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  • Mitre June 17

Coventry City - still a slim chance opening home game could be at the Ricoh

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The Sky Blues have issued a response to Coventry City Council leader Ann Lucas's personal plea for talks with Sisu boss Joy Seppala - saying she would be delighted to meet.

It follows today's Coventry Telegraph story revealing Coun Lucas's open letter to the hedge fund boss in charge of the Sky Blues - in which Coun Lucas requests "woman to woman" talks to "end this nonsense" and strike a deal to keep the Sky Blues playing at the council owned Ricoh Arena.

Coun Lucas's letter also suggests a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to bring the club out of administration will not be signed by part-council-owned stadium firm Arena Coventry Limited at today's crucial creditors' meeting - due to start at 11am in London.

Coventry City Football Club's response states: "Joy Seppala would of course be delighted to meet with Ann Lucas.

"Indeed, Joy and the directors of the football club were disappointed that neither Ann nor her deputy (Coun Phil Townshend) attended the important meeting with her last week - and instead left it to directors of ACL who admitted that they did not have the authority to take some of the key decisions needed to bring about a resolution.

"However, we are encouraged that Ann herself is now willing to get personally involved. Rather than grandstanding through the media, we have held private meetings with the current council leadership at which we have made it clear that they must take control of the situation.

"We see no reason why the CVA cannot be accepted as soon as possible so that the club can exit administration and focus on winning its upcoming matches.

"Accepting the CVA will also enable ACL to recover a substantial sum of money.

"If ACL wish to reject the CVA, they will be forcing the club into liquidation, under which they will recover no money and expose the club to the risk of a severe points deduction.

"Whether ACL intends to accept the CVA or force the club into liquidation, they should make that decision now.

"Continued delaying and stalling just leaves the club in limbo, unable to build up the squad, which is unfair on Steven Pressley, the players and the fans.

"Finally, some people have made bizarre claims that liquidation is necessary in order to force an investigation.

"An investigation by the administrator is of course already in progress and does not require liquidation in order to continue.

"In addition to that investigation, we would welcome a thorough investigation into the affairs of the club, the council and ACL since 2003 which lie at the root of the current dispute.

"Accepting the CVA need not prevent such an investigation taking place."

Sources close to ACL said its directors were going into today's meeting to do everything within ACL's power to keep Coventry City playing in Coventry.

It remains to be seen if that means agreeing to Mr Appleton's CVA proposal in its current form.

The upshot is this, if a deal is donethere is a slim chance that Coventry City's opening league game at home - against Bristol City on August 11th will be at the Ricoh. All parties need to be in the same mind set, but with a more affordable rental structure likley to emerge there is a chnace a deal can be done.

The parties have a bit of breathing space with the Sky Blues' opening two games both awa from home.

JB

 

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