enough progress to move the club back to Coventry in the time scales stated, they have not taken up the offer of a rent free term back at the RICOH. For these reasons alone the football league in a court of law would win any case against the financial might of our Cayman island landlords, I call upon Greg Clark of the football league to follow his organisations vision and give football back to the community of Coventry City, you hold the key Greg all you have to do is turn it and let us all back in i’ve been away for twelve months now all I want to do is go back home.

  2. Paul says:

    KCIC have extended an olive branch to SISU and offered to pay rent & match day cost as long as crowds don’t exceed 5000 ( a significant number above those attending Sixfields) but this has been rejected out of hand by SISU Chief Exec Tim Fisher who was quoted as saying “this was never about rent” and that the club “was capable of paying” – so why was rent withheld if not to distress ACL (The owners of the stadium)???

    Explain one legitimate reason the club have to not to return to the Ricoh Arena given the offer that been put to them? Tell the fans why they cannot watch their team at their home stadium? Why is it in the best interest of the club to stay away when the MAJORITY of the fans are boycotting ‘home’ matches? Why are the owners allowed the golden share when their activities are not in the best interests of the football club? Etc etc.

  3. Bill Smith says:

    Sisu are the experts. It has pointed the way. Deny one’s opponents of funds. Not one penny more should be extended to all areas, including away games, website, merchandise, radio commentary,etc. Sisu is heartless. The only way to hurt it is through its pocket.

  4. Orca says:

    One of the most galling things is that if the new Stadium is ‘Plan A’, why do SISU persist in trying to win court cases against the Council? What purpose does it serve? If SISU and Otium have ‘moved on’, well according to Tim Fisher they have, why would a Court victory be so important?

  5. Robert Leslie says:

    SISU made commitments to the Football League in order to get sanction to play City’s ‘home’ matches in Northampton. SISU has not honoured these commitments.
    The Judicial Review has shown that SISU have no grounds for dispute with either ACL or Coventry City Council.
    Given these facts how can the Football League possibly sanction CCFC playing at Sixfields next season? The FL need to give SISU an ultimatum – the club plays in Coventry at The Ricoh or it doesn’t play at all.

  6. john unitt says:

    I suggest 3 things
    1) We get all supporters to ask their full extended families to turn up and bring the WHOLE COVENTRY COMMUNITY out to Saturday’s Rally. We got 250000 out after we won the Cup, why cant we have a massive turn out of that same community on Saturday saying clearly NO MORE
    2) Fisher and Labovtich MUST be voted out with a vote of no confidence. They have proven an inconsistent joke with absolutely NO CREDIBILITY WHATSOEVER!
    3) Sorry guys BUT WE MUST HAVE AT LEAST ONE RECORD BREAKING ‘NIL ATTENDANCE’ FOR A SELECTED HOME GAME’. A chosen match WHERE NOT -ONE TURNS UP AT ALL To show a united front that if necessary we will cease ALL financial input till they GET OUT OF OUT CLUB!!

  7. Rich H says:

    The Football League are letting Coventry City down badly. It has been stated by the Judge in a court of law that SISU withheld rent in order to financially distress ACL and buy a share of the Ricoh on the cheap. The Football League allowed SISU to have games played in Northampton on the understanding that they intend to return. Time to order them back.

  8. Tim says:

    The “nil attendance” idea is great in theory but we know in practice there will be a few hundred people whose selfish desire to attend football matches means more to them than the future of the club, as well as a few hundred more who have been given free tickets by SISU.

    The FL will do nothing – any attempt to interfere will be decried as “regulation” and capitalists don’t like regulation – until things stop going their way, at which point they run to the courts.

    I can see no other way forward than leaving CCFC to rot with SISU in charge – let them lose their 70m while we start a new club in Cov playing at the Ricoh. It won’t have the CCFC name but it will have its soul.

  9. Mike Watson says:

    I have written to the Football league and received a pathetic response to which I in turn responded – see below.Somebody in high authority in government needs to order the Football league to act.

    Andrew,

    Thank you for your quick response to my email. However it is extremely disappointing that the Football League has not responded to the article and has hidden behind mealy mouthed previous statements and the likes of ” can make no further comment at this time”.

    You make no reference to the article concerned. A high court judge states that SISU have “seriously mismanaged the club”. I would like a statement from the football league explaining why, in the light of this statement from the high court judge, they can justify SISU/OTIUM being fit and proper persons to run a football club. RESPONSE please.

    The article also states “the dislocated club a blight on the Football League, which unfathomably allowed Coventry City to be moved by a hedge fund seeking to “distress” the operating company of an arena built for the club’ owned by the local council and a charity”. Can you provide a response to this overt criticism of the Football League. RESPONSE please.

    I would suggest that the Football league could have threatened expulsion at the time that SISU wanted the “temporary move”. It would have been straightforward to have made staying at the Ricoh in Coventry a condition of giving SISU the golden share. That could still be done now if the Football League had any conviction, guts or integrity.

    If you fail yet again to act in the best interests of the true fans of Coventry City anybody in the Football League with any management responsibility should hang their heads in shame!

    Regards
    Mike Watson

    Sent from my iPad

    On 4 Jul 2014, at 09:25, Enquiries wrote:

    Mike,

    Thank you for your email, we note your comments.

    As you may have read a Football League spokesman recently said, “The Football League will continue with its efforts to resolve what is a complicated and hostile commercial dispute and we remain in dialogue with all the relevant parties.

    “Our overriding aim is the return of Coventry City to the Coventry area within the timescale set out in the Club’s membership agreement.”

