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.