In an effort to keep our members fully and properly informed regarding the proposed stadium development, we have conducted a series of Freedom of Information requests to Local authorities and other public bodies. We will continue to use such requests if we consider them useful in keeping our members informed.
Mr Fisher stated at the Supporters’ Consultative Group (SCG) meeting on 5th March 2015 that he “was concerned that the Trust’s continued use of Freedom of Information enquiries indicated that they did not understand the use of an FOI versus the privacy of commercial-in-confidence discussions. TF had been very open at a recent Stadium Advisory Group meeting, and provided clear insights regarding potential stadium site work – including dialogue with Rugby Borough Council.”
Our full understanding of Freedom of Information Act requests is based on the HM Government website advice which can be found here:
In particular the advice contains this:
“Some sensitive information isn’t available to members of the public. If this applies, an organisation must tell you why they can’t give you some or all of the information you requested.”
The original questions that the Sky Blue Trust asked were as follows:
1. Have Members, Officers or other representatives of Rugby Borough Council taken part in any discussions, meetings or correspondence with: - Coventry City Football Club, - Otium Entertainments Limited, - SISU Capital, - CBRE - or any individuals or companies acting on their behalf, in relation to development proposals within the Council’s area relating to the building of a football stadium and/or any other facilities related to the business of the football club?
2. If any such discussions, meetings or correspondence have taken place within that period, please confirm:
a) The date or dates on which they took place;
b) The names and designations of all individuals involved;
c) The location of the site or sites to which the proposals related;
d) The nature and scale of the proposals and any other details of them supplied to the Council;
e) A summary of the Council advice or comments provided in response to the development proposals;
f) Whether any further such discussions, meetings or correspondence are planned with details of the dates when they are to take place and the names of the individuals to be involved.
3. Please provide copies of any:
a) Correspondence which has taken place;
b) Notes or minutes of any meetings or discussions;
c) Plans, drawings, sketches and other documents describing the development proposals.
The response so far has been clear. We have consistently been informed that there have been no meaningful discussions with any of the entities we have highlighted.
There would appear to be a contradiction between the information we have obtained to date and what Mr Fisher maintains has happened. Apparently, at the SCG meeting dated 05 March 2015, Mr Fisher shared with those in attendance details proving discussions with CBRE. As you will see CBRE were specifically named in our FOI requests.
In the interests of clarity and transparency, which we are told are important values to the Club’s owners and Directors, perhaps Mr Fisher could now make public those details, giving dates and attendees at meetings etc, even if he is unable to provide content specific to sites involved. It would seem to be an obvious solution to this apparent contradiction.
In the meantime, we have gone back to Rugby Borough Council and requested re-confirmation of their response in light of Mr Fisher’s statements at the SCG. We will issue a further statement once we receive their reply.
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.
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!