Tim Fisher revealed this week that confidential, behind closed door mediation is currently being undertaken to try and resolve the whole sorry mess surrounding Coventry City. The Trust itself has spoken with Mr Heaton-Harris. Respecting the sensitive nature of the process, we kept these talks confidential and believed that some progress was being made. We urge all parties to engage in the process and give the mediator their points of view, what they could do to assist a successful outcome and not blindly stand in the way of the club's survival nor take actions to jeapordize the outcome. SISU have stepped up legal action and the other parties are refusing to co-operate until these actions are dropped. Unfortunately it appears that once again all parties are treating our club as a bargaining chip in their destructive game of brinksmanship.
Mr Fisher revealed that his plans for the future of CCFC revolve around a controversial move to the Butts Park Arena to be tenants of Coventry Rugby Club. Jon Sharpe, the Chair of CRFC, has stated that he is willing to join in mediation and offer CCFC a home but that all legal actions surrounding the club and other city institutions must cease. Wasps and Coventry City Council have also stated that they are unwilling to assist CCFC beyond their statutory obligations because of the legal proceedings. We would urge both parties to engage with Mr Heaton-Harris and explain to him why they are taking the stance they are and why legal proceedings are stopping them engaging in the mediation process. Surely they can engage in the process without having to commit to anything that could jeopardize their legal position or even put in caveats that offer certain solutions upon cessation of legal actions.
The reported triggering of JR2 by Joy Seppala via the intertwined companies ARVO, Sky Blue Sports and Leisure and the company that is Coventry City, Otium is a further continuation of the tiresome battle between big business and a local authority. If Ms Seppala feels she has a legitimate grievance against Coventry City Council and Wasps then she is within her rights to pursue that. However what she doesn’t have a right to do is cause further avoidable, potentially terminal, damage to Coventry City. Under her stewardship the Sky Blues have sunk to their lowest position in generations yet she appears to care more about court battles than the thousands of loyal Sky Blue supporters and the community they come from. She seems not to understand, nor care about, the distressing impact this has on the lives of passionate City fans.
Let all parties who could influence the future success of our club join in the process, tell the mediator what potential help could be offered on what terms, even terms such as dropping legal action before anything concrete actually happens. The clock is ticking on the rental deal at the Ricoh, at present there is no alternative venue proposed in the short term, without it the club will move out of the City and most likely die for good. We call on all parties – SISU, CCC, Wasps/ACL, Football League, FA, Sport England, and Coventry Sports Foundation to put their differences aside for one minute and discuss, through a neutral mediator, a potential solution. The supporters of Coventry City deserve no less – just give us some hope to cling to.