Alongside other Coventry City supporters’ groups, the Sky Blue Trust were more than happy to sign up to the Open Letter, which was originally drafted and promoted by two members of the Sky Blues Talk On-Line Community. The letter points very clearly and in a very timely manner to the anger and frustration that City fans feel over the latest stadium crisis, and what has to be done about it. For those of you who haven’t seen it, we are pleased to reproduce it below.
On behalf of all Coventry City fans we, as fan groups, demand representatives of both Wasps RFC and Coventry City FC to return to the negotiating table to agree a deal for the return of Coventry City to the Ricoh Arena for the 2020/21 season and beyond.
Recent local media reports have suggested that there were indeed requests from Wasps RFC, on behalf of Coventry City Council, to restrict the rights of Coventry City FC to take any future action against Coventry City Council with regards to the Ricoh Arena. We believe that this is a wholly unacceptable request that is tantamount to refusing to agree a deal. Further to this Coventry City Council have recently announced that they have not interfered in recent talks, which begs the question as to why this was requested?
Rather than dwell on what has gone, we request that all parties return to negotiations to bring Coventry City FC back to Coventry. All unreasonable requests for restriction of legal rights should be dropped.
We ask Coventry City Council to publicly confirm that they do not require any legal restrictions, or indemnification, to be written into any contract for Coventry City to play at the Ricoh Arena.
We ask Wasps RFC to not request any legal restrictions, or indemnification, from Coventry City or Sisu.
We ask that both Coventry City FC/Sisu and Wasps RFC put their differences aside and immediately return to negotiate commercial terms in good faith for a deal that is mutually beneficial, and considers any financial penalties that may be incurred by Coventry City as a result of the agreed contract to play at St. Andrews in the upcoming season.
We call on the English Football League to confirm they will enable Coventry City to return to Coventry to play at the Ricoh Arena, even if the season has commenced when a deal is agreed.
We ask that Andy Street returns to help mediate talks between Coventry City FC and Wasps RFC to enable the clubs return to the city of Coventry.
If a deal was as close as has been reported, then there is no reason why a deal cannot be concluded if the unreasonable terms implied by a third party to the deal are removed.
Sky Blues Trust
Sky Blues Talk Online Community
Northern Sky Blues Supporters Club
Coventry City Diamond Club
Coventry City Former Players Association
Coventry City LGBT+ Supporters Group
So, where are we now during this pause in the proceedings? SISU will continue to try to wrest (quite legally, note) the ownership and control of the Ricoh as cheaply as possible from Coventry City Council and Wasps Holdings for pressing financial reasons related to the outstanding debt which they hold. Coventry City Council and Wasps Holdings will continue to resist SISU equally strongly, and, in Wasps' case particularly, for equally powerful financial reasons.
SISU versus Wasps/CCC - it's a brutal match that we are all being forced to watch, with both sides using Coventry City FC as a "football".
We can’t just let these multi-million pound institutions just get on with their battle, can we? Because who is actually suffering in all this? It’s worth repeating – it's Coventry City FC, that's who. It's Coventry City FC -its employees, its on and off the field team, Coventry's local businesses, the Clubs' very culture and tradition and, above all, the fans who are victims here, the collateral damage. If ever there were pawns in the big money/big real estate game that is modern football, then it's the Sky Blues and the Sky Blue Army. But, judging by their actions, no-one with the power to do something to remedy this situation really cares about us and what we want.
Progress must be made to get the City back in the City. That's why we were keen to sign up to the Open Letter and to its call for a further talks.