The Sky Blue Trust has recently received an enquiry regarding the filing of its accounts. For the benefit of our members we confirm that the Trust (a mutual society rather than a company) accounts were submitted to the FCA back in August. The FCA have acknowledged receipt. The Trust had been in discussions with the Registrar with a view to removing the audit requirement, which was contained in new Trust rules, to replace it with a less costly process of independent examination. It took time to get the right advice and paperwork sorted so that the Trust (who are and have to be cost conscious) could save their members thousands of pounds. It needed to be done properly and it was.
The filed accounts for the year ended January 2016 show the Trust had a turnover in that year of £485 and net assets of £5629. As our earlier statement made clear, in any purchase of the club Trust funds would not be used. Instead a community share scheme would be used.
In addition, the accounts were approved by the members at our AGM on 18th July 2016 and have been available on the Trust website for some time.Write comment (0 Comments)
On Friday 7th October a letter was sent to Joy Seppala of Sisu Capital inviting her to meet with representatives of the Sky Blue Trust to explore an alternative future for Coventry City which could be advantageous to Sisu Capital, the club and its fans.
The letter was sent on behalf of the Trust by our legal advisor Mike Dyer, of Verisona Law. Mike has previously assisted the current owners of Portsmouth FC when that supporter-led group successfully acquired their club. http://www.verisonalaw.com/casestudies/portsmouth-football-club/
Against a background of:
- widespread and intense supporter discontent with Sisu’s stewardship of Coventry City;
- apparent unwillingness by the current owners to commit further investment to the club;
the current parlous state of the club which sees:
- the team at the foot of League One;
- possible loss of the much-prized Academy in 2017;
- temporary and limited tenancy at the Ricoh currently expiring in 2018;
- diminishing attendances both home and away;
the Trust wished to discuss an approach with Ms Seppala which would enable Sisu to achieve an orderly exit and in turn enable the conversion of Coventry City into a fan-owned entity along the lines of Portsmouth FC or Newport AFC.
This proposal has the potential for mutual benefit as it would allow:
- Sisu to unburden itself of a troublesome investment and concentrate on its core business;
- CCFC supporters to have control of their club and the opportunity to restore its fortunes.
For the sake of clarity, at no point did the letter contain any offer to purchase Coventry City. The request for a meeting was to discuss a process by which that might be achieved in the future.
Lawyers acting for Coventry City Football Club and its investors have responded that the Club is not for sale. The Trust is disappointed that the invitation to Ms Seppala for a meeting has not been accepted at this time.
The Trust believes that in the right circumstances a supporter-led acquisition of Coventry City is possible and can be successful. It would most certainly be challenging, not least due to the misfortunes which have beset the club both during Sisu’s tenure and previously.
To that end, a group of Trust Members with appropriate management and professional expertise outside of football has been researching and planning for over two years, in case an opportunity should arise. As well as Verisona Law, there are other experts from the professional and football sectors, including Supporters Direct, who stand ready to assist when required.
.Any supporter-led purchase of a football club requires substantial funds, which the Sky Blue Trust does not have. However, it is now common for such purchases to be funded through a Community Share issue by which supporters pledge funds to be used to buy the club and invest in its development. Experience elsewhere has shown that very substantial funds can be raised by thousands of supporters wishing to rescue their football club.
However, nothing will proceed unless and until Sisu indicate a willingness to relinquish their ownership of our beloved Sky Blues which has seen nothing but failure and mediocrity for nine years.
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Sky Blue Trust Chairman Steve Brown is to step down from the Trust board and will now take on the role of leader of the "Fighting the Jimmy Hill Way" campaign group made up of different supporter groups.
Steve has the full backing of the Trust, Preservation Sky Blues and Covfanstogether, the 3 main groups who form this alliance, and will bring a wealth of experience of both robust campaigning and strong leadership to this new role.
Moz Baker will take over the Chairmanship of the Sky Blue Trust on an interim basis pending ratification of the position at the next Board Meeting.
The Trust would like to place on record its thanks and gratitude for Steve's massive contribution as Chair.Write comment (0 Comments)