We are all quite rightly focusing on the roller coaster performances of Tony Mowbray’s Sky Blues at the moment - frustrating and exhilarating by turns – and we don’t want to distract attention from our team. However, it is worth reminding ourselves that, today, CCFC’s owners are appearing in court yet again in a complex legal case against the local authority, in its various guises.
You might recall – though no-one would blame you if you didn’t! – that back in June 2014, the Judicial Review (‘JR1’) that SISU instigated into the legality of Coventry Council’s loan to the Arena Company ‘failed in its entirety’. In January 2015 their request for permission to Appeal against that decision was dismissed. SISU then returned to court in July 2015 and were granted leave to Appeal the JR1 decision. Further, in December 2014, SISU had started another Judicial Review (‘JR2’), this time into the terms of the sale of ACL to Wasps, a case which seems to hinge around the valuation of the Ricoh at the time of that sale in comparison to the amount of the loan advanced to ACL by CCC. The Appeal Court’s decision concerning JR1 will be made at or following the hearing in February. That decision is also likely significantly to affect the outcome of JR2.
Why should this bother City fans? Well, if you are local tax-payer in Coventry it might concern you that SISU’s wish for ‘substantial damages’ under JR1 and JR2 may, if successful, eventually have to be paid for by you in one form or another. But, more directly, what are the likely repercussions for the Football Club of the Court’s decisions in one or both cases? What compensation will SISU get if they win? Will the outcome affect the finances of the Club and team, positively or negatively? What if SISU lose both cases? What might that mean for the future of our Club?
We don’t yet know the answers to these questions, but one thing is for sure – the February hearings have potentially massive implications for the Sky Blues. As a Board, we will be watching as all this unfolds and will be keeping you informed.