Coventry City released a statement yesterday which further angered supporters concerned over the club’s future.
The EFL gave the club until 5 pm yesterday to advise it on where the club proposes to play its football next season ahead of an EFL board meeting today. The club said it had complied with this request and said in its statement.
‘No decision on the Club’s future will be made either today or tomorrow.’
‘The Club will confirm its aim is to agree a deal at our home, the Ricoh Arena. This is best for the Coventry City Football Club, its fans, the community and all parties.’
The Sky Blues have been caught in the middle of an increasingly bitter legal dispute between their private equity fund owners, Sisu Capital, Coventry City Council and Wasps Rugby Club.
Coventry’s four-year tenancy at the Ricoh Arena expires at the end of the current campaign. The club wants to renew it but Wasps, who bought the 32,000-seater stadium from the council in 2014, will not negotiate with Sisu who are pursuing legal action against the council over the sale, with Wasps named as an interested party.
Sisu is waiting for the case to be heard in the Supreme Court after losing in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.
A stalemate has held for months, but with the EFL’s extraordinary general meeting looming on 25 April, in which the expulsion of the Sky Blues from the EFL is a real possibility, time is running out to resolve matters.
Mediation was ordered by the High Court a year ago, and for the first time, all parties are set to convene for a meeting in Westminster next week.
The Ricoh Arena was built for the Sky Blues in 2005, but the club has been dogged by controversy since the Sisu takeover in 2007. Supporters, who previously suffered home games being played thirty-five miles away in Northampton, have repeatedly protested against Sisu, calling on them to drop their legal action to ease negotiations.
Angry and worried fans soon reacted to the statement, highlighting the lack of clarity and criticising the unpopular owners. Here is a small selection of their responses.
Just get sisu out of our club!
— Coventry City Talk (@TalkCoventry) March 5, 2019
I really wish i wasn't a cov city fan. Tha'ts how sad and embarrassing this mess is.
— Lewis Stokes ن (@LewisStokes1) March 5, 2019
So instead of informing us the update has been sent to the efl how about give the people who pay your wage (The fans ) the update !!!
— Craig Cunniff (@cunniff73) March 5, 2019
There is absolutely no content in this post we have not know for weeks the fans deserve the facts there are no facts in that statement sorry to burst the bubble but a statement saying the club still aims to play at the Ricoh does not tell us where we are in that process ect
— Craig Cunniff (@cunniff73) March 5, 2019
Statement stating nothing
— JBeale (@JustinBeale70) March 5, 2019
The move 2 Northampton nearly killed the club last time playing in front of a couple of thousand fans. If this happens again all the good work Mark Robins is doing will be wasted as we won't have the funds to take the club forward. Somehow a deal needs to be sorted for the Ricoh
— Steve Harper (@sharpercov) March 5, 2019
The suspense is killing me. Oh hang on. #SISU are killing our club.
— Alex Barker (@amancalledalex) March 5, 2019
Drop the legal action , you have no chance of winning it , you have dragged the club and fans through the dirt for too long – or better still sell the club
— chris mutton (@chrismutton3) March 5, 2019
This disgraceful situation should've been resolved ages ago. The use of an extended deadline is an excuse to mask the total lack of solution management by anyone in authority. You are to all intents and purposes collectively incompetent. Well done.
— Johnny Dillam (@johnnydillam) March 5, 2019
The club is more important than some legal battle that SISU aren't going to win. Just do the right thing and secure the club's future at our home stadium. You're playing with fire here!! #PUSB
— Jamie Smith (@whatjamietweets) March 5, 2019
Over to the @EFL to reject any proposed ground share for next season and force sisu into a difficult decision! We can not be allowed to move out of this city again.
— michael carroll (@ccfcmike1982) March 5, 2019