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  1. Crisis Coventry City are in the midst of their bleakest winter, facing the possibility of insolvency, a winding-up order on Boxing Day and playing home matches 45 miles from their current ground. The crisis engulfing the Sky Blues and threatening their very existence has been brewing for some time. It involves the club's hedge fund owners, Sisu, and Arena Coventry Limited, who run the Ricoh Arena. The supporting cast in this sorry saga includes Coventry city council and the Higgs Trust, the joint 50% stakeholders in the stadium that City occupied in 2005 after 106 years at Highfield Road. It has proved an ill-fated switch. Sisu, which took control of the club in 2008, was given a 21-day deadline to pay £1.1m in arrears after ACL issued a statutory demand on 5 December. The Mayfair-based owners, however, are locked in a stand-off with ACL over the annual rent at the Ricoh, which stands at £1.28m. The club, which claims the figure dwarfs the average League One rent of £170,000 and even the Championship average of £290,000, has been attempting to negotiate a smaller annual sum. Yet despite a new offer from the stadium owners, a resolution remains some way off. ACL recently wrote to the Coventry chief executive, Tim Fisher, who was appointed one year ago by Sisu, with a rent reduction proposal "designed to provide a secure, stable future" for the club. A reduction of 67% was put forward that would decrease the rent to £400,000 per annum, fixed for three years with any future increases dependent on promotion and improved match attendances. ACL has also given the club the opportunity to pay back the rent arrears over a period as long as 10 years while offering the potential for the club to take what ACL makes from the match-day refreshment sales. Sisu, which had previously been negotiating a deal to purchase the Higgs Trust's 50% stake in the ground, does not deem the offer sufficient. The club claim they are now engaging in "the sensible process of making contact with other football clubs" regarding potential venues for matches to be staged elsewhere, including a reported move to Nene Park in Northamptonshire. Coventry claim that the club's objective in requesting a reduction in the stadium rent is to "bring about a state of commercial normality", however, they are embroiled in a dangerous game of brinkmanship that could have disastrous consequences. Peter Knatchbull-Hugessen, clerk to the trustees of the Higgs Charity, said: "The Alan Edward Higgs Charity is, as a shareholder in Arena Coventry Ltd, wholly supportive of the action taken by ACL. After 10 months attempting to find a resolution, it is clear that Sisu are not prepared to work to that end and the company must protect itself. This support does not mean that the charity takes pleasure in the plight of Coventry City Football Club." John Mutton, the Coventry city council leader, said: "ACL has done this in the best interests of its shareholders – including the council – employees and the many other tenants, customers and stakeholders with an interest in the Ricoh Arena. "The council fully supports ACL's action; CCFC has a legal obligation to pay its rent and ACL's financial position should not be undermined by CCFC's owners failing to do the right thing by the club, ACL and the city." Sisu was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Guardian. A potential new location for matches could be Nene Park, the former home of Rushden & Diamonds, and Kettering Town. If such a move materialises supporters who live in Coventry would have to travel 45 miles to home matches. Attendances at the Ricoh Arena have dwindled this season as the Sky Blues look to consolidate their mid-table position in League One. A decrease was expected after relegation yet the dip has been significant. Last season Coventry's average attendance was 15,118, compared with 10,569 in this campaign. That number could reduce further if the club opts to move again – Nene Park's capacity is 6,441. Sisu has bankrolled Coventry for the past five years but has been the subject of vociferous chanting from sections of the supporters. Mark Robins, appointed as manager in September after the departure of Andy Thorn, has overseen a six-match unbeaten run, yet this has served only to mask the serious problems under the surface. Relegation to the third tier for the first time in 48 years was regarded as a major setback at the time, however, endless uncertainty means Coventry's decline may not have reached its nadir. Fans who enjoyed Premier League football until 2001 have been left "in limbo" at the club's demise. A move to the Ricoh Arena that was hailed as a new dawn seven years ago has turned into a desperate and desolate nightmare. Their plight was recently epitomised by a statement from the Sky Blue Trust. It simply said: "What is to become of our club?"
  2. So after defeating Chelsea at the weekend our simple neighbours from Smethwick, a local club for local people, are up to 4th place and flying high. I've always found WBA a bit of a funny team and never know what to really make of them to be honest. Steve Clarke has easily and simply taken over the reigns from Woy in what must appear the most seamless managerial change in history. They have a balanced, well-formed squad and play good football, and they haven't spent a huge amount to do so. Are they a force to be reckoned with now, or will the fun end when they get a few injuries and a poor run of form? As I work with a fair few of them I wouldnt hear the end of it if they were to do the unthinkable and actually win anything or qualify for europe.
  3. also Newcastle were relegated only 3 years ago and they are a big enough club.
  4. They probably need own thread. Alot of us seem to have a soft spot for them. One game away from being back in the big time. Wont be easy for them as Huddersfield are a decent side. I think keinan has to start as they look alot better when he plays. Biggest game in 20 years for forest. Best of luck we are behind you
  5. coda


    I see John Terry's QC is trying to ban lip-reading evidence from his court case. Anyone would think he has something to hide.
  6. Rino8


