The administrator set a deadline last week of the 31st May for bids to come in for Coventry City Ltd.
However the question still remains of what potential investors will be bidding for. We have been told there are multiple parties interested with one being the bid backed by American Tycoon Preston Haskell.
The information that we currently have is that Coventry City Ltd the company in administration and the company that potential investors are bidding for contains very little in terms of assets. Before administration it contained the lease for the Ricoh but this seems to have been nullified by administration which leaves only one real asset. The ‘golden share’ remains as this particular issue seems to have been resolved in that the administrator is of the opinion that it lies with Coventry City Ltd.
We as fans have been pinning our hopes on the fact that the ‘golden share’ was going to be up for sale and it is so on the face of it this is good news. Hints from the administrator however have suggested it’s importance has been overstated. With the rest of the clubs assets including the players all registered with Coventry City Holdings there are still many issues to overcome.
First off Sisu are obviously one of the confirmed bidders for Coventry City Ltd and the ‘golden share’. Now if they match any other offer that is on the table then it would seem that they would be the most favourable option for those with the power to decide as they already own all other aspects of the club. It would be the easiest transition and cause the least amount of issues for the football league.
Of course this is in fact the least favourable option for us fans. We are all fed up with Sisu and have been for a long time. We can only hope that our voices are heard and that Sisu are finally forced out of our club.
There are though still so many hurdles to overcome even after the acquisition of the ‘golden share’ If Haskell or any other potential investors were to get their hands on it as they are then going to have to negotiate with Sisu. There is no other option and with Sisu’s negotiating history I see very little hope of this getting sorted quickly if at all. Sisu have got themselves into a position where they are almost guaranteed to either get money back that they feel they are owed or to keep control of the club.
It is clear that all interested parties have the Ricoh at the heart of any deal and for the club to remain in Coventry is all us fans really want. With Sisu now making it official that whilst they are in charge the club will never play at the Ricoh again I am struggling to see a way back for them.
I have been led to believe that at least two of the potential bidders are serious not only about acquiring the golden share but challenging Sisu in every way they can to get their hands on the club and attempt to take them forward. Obviously the most public bid from Haskell which involves Elliot and Hoffman would be the one that most people would want to happen.
Hoffman is widely respected both in business and football and we all know he is a proper sky blue fan. The same goes for Joe Elliot who has himself been mistreated by Sisu having been relieved of his duties at the club by Sisu.
If we ignore other interested parties though and assume Sisu get their way then what next for our club. We look like we will be playing our home games outside of Coventry for the foreseeable future so it is basically going to be a season of 46+ away games. With the expense as well as the inconvenience this would cause us City fans it is understandable that the ‘Keep City in Coventry’ has got the backing it has got.
The letter posted on Coventry’s website from Gillingham FC is an interesting one. I think the telegraph was naive in thinking that all the clubs would be behind the fans because other clubs don’t know and understand the situation fully. In the eyes of outsiders what Sisu are doing seems reasonable based on the reported rent costs that the club have been paying. Any business being dramatically over charged for their premises will search for an alternate sustainable base no matter how that affects their employees/customers.
Granted this is a football club and for that reason is different but Sisu know that no matter what they do the fans will always have a soft spot in their hearts for the club and I guarantee that they are pinning their hopes on that fact and that us fans will go back on our words of not going to games.
We all know there will be some fans who continue to go no matter what and that small minority along with the dramatically reduced rent payments may actually make financial sense for Sisu to do it despite losing the majority of the clubs supporters. This obviously seems strange in the football sense but if it works in the business sense then you can understand them doing it considering we all know they are definitely not football people.
This is all still ifs and buts though and I would love to end by saying the 31st of May will be a defining day but like so many others I don’t think it will be. This whole situation is going to keep dragging on and on and it truly is going to be a day of celebration when one way or another this whole sorry debacle is finally over and we can get back to concentrating on the football side of things.