    Aside from that, we can only provide the following information regarding the situation, which we have publicly stated previously.

    The Board of The Football League has received updates and the situation continues to be closely monitored, with discussion ongoing regarding progress in returning the Club to the Coventry area. You will understand that it is not always possible to make every detail of these meetings public, but as with all cases of clubs looking to move grounds, The League will continue to emphasise to the Club that supporters should be kept up to date as often as is practically possible.

    Whilst The League has publically urged Otium and ACL to resolve the dispute, The League has no jurisdiction to force any Club (or landlord for that matter) to come to an arrangement over land or rental agreement. With no agreement in place to play at the Ricoh Arena, reluctantly, the Board of Directors approved the application to relocate on a temporary basis only.

    The Board has given Coventry City permission to play its matches at Northampton Town for the next three seasons, with no agreement in place regarding the Ricoh Arena. Obviously if an arrangement is reached by the club to return to Coventry at an earlier point then this is desirable for all. The League has previously stated that ideally an agreement can be reached between parties to enable this to happen. This term can be extended for two further periods of 12 months, provided the club can demonstrate sufficient progress towards the building of a new stadium in the Coventry area. Should the club not comply with this timeframe, the matter will be considered by The Football League Board at the relevant time with reference to both the permission to relocate and the membership agreement entered into in August 2013. Expulsion from the League would be a realistic outcome at that stage.

    The stadium dispute between Arena Coventry Limited and Coventry City is ultimately one which must be resolved by the two parties themselves, if they are prepared to do so. However, The League is continuing with our efforts to get the Club playing back in the Coventry area as soon as possible.

    The League is unable to provide further comment at this time.

    Thank you for contacting The Football League.

    Regards,

    Andrew Pomfret
    Customer Services Officer
    The Football League Limited
    http://www.football-league.co.uk

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    From: Mike Watson [mailto:mikejwatson@sky.com]
    Sent: 03 July 2014 16:10
    To: Enquiries
    Subject: RE: Ownership of Coventry City FC

    Please read the guardian article below about my beloved Sky Blues:-

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jul/03/coventry-city-sisu-ricoh-arena

    This is an article written by a respected journalist, David Conn of the Guardian.

    Isn’t it about time that the Football League stepped in to resolve the terrible problems at CCFC caused by SISU?

    You have a responsibility to the fans to bring this debacle to an end. “Real football for real fans” remember.

    Despite all of the Coventry fans protestations you have done absolutely nothing to force SISU to get us back to the RICOH.

    Could you not remove the golden share from them?

    Regards,

    Mike Watson
    e-mail: mikejwatson@sky.com

    From: enquiries [mailto:enquiries@Football-League.Co.Uk]
    Sent: 18 June 2013 12:02
    To: ‘mikejwatson@sky.com’
    Subject: RE: Ownership of Coventry City FC

    Mike,

    Thank you for your email.

    Please view The Football League’s latest statement regarding Coventry City on our official website here http://www.football-league.co.uk/footballleaguenews/20130618/statement-on-coventry-city_2293334_3212923.

    The League is not able to comment further at this time.

    Thank you for contacting The Football League.

    Regards,

    Andrew Pomfret
    Customer Services Officer
    The Football League Limited
    http://www.football-league.co.uk

    The Football League Ltd. Registered Office – Edward VII Quay, Navigation Way, Preston PR2 2YF. Registered No: 80612. Tel: 0844 463 1888. Fax: 0844 826 5188.
    London Office – 30 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8FL. Tel: 0844 826 3099

    Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/football_league

    This e-mail and any attachments are intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain privileged and confidential information. If you have received this message in error or there are any problems, please notify the sender immediately and delete the message from your computer and any copies. The unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or alteration of this message is forbidden. Any views set out in this e-mail are the views of the individual sending it, and not the views of The Football League Limited unless otherwise stated. This e-mail should not be seen as forming a legally binding contract unless otherwise stated. Although we believe this e-mail and any attachment are virus-free it is your responsibility to ensure this on receipt.

    From: mikejwatson@sky.com [mailto:mikejwatson@sky.com]
    Sent: 15 June 2013 12:20
    To: enquiries
    Subject: Ownership of Coventry City FC

    I would like to express my deep concern regarding all of the events around the administration of Coventry City Football Club. SISU the owners, as you are aware, put the club (CCFC Limited) into administration and have destroyed our club over the last few years. The Football League declared that the golden share was with CCFC Ltd (even though all of the players contracts were with Coventry City Football Club (Holdings) Limited) and docked 10 points from the club due to the administration and we lost any chance of the play-offs.

    The Football League has the power to transfer the golden share to a new owner – I ask you to intervene and refuse to transfer the golden share to Otium Entertainment Group Limited (a SISU company) and to transfer it to another buyer who has the best interests of the football club and the CCFC fans at heart. SISU have no interest in the football club and seem to relish ignoring the fans – for example a petition to keep the club at the Ricoh arena has been signed by over 13,000 fans and they are completely ignoring it. SISU are not “fit and proper persons” and therefore the Football League should not allow them to own the football club on this basis.

    I would be grateful for a response.

    Regards,

    Mike Watson
    e-mail: mike.watson@mwpms.co.uk
    telephone: 07946 684557

    The Football League Ltd. Registered Office – Unit 5B. Edward VII Quay, Navigation Way, Preston PR2 2YF. Registered in England & Wales. Reg No: 80612. This email message has been delivered safely and archived online by Mimecast.
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  10. MoeTheBarman says:

    What a mess. Good luck to Coventry and its fans. Fuck sisu.

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