    Agreed. I think Newcastle are pretty much as big a team that did/could go down. I'd say Leeds are bigger than Newcastle.
  7. Player arrested on alleged sexual assault at a nightclub. Don't post details that could compromise the case further.
  8. Jimzk5


    bastards yeah we had a twitter campaign, an add in the mail and a few protests at the the grounds against mcleish, most of which come about when it was obvious he wasnt up to the job, but 19 matches into the job to vandalise the blokes car, i know it will only be minority of wolves fans but still, no need. edit - txt size changed cus ray charles has better eyesight than avfc1991.
  9. Do we not have a Spurs thread anymore, or was it closed in reaction to they're interest in Benteke?
  10. Seems reasonable to start a thread on this lot. Let's see how Moyes handles the Sideshow Bob-esque shoes he has to fill. Personally I don't think he'll manage and I can't see them winning the league this season. In fact if I had to guess I'd say they'll be 3rd behind Chelsea & Citeh. I also think Moyes' defensive approach to football will not go down well with their fans.
  11. Just watched an outstanding display from them.....showing all the pitch craft I would like to see from my Villa team....a master class of pressing and combative spirit, with a exhibition of composure. This team has been put together with modest funds, mainly free transfers from the German league. I guess Farke is well connected to do as well as he has in the transfer Market.....It fly's in the face of our expensive and cumbersome attempts to get back. If any Villa fan wants to know how to get out of this league....Watch the Leeds v Norwich game , Norwich on that display have the answer.
  12. Had to check a newcastle forum to check its legit, it appears so according to them, but joe kinnear is to be announced as there director of football
  13. Looks like some near local derbies next season as they almost back in Premiership, if results go their way possibly even by 5pm Had some good games with them! the 4-4 at Villa Park when we was 4-1 up with 9 minutes left in mid 90's springs to mind! The French scout for them or whoever spotted them has struck gold with Anthony Knockaert (around 1mil) and one very good footballer and Riyad Mahrez (cost £400k in January and been an absolute steal, he is possibly as good or if not better than Knockaert) Those 2 will be their key to survival in premiership..
  14. Depends who the owners are. I get a feeling we're going to see the headline "Leeds Utd in shock Mourinho Approach" before too long. Quickly followed by "Mourinho Snubs Leeds" of course.
  15. Couldn't see a thread on them but my word, what is going on up there? 4th in the Premier League. A league we are constantly told is a closed shop where only a select few can compete. Could someone who watches the Premier League explain how on Earth they have managed to get to Christmas in the European places? (Don't they have Lowton and Westwood too!?)
  16. Mao we are gracing the Championship with our presence, hopefully just for a season, so about time we had a thread for all things to do with the league and our new company that doesn't fit in threads about individual teams. I don't know about anyone else but I'm not that up on the players in the league so looking forward to changing that.
  17. PieFacE


    Looking good in the Charity Shield game. Though, Chelsea dont look quite ready for it at the minute. Can Arsenal win the league this year now they've signed Cech? Not convinced myself, but they are looking good.
  18. Won their 5th game on the bounce today and they apparently had our team exactly right hours before kick off, possibly much sooner. Added in with the Cardiff stuff, something very fishy is going on down their IMO. Pulis may be doing a great job at the minute, but with the recent allegations, I do find myself wondering if their sudden upturn in form is anything to do with said allegations.
  19. How does every one think they will do? They have signed a shed load of players and they have just spent 30m on a player from France. Their owner is really backing then isnt he? Or gambling? If this goes tits up and they go down they will be in the financial trouble.
  20. Apologies if there is a Derby thread already...i cant seem to find it if there is! Amazing whats going on with them, they have 9 senior players on the books, 2 of those are GKs, and Rooney has just gone and injured one of his outfield players himself, they will be out for 3 months (Jason Knight). I cant see how they wont be relegation candidates......what a mess, amazing to think they were a win away from the Prem only 2 years ago.
  21. Not seen any thread on Brentford in Other Football so thought i'd start one Great read here about their recruitment strategies using analytics:- https://talksport.com/football/fa-cup/659667/brentford-data-revolution-england-smartest-club-championship-leicester-fa-cup/
  22. Deserving of its own thread I think. Disaster waiting to happen or master stroke? They say he has motivation skills, maybe he does on impressionable players but established premier league players? Will they react well to his special brand of management? The circus currently surrounding him could actually deflect a bit of pressure away from his team as well and may help them. I actually hope the appointment backfires spectacularly , not least because it helps us but also because I think he is a totally objectionable character with repugnant views. I also think he deserves payback for his comments against us after we did his team in the cup earlier this season so I hope we hammer them at VP. His appointment could go either way , hence my question at the start. Here's hoping it fails miserably
  23. Promoted to the premier league so thought I'd start a thread on them. How do people think they'll do? Last two appearences they've been rock bottom. Will Troy Deeney score goals as regularly as Ings and Austin? I do think they'll be competitive as I know their transfer model isn't to everyone's taste but they've already been signing decent players from Udinese and Granada for the championship so you'd imagine the lure of PL football will get an even better selection. Think I'll get a season ticket down there if Di Natale puts off retirement and pops up there for a season , one of my favourite modern players.
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