The last week for Coventry City was supposed to be a defining week in the clubs history and whilst in many ways it has been, there are still so many questions that have been left unanswered.
The confusion which now surrounds the club began late on Thursday evening when out of nowhere owners Sisu chose to put Coventry City FC Limited (CCFC Ltd) into administration. The statement released detailed that CCFC Ltd a ‘non-operating subsidiary’ had been put into administration but CCFC (Holdings) Ltd was not suggesting the club itself had been spared administration.
Confusion was the overriding emotion following this statement and the scheduled court case which would have seen the club as a whole go into administration was postponed to allow for further investigation into the club.
The other important aspect which was the only thing that we seemed to be a hundred per cent certain on was that Sisu’s actions had voided the contract between them and ACL meaning Coventry City FC now had no home, with there now being no rental contract between the two parties.
Rumours and possible scenarios began to circulate around the social media sites as City fans tried to understand the implications of Sisu’s actions. Rumours of new owners looking to invest as well as potential grounds to play our remaining home fixtures, and whether or not the club will get a points deduction.
Then on Friday it emerged that the club was clearing out stock from the club shop at the Ricoh arena. It was later confirmed that staff and stock had been moved to a different location which was later confirmed as city’s Ryton training ground. This seemed to signal the end of City’s time at the Ricoh but now where does the club go.
Saturday arrived with pretty much all of the questions still left unanswered and attentions turned to the match against Portsmouth. Does this match even matter was the question on a lot of fans minds but being football fans we got on with it and got behind the boys in Skyblue.
It was a game where the players could be excused from being distracted by what’s been going on at the club but the players seemed to respond relatively positively. An early penalty looked to give the Skyblue fans something to cheer but McSheffery stepped up and had is penalty saved by an impressive Eastwood. Things kind of went downhill from there and despite a number of good chances for City it wasn’t to be their day. 2-0 to Portsmouth was the final result and it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse for City.
How wrong I was as new continued to break over the next few days. News emerged that ACL and others believed the club had made a mistake and was actually in administration as a whole. For this reason ACL went into court on Tuesday with the intention of withdrawing their application for CCFC to be put into administration.
This has all come down to where a so called ‘golden share’ lies. This ’golden share’ refers to the clubs membership of the football league and it is now understood to lie with CCFC Ltd and not as Sisu suggested with CCFC (Holdings) Ltd. This should have meant the club were going to be confirmed as being in administration but continued discrepancies mean we are still left wondering although a point’s deduction looks more and more likely as time goes on.
One thing that is very interesting as well as worrying is that the court was informed that the club is actually £60million in debt. Now Sisu have consistently stated that the club has no debt so once again it would suggest that we have all been lied too on an even bigger scale then we could have imagined.
The club has taken some positive steps in that a short term deal is now being talked of too enable the club to play its last three home matches at the Ricoh Arena. No matter what happens I think everyone can agree that this is a favourable scenario for all involved.
Our club is in crisis and we are undoubtedly looking for a saviour. Former life president Joe Elliot this week has stoked the fans hopes by publicly talking about an American millionaire who is apparently interested in the club.
His name is Preston Haskell and has in the past shown strong interest in another UK based football club, Leeds United. On the face of it he seems like the real deal. He has a fortune worth an estimated $250 million (£157 million), is a genuine sports fan, great business knowledge and so far have only heard good things about this millionaire from Texas.
We have heard all this before though and had our hopes raised only to be left with the likes of our current owners. At this moment in time though anyone other than Sisu seems like a good option and for that reason I welcome administration and I never thought I would say that.
It is a huge shame that it has come to this for our beloved club but administration does offer he club a potential fresh start. We have been going downhill as a club for as long as I can remember and just maybe this could finally be the beginning of revival for the club. My only concern is how far we are going to have to fall before we begin to rise again.
Sisu’s dealings with this club are far from over and there is plenty of drama still to come that I am sure of. It does have to end at some point though and one way or another I cannot wait for a resolution to this so once again we can concentrate on the football side of things.