This statement has caused a more consternation among fans about what this means, is it just yet more costly court action, will it ruin relationships with our new landlords, is it just sour grapes because they didn't get to buy the Ricoh, will it affect transfer dealings etc etc.
The Trust was in communication with Tim Fisher this morning to get clarity about this matter and he has reassured us that this is not a totally new action but more of a legal necessity concerning the existing JR appeal. The JR focused on the legality of the loan from the council to ACL in 2013 but this loan appears to have been cancelled and a new one established in 2014 as part of the deal that has resulted in Wasps buying ACL. This legal move is intended to ensure that just because the old loan no longer exists that the new one is regarded as a replacement and is thererfore now the focus of the action. He implied it was simply a necessary legal move to ensure the continuation of the JR appeal.
Tim Fisher also told us that Wasps had been informed of the move prior to it becoming public and that they understood it and the reasons behind it. He was at pains to reassure us that they had developed a very good working relationship with Wasps, were very happy with the new pitch, that Steven Pressley was absolutely delighted with the new dressing room and that they were looking at working closely with a fellow sporting organisation that understood the challenges of this type of business.
Overall the message was that this was not any sort of totally new action against the council or Wasps but more of a technical legal move to cover the fact of the rearranged loan and ensure that the JR appeal was still legally valid.
The Board of the Sky Blue Trust has become aware of many of its' members and Coventry City supporters in general becoming increasingly disillusioned with the plight of OUR football club.
The Board therefore feels it is now time that the club owners clearly and unambiguously spell out to supporters just what strategy the club is now to follow.
We have therefore written to CCFC Chairman Tim Fisher asking him to outline the clubs plans.
The letter sent by our Secretary to Tim Fisher is as follows:
I am writing to you, on behalf of the Sky Blue Trust, to invite you to explain to the Trust’s members and Sky Blue supporters generally, precisely what strategy the Club is following in order to rectify its current sorry state.
Notwithstanding the recent encouraging experience of a rare away win at Colchester, the Trust is alarmed at the state of the Club we love. We have reached our lowest League position in over 50 years and were embarrassingly dumped out of the FA Cup by Worcester City. Despite the welcome move back to the Ricoh Arena, many supporters feel disillusioned and in despair about the state of the Club and its prospects. This is reflected in the dwindling attendances at home games. Our surveys reveal that, because of their conduct over a number of years, many supporters remain hostile to the Club’s owners. The purchase of ACL by Wasps would seem to end CCFC hopes of ownership at the Ricoh. However we still believe that a positive new start is possible.
We have seen a number of instances in recent years where Clubs with a proud, long history have fallen upon hard times but, with clear ambition and a resolute approach, have risen from a parlous position to new heights of success.
In 2002 Swansea City were in League 2, almost relegated from the Football League and facing financial disaster. Following a change of owners, with their Supporters Trust acquiring 20% of the Club, they secured promotion to League 1 in 2005, to the Championship in 2007 and the Premier League in 2011, where they remain.
Southampton FC were faced with administration and relegation to League 1 in 2009. However, they rose from that position with promotion to the Championship in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012.
But the most memorable example for Coventry fans is five decades older. In 1961, Coventry City finished the season in the old Division 3 in 15th place (three places higher than our current position) and were defeated by Kings Lynn in the FA Cup. But led by Jimmy Hill, the Sky Blue Revolution saw promotion to Division 2 in 1964 and then to Division 1 in 1967, where we remained for a remarkable 34 years.
Coventry City fans, in the 8th largest City in England with a travel to work area of well over half a million people, expect our football club to have ambition to return to the Premier League. Our own experience in the 1960s, and the achievements of Swansea and Southampton, show that it can be done.
We are asking you to tell us, in the light of the above factors, what strategy you are now following to turn-around the fortunes of the Club, over the next few years and to state clearly your ambitions for the Club? Simply stating that we are building our new stadium will not do without some supporting evidence.
We also ask you what steps you are taking to develop a positive, mutually beneficial relationship with Wasps, for the next 4 years at least, and how that sits with your oft-stated intention to build a new ground for CCFC? Most City supporters do not want the team to move away from the Ricoh Arena, do not believe that is necessary and do not believe that it will happen. We fully understand that the Club needs to secure more income from the Arena but believe that a mature, business-like partnership with Wasps could secure that in the short-term and perhaps longer.
Please can you respond in full on the above points by the 31st December 2014? If a meeting to discuss the matters raised would be helpful, we would be glad to attend.