This morning, Coventry City published a statement from the Supporters Forum regarding the Ricoh Arena situation https://www.ccfc.co.uk/news/2018/december/news-supporters-forum-groups-pledge-ricoh-arena-deal-support/ Most groups and individuals represented at the Forum have agreed with the totality of points proposed by the football club.
The article concludes with the comment: “Also in attendance and offered the opportunity to support were The Sky Blue Trust, though their board subsequently decided they did not wish to commit to the entire statement.” The Trust is in agreement with many of the points made in the Club Statement. However, certain phrasing within the text is simply not credible and cannot be supported by the democratically appointed Board of the largest group of Coventry City supporters. In particular, there is a complete contradiction in calling “on ALL parties to put aside their differences to sit down and negotiate a deal for Coventry City to play at the Ricoh Arena as soon as possible” then adding in the same sentence “despite the on-going court case”.
Moz Baker, Chair of the Trust, tried to make the point at the meeting that many city fans including Trust members would expect the owners of the club to be challenged and to be lobbied to drop their legal challenge, but was prevented from pursuing this. He did agree to take the statement for discussion by Trust board members.
Therefore, in support of Coventry City FC (but not the owners and directors of Otium Entertainment, Sky Blue Sports and Leisure, Sisu Capital and Arvo Master Fund) CCFC supporters and the whole Sky Blues Community, the Sky Blue Trust wishes to make the following statement:
- The Sky Blue Trust agrees that Coventry City should play its home matches in Coventry.
- They agree that Coventry City should play its home matches in the 2019/20 season and beyond at the Ricoh Arena.
- They call on ALL parties to put aside their differences to sit down and negotiate a long-term deal for Coventry City to play at the Ricoh Arena as soon as possible. Putting aside differences must include an announcement by Otium Entertainment Limited, Sky Blues Sports & Leisure Limited, Arvo Master Fund and Sisu Capital Limited that they are prepared to suspend legal action in an effort to achieve the best possible deal for Coventry City Football Club.
- The Sky Blue Trust notes that two previous attempts at mediation in the dispute concerning the Ricoh Arena have been unsuccessful. The first attempt was initiated by the Minister of Sport and a further round was ordered by justices of the Court of Appeal. The Trust calls on ALL parties to indicate publicly whether they would be prepared to enter into genuine and meaningful mediation, without pre-condition other than the suspension of court action, to settle their wider differences.
- They agree that the consequences of ‘no deal’ for Coventry City Football Club to play at the Ricoh Arena would be catastrophic for Coventry City Football Club, its supporters present and future, the community, the City of Coventry, wider footballing community and everyone who cares about the Club.
- They call on ALL supporters and community stakeholders to back attempts for this deal to be concluded as soon as possible in an amicable fashion and without threats to the interests of other parties.