Coventry City Ladies v Brighton and Hove Ladies

 

Sunday 16th March 2014
Ricoh Arena – Kick Off 2.00pm
Adults £5.00   Concessions  £3.00
Advance Tickets Available form Ticket Factory (booking fees applicable) https://www.theticketfactory.com
Tickets will be available on the gate.

On Sunday Coventry City Ladies are playing Brighton Ladies in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. The ladies are having a great season, currently on a 10 match winning streak and an unbeaten run of 15 matches stretching back to mid October 2013. The Ladies need and deserve your support so if you are not going to Sixfields to cheer on the men’s team why not try something different and watch these highly talented and dedicated footballers. CCLFC are hoping for a crowd of around 1000 but the more the merrier, like all football clubs they need revenue and every ticket sold helps fund their ambitions.

Coventry City Finances

As you may be aware the Sky Blue Trust put a suggestion to CCFC that the Trust organize a forum for supporters to ask the club questions about the clubs finances. Sadly Mr Labovitch, the clubs independent Director, has turned down our offer but rather suggested the club holds its own forum to cover a wider range of topics rather than just the finances. When details of the club’s forum are released we will of course let you know.

In the meantime Coventry City supporters are rightly concerned by the financial figures recently filed at Companies House by the Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Group and the club. Add to that the financial & emotional effects of the clubs move to Northampton and these are worrying times for the fans not just looking back at these historical figures but what the future holds for the club.

In the absence of a forum on the finances we therefore would ask the Directors / owners of Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Limited (SBS&L), Otium Entertainment Group Limited (OEG) and CCFC to explain clearly and in detail the following.

1: Why have financial statements of CCFC Limited and CCFC Holdings Limited never been filed for 2012 or 2013? Those for 2012 were due at Companies House and Football league before any event or decision to wind up either company?

2: Given that the attendances at Sixfields are very low and the knock on effect of that financially, how will CCFC meet the requirements of the League 1 Salary Cost Management Protocol and still assemble a competitive team capable of challenging for promotion next year? What is the playing squad profile aimed at?  What other sources of sales or income or other cash injections are expected to be achieved that will count towards the calculation and make squad improvements possible or even retain current budgets? Are there still savings on player wages to be achieved?

3: Which players are out of contract by June 2014 and have they (all) been offered new deals? Are you confident that they will accept? Will any players from the current first team squad be sold or not have contracts renewed in the summer of 2014?

4: What is the connection, if any, between ARVO Master Fund Limited (ARVO) and SISU Capital Limited (SCL)? Are there any common directors, officers or owners, if so who? What is the history of ARVO and when was it formed?

5: What assets were acquired by OEG from CCFC H and at what value? Did that value settle any debts CCFC H might have had in any way and if so which?

6: The Auditors report and notes to the financial statements both refer to the “intention” not to call loans in and to source further finance, but that there is “no contractual certainty” of this happening. Does this mean that despite written assurances the shareholders/lenders could indeed call the monies in and the Group could be short of finance it requires within the next 12 months?

7: Is the further downturn in turnover expected in 2014 significant compared to 2013? And will salary costs be less than turnover, unlike 2013 where they were 107% of turnover? How can salary costs exceeding turnover be viable whatever the income steams are?

8: Have (or will) any of the legal and PR costs of the disputes with ACL, The Council or Higgs Charity been included in the financial statements of the Group? If so how much?

9: Interest costs 2013 were £1.8M and 2012 £1.3m. With additional funding now drawn down from ARVO what is now the annual interest charge and how given the losses (negative cash flow) being made can that interest be paid out? What rate of interest is being charged by ARVO? Have player sales ever been made or planned for the future in order to be able to pay loan or interest commitments?

10: Why given the statements in the financial accounts and made in the media by the directors about continued support for the “foreseeable future” from the shareholders are nearly all the borrowings now included in “Creditor’s amounts falling due within one year” of the balance sheet date? How could the Group repay nearly £42m if it were called in that period? Is that a contradiction of the assurances given by stakeholders in respect of going concern? If the "owners" are long term surely the debt should be also?

11: How can borrowings from SISU managed funds and ARVO of £42m in total plus the funding of further losses whilst at Northampton plus the funding of a new stadium be sustainable for a League 1 club? (Particularly since interest is now charged on much of the borrowings?) In 4 years time that could see the Club with £70m in debt, irrespective of it being from “the owners” it is still owed and repayable.

12: Would the directors, in light of the enjoyable performances this season under Steven Pressley’s management, based on a significantly reduced wage budget, agree that in the past the club has paid out too much in salary costs for a team/players that under achieved? And that this has been a major contribution to the losses over the years?   

13: The financial statements to 31/05/13 include “remuneration paid to third parties in respect of directors services” of £246,250. Which directors do these payments relate to?

14: Which players were sold during the year that resulted in a net profit on transactions of £1,646,566?

15: What freehold land and buildings does the Group own and is it subject to any charges or agreements? If so in whose favour are those charges or agreements? Are there any planning permissions held or sought on any site owned?

16: When did the Group start accruing interest on the loans from the investment funds managed by SISU Capital Limited? The 2012 and previous accounts indicate that these loans were interest free? What has changed to trigger interest charges? Why has this not been disclosed previously?

17: Part of the loan from ARVO falls due December 2014 how will payment be met if the option to convert to shares is not taken up. The 2012 accounts indicate similar loans were due for payment December 2013 how were they repaid? Has the £1.5m interest included as owing in 2013 current creditors now been paid to ARVO? If so how did the Group obtain the funds to do so and when was it paid?

18: Who owes the £590k to ACL under the agreement with the Football League, OEG or CCFC Limited?

19: Given that the Directors have been working on the proposed new stadium for over a year and plans are apparently well advanced can they now give a proper indication of the budget cost of the total project including land purchase and construction? And proper details of how they will fund it?

21: Can the directors give better details of how the building of a new stadium will make CCFC profitable and provide self investment in the team, rather than a bland statement of “a football club must own its own stadium”? How does a project based on a 15000 to 25000 capacity stadium achieve that and still meet the expectations of the shareholders and investors, together with repaying the increased levels of debt and interest?

21: Finally are the directors now confident that the financial statements give a true and fair statement of the affairs of the Group and contain no items of confusion or error

Supporters Consultation Group

 This group meets on Thursday 20th March and representatives of the Sky Blue Trust will be in attendance. If you have any matters you wish them to bring up on your behalf at the meeting please e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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