The history: The Charity made both a social and a financial investment in 2003 when it bought CCFC’s shares in the Arena Company Ltd (ACL) to replace them as partner with the Council in developing the Arena. At the time CCFC was unable to maintain its financial commitment to the project, the club was facing administration and the development of the Arena was in danger.
The Charity paid a total of £6.5m to CCFC. The Charity’s intervention ensured the future of the Arena project and its regeneration of north east Coventry, the development of a major national events venue for Coventry and a home for the Sky Blues. There was an expectation by all parties that the football club would repurchase the 50% share of ACL from the Charity when it was able, and an Option Agreement between the Trustees and CCFC was made to reflect this including a formula for calculating purchase price. Since 2007 Sisu has owned the Club. In 2012 there was an attempted sale of the Charity’s shares to Sisu which came to nothing.
Today: The Trustees are honouring the existing commitment to the football club through the terms of the Option Agreement made in 2003 with CCFC Ltd (now in liquidation). We have contacted the Liquidators to provide them with an opportunity to make an offer to purchase our shares. This matter is now with the joint Liquidator of CCFC Ltd in liquidation, Mr Appleton.
As lifelong supporters of Coventry City FC the trustees are, and always have been, extremely concerned for the future of the club. We are reassured that the club will be able to play at the Ricoh under the present contract which will not be affected by Wasps’ arrival. The future of the club is, however, the responsibility of its owners.
The Charity Directors of ACL will continue their responsibilities within ACL and they support the new investment in the company.
The ground share with CCFC and cooperation with Coventry Rugby Club will create a sporting hub for the city. The Trustees of the AEHC would not approve any plan which we did not sincerely believe would benefit the City of Coventry and its inhabitants and we welcome Wasps to the Ricoh.