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The Sky Blue Trust are delighted to see that the award of the franchise for local and inter-regional services, currently held by London Midland Trains, to West Midlands Trains specifically includes plans for the radical improvement of services to the Arena station for major events.

During 2016 the Trust actively lobbied the Department of Transport and strongly encouraged local Coventry and Warwickshire MPs, Council Leaders, Wasps RFC and Coventry City FC to contact the Department to demand two things. First, that potential franchisees should explicitly indicate the short and long term plans that they had for running appropriate train services from Coventry and Nuneaton to the Arena for major events: and secondly that the responses of the potential franchisees to these questions should be a material consideration in the allocation of the franchise.

The Trust, largely due to a well informed and dogged campaign headed up by board members Bruce Walker and Frank Smith had an excellent response from all parties to this request to lobby the Department and we are grateful to them for those responses - they appear to have achieved success!

However, the Trust also notes that the proposed service improvements are unlikely to come on stream until very late in 2018.

As CCFC supporters, supporting a Club trapped in a web of critical deadlines due to the incompetence and intransigence of the current owners, we are very seriously concerned that by the time the much needed service improvements to the Arena are implemented our Club may be elsewhere or, most worryingly, nowhere at all.

The end of the Ricoh rental agreement in the Summer of 2018 coupled with the termination of the Academy agreement at the Alan Higgs Centre in the Spring of next year, the sale of the Ryton training ground and the uncertain outcome of High Court decisions affecting the future location and very existence of the Sky Blues, means that our reaction to the proposed service improvements is one of 'Very welcome, but we have got a lot more to be worried about between now and then'.

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The Sky Blue Trust Board note the outcome of today’s hearing at the Birmingham High Court where Sisu Capital Limited – under the guise of Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Limited, Otium Entertainment Limited (Coventry City FC) and Arvo Master Fund – sought permission to bring a second judicial review into the conduct of Coventry City Council. This case concerned the sale of the shares in Arena Coventry Limited to Wasps Holdings (the rugby club) and the extension of the leasehold term for the Ricoh Arena.

 Once again, Sisu have lost a court room battle connected to the Sky Blues affairs, it would appear decisively. Surely, it is now time for Joy Seppala, boss of Sisu, to call it a day? We appeal to Joy and her partner, Dermott Coleman, to accept the decision of Mr Justice R Singh and stop this ongoing legal process. Please do not follow your usual course of action by appealing in an attempt to circumvent this latest ruling.

 What is particularly concerning is that Wasps, the landlords of CCFC at the Ricoh Arena, were the main target of today’s litigation, which contained a damages claim. That can hardly be helpful for our football club, as there is just one season left on the current agreement to play at the Ricoh and there is currently no alternative. The bridge that now needs re-building with Wasps is a daunting task.

 We were then disturbed to witness video of Ms Seppala refusing to answer reasonable questions from Simon Gilbert of the Coventry Telegraph, regarding the case and the future for CCFC. This showed apparent distain, not just for the inquirer but more important, for supporters of the club.

Therefore, the Board of the Trust wish to send this message: Joy, there is no future for you, your Company, investors or your associate Tim Fisher at Coventry City. You have failed on every measure, whether it is your litigation-driven business strategy or – far more important to us – issues related to the stewardship of the Sky Blues. It is now time to accept that “Enough is Enough”, negotiate a sale at a realistic market value to people that actually care about the football club, its supporters and the City of Coventry.

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Jim's son and daughter, Ben and Aimee Twyneham, are really heartened and almost overwhelmed by the response to their father’s passing earlier this month. While they can't thank people individually, they do want to send a "thank you" message to everyone who has expressed their sadness or felt loss at his departure.

Ben and Aimee look forward to seeing those of you who can make it at Canley Crematorium on Wednesday 26th July at 1.30pm and welcoming you afterwards at the Chestnut Tree in Craven Street, Chapelfields, 3.00pm onwards, there to raise a glass, as Jim himself was known to do, in his honour.

This will be a celebration of Jim's life and particularly of his love of Coventry City FC. Therefore, Ben and Aimee want us all to wear whatever Sky Blue we can at the Crematorium and afterwards at the Chestnut Tree - no black!

 
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