We note, with regret, that the Chair of the Supporters Consultative Group, Mr Peter Ward, has associated himself with, and been quoted in, an attack on the Trust in a recent article in the Coventry Observer. We would have preferred to have the discussion with him at meetings of the Group but as he has chosen to resort to press comment, we feel we have to respond.
Mr Ward claimed, at the recent SCG meeting, that the Trust’s membership, who overwhelmingly voted to ask the Club’s current owners to put their interest up for sale, does not reflect the views of Coventry City fans generally. We have never claimed that it does but we do believe the results of our survey accurately reflects the views of our almost 3000 members - the only group or people that the Trust claims to represent. The survey that we carried out attracted 625 votes, which is 624 more than the total that Mr Ward represents.
The Supporters Consultative Group Terms of Reference state clearly that:
"The Group will comprise up to 15 supporters, who will represent various supporter organisations and/or demographic groups whose input is considered of value in representing the generality of Coventry City supporters.”
We have repeatedly asked Mr Ward to clarify which supporter organisation and/or demographic group he represents. He has failed to clarify that. On the CCFC website, in the section describing the members of the SCG, Mr Ward’s entry is as follows:
“CCFC is a family affair and way of life. As chief executive of a major international company, he offers a valuable insight from the local and global business community, whilst fulfilling an ambassadorial role in his worldwide professional role.”
We are not clear from this whether he claims only to represent his family or the entire “local and global business community.” Perhaps he could clarify that.
We wish to make it clear that the widespread antipathy towards SISU has no bearing on City fans’ passionate desire to see the team succeed on the pitch. On the contrary, the anti-SISU feeling arises because of the team’s poor position - its lowest in over half a century - to which SISU have led us in their seven and a half years as owners. It is time for a change and if Mr Ward believes that a majority of supporters disagree with that view, perhaps he would care to provide tangible evidence in support of his assertions or have the grace to withdraw his comments.Write comment (1 Comment)
COVENTRY CITY sitting top of the Premier League and a home tie in the 5th Round of the FA CUP this Sunday 22nd March!
No you’re not dreaming. Nor have you woken up in a parallel universe.
Coventry City Ladies have been competing at the highest level (the FA Premier League) since promotion at the end of season 2009/10. In fact they are the current FA Premier League CHAMPIONS!
You may not have read much about this in the sports pages of your local paper ……
but CCLFC are big news on the national stage wherever they play, because everyone wants to beat a side that holds a title, wins silverware, goes 20+ games undefeated….and has scored 100+ goals in the process.
If you thought women’s football appeared with the arrival of BT Sport last year then think on:
- It’s been around since 1895 (Coventry City Ladies were founded in 1921)
- It’s the 3rd largest participation sport in the UK (after men’s football and cricket, and YES.. ..even more than men’s rugby union and rugby league!)
- There are over 30 million women players worldwide
There are eleven very good ones (plus substitutes) that will line up at the start of an FA Cup 5th Round tie against Charlton Athletic at the Bedworth Oval this Sunday. And they play in Sky Blue….
Charlton are previous winners of the FA Women’s Cup and they’ve been beaten finalists on two other occasions.
But this year the Women’s Cup Final goes to WEMBLEY
City Ladies wear the badge with pride and they represent YOUR City. They deserve the support of the best fans in football to roar them on.
There’s 2TONE music, Sky Blue Sam, beer banter and skybluebeanies. PUSB!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS SUNDAY? 22nd MARCH 2:00pm, Bedworth Oval is the place to be!
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Trust Reaction To Club's Accounts
The Trust welcomes the fact that the directors of the Club and group took the step of publishing full copies of the financial statements to 31st May 2014. That is a very small step in the right direction
We are, however, deeply concerned by the contents of those published financial statements for Otium Entertainment Group Ltd (OEG) and Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Ltd (SBS&L)
Whilst we understand, and hope, that the 31st May 2014 year end was an unusual year for the club we wonder why, following a new start under OEG, that new company has now been saddled with huge and old debt which has been converted into £60.9m preference shares. Experts in football finance have said those shares are worthless pieces of paper.
Of the £60.9m debt approximately £44m was between CCFC Holdings Ltd and SBS&L and seemingly irrecoverable in the foreseeable future. Surely in that case SBS&L should have taken £44m of the total loss not OEG and then the assets and remaining liabilities of CCFC Holdings transferred to OEG? Surely the Football League would have accepted that because OEG, holder of the golden share, is a separate entity in law, within a group where all members and owners appear to be controlled by SISU. The Football League want a viable club to fulfil its fixtures. How does loading the club with debt or worthless financial instruments help in that?
We understand the legal situation that OEG trading as CCFC has no legal responsibility to repay the £28.5m debt owed by SBS&L to SISU investors. However as the only trading company in the group OEG is the only potential source of funds for repayment of those loans, the remaining loans to ARVO Master Fund and the 9m annual dividend that rolls up each year on the preference shares. The dividend of course cannot be paid until the club has wiped out the 70m reserves deficit and made further profits.
It would seem that these arrangements could make it harder to attract new investors or even new owners. Certainly given that the club can reasonably be expected to make regular losses what is the point of these accounting adjustments? How does it benefit CCFC? Who does it benefit? How does it make CCFC stronger and more viable?
To all intents and purposes the club would seem to be insolvent and shows the biggest deficit in reserves during its once proud history – minus £70m. It would appear that there has been clever but legal use of company law and accountancy rules to produce a situation where an investment of £28.5m has created much more than that in debt within the group. It is difficult to see the way forward for the club in such circumstances.
The directors and owner still put forward the vision of building and owning the club's own stadium. Given the state of the club's finances it is difficult to imagine any way that the Club could finance it. Mr Fisher has now stated it would be an “associated” company that would finance and own the stadium with the club operating it. Does that mean ownership would not even be part of the SBS&L group? Where would that company get its finance (debt) from and how would it repay it or the interest charges? We understand the reasons for separating the stadium asset from the high risk football operation liabilities but there is real no evidence of any stadium over two years after it was first proposed. Indeed even the rough proposed details seem to change on a regular basis and local authorities deny any contact with the club, its owners or agents regarding any possible site or construction.
The club needs more revenue, it is impossible to argue otherwise. The single biggest effect on that is the product on the pitch. We welcome the appointment of Mr Mowbray however without adequate, proper and sustained investment in the team then once more we will have a manager and team ham strung by the owner’s lack of football vision, clear strategy and ambition for the club.
It is time for a new beginning, one that includes the fans. It is time for the fans to feel part of their club once more. It is time for SISU to sell their interest in CCFCWrite comment (0 Comments)
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