Let’s get one thing absolutely clear. The Sky Blue Trust and the vast majority of its members believe that the Ricoh Arena is both the natural, and only feasible, home for the Club. The Trust therefore supports 100% the broader Sky Blue Community in its attempts to persuade Wasps to allow the Club to continue to rent the ground both in the short term and, in appropriate circumstances, into the future. The Trust also accepts that Wasps are perfectly entitled to baulk at negotiating a new rental agreement with the tenants who are seeking that agreement, given that those tenants are simultaneously attempting to prove that the Rugby Club should both not own the ground in the first place, and also owes those tenants vast amounts in compensation. However, the Trust believes that the damage to our Club, to its extraordinarily loyal and patient fans, and to the wider City of Coventry itself is such that Wasps should extend goodwill, not to Sisu or its appointees but to the real Sky Blue Community. Wasps should allow City to continue to play at the Ricoh.
Wasps can do this safe in the knowledge that the Trust, the vast majority of its members and a large number in the wider Sky Blue and Coventry Community despise and loathe those bringing the court cases against them and the City Council. Bodies such as the Sky Blue Trust, Jimmy Hill Way and other like-minded groups and individuals will continue to fight for our Club to be liberated from the grip of the pariahs who currently control them and to remonstrate against the protracted legal action.
Another factor which might help to persuade Wasps to enter into negotiations about the future of the Ricoh would be a clearer demonstration of the distinction between those bringing the court case and the Club itself.
Currently, those ‘on the ground’ at the Club argue that the football club itself has had no input into the current court case, has not been actively consulted about it and is not involved in any way. This is simply not credible. The court case is brought in the name of Otium Entertainment Group (OEG) – Coventry City in legal form - and Sky Blue Sports and Leisure (SBSL). The sole director of OEG is Tim Fisher. The joint director of SBSL, alongside a SISU appointee, is Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher is also Chairman of Coventry City FC. Thus, Tim Fisher is both Chairman of a Club arguing that it has no part in the legal proceedings and so should be allowed to continue playing at the Ricoh, and is leading the companies taking those legal proceedings. Either Tim Fisher is complicit or at least compliant in the actions of OEG/SBSL or the legal actions are against his wishes. If the former, he should resign immediately as Coventry City Chairman. If the latter he should resign as Director of OEG and SBSL. Either way, his position is untenable. Ideally, given his role in this crisis, he should leave all three positions. As things stand, Mr Fisher is clearly acquiescent to the court proceedings and therefore the club is actively associated with that action, not just in name.
Tim Fisher’s resignation(s) might just give much needed credibility to the notion that Coventry City, here on the ground in the City itself, want to play at the Ricoh and don’t want court cases. It might predispose Wasps a little more towards City’s plight. However, given the Coventry City Chairman’s history in respect of integrity, transparency and selflessness while at the Club, we are not holding our breath.