Coventry City Football Club are a step closer to administration after a row with the owners of the Ricoh Arena over more than £1m in unpaid rent.
An application at the High Court in Central London means a judge will decide next week if administrators will be appointed to try to sell the club.
Michael Sibert reports.
A sports agency specialist says fans are thoroughly 'fed up' with the state of affairs taking place at the Ricoh arena between Coventry City and the stadium owners.
Robert Matusiewicz, from Ambitions Management Limited, says Coventry City may now be deducted 10 points in League One.
The owners of the Ricoh Arena, Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), claim Coventry City FC owe them £1.3m in unpaid rent.
A date at the High Court has now been set after ACL made an application for administrators to be brought into the club.
Chris West from ACL, told ITV News Central that it is about "trying to recover some of the money they're owed."
Coventry City's Chief Executive, Tim Fisher, said: "Unfortunately, this is one eventuality we have had to prepare for since ACL formally ended negotiations. We are consulting with our professional advisers in order to find the best way forward to try to minimise the damage to the club."
A date has been confirmed this morning by the High Court into the row between the Ricoh Arena and Coventry City Football Club over unpaid rent.
The court date will be March 22, with an administration decision expected 'by the end of the football season'.
Owners of the Ricoh, The Board of Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), announced yesterday that it has made an application to the High Court in London to request an administration order against Coventry City FC.
The application relates to the football club failing to pay £1.3m in rent.
Coventry City says it pays too much.
If the High Court rules that this is not the case, CCFC will be placed into administration.
“It is highly unfortunate that we have had to take this course of legal action. Had we not taken this action, then the alternative might have been catastrophic for CCFC.
"We are owed a considerable amount of money in rent arrears. While it is imperative that ACL takes action to recover these arrears and to stop the arrears growing, it is important for us to find a solution that can provide for the survival of the Sky Blues. Hopefully this action will ultimately put CCFC on a stable financial footing for the future."
– Nicholas Carter, Chairman, Arena Coventry Limited
“We are, of course, well aware that under the current Football League regulations, CCFC will face a points deduction and we will do everything we can to ensure that the case is heard by the High Court before the end of the current season.
"While this opens up the possibility of a ten point deduction this season, the Board believes this is better than leaving CCFC facing a much larger deduction at the start of next season.”
The decision to take this course of legal action follows the recent collapse of talks between ACL and Sisu in relation to rent arrears and future matchday revenue arrangements.
The application relates to Coventry City Football Club’s (CCFC) failure to pay Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), who own the Ricoh Arena, £1.3m in rent that ACL is lawfully owed for CCFC's use of the Ricoh Arena.
The application to the High Court now means that:
- At a date in the next few weeks, the High Court will consider CCFC's financial position, and whether it is fit to continue trading. If the High Court rules that this is not the case, CCFC will be placed into administration.
- If_ the High Court determines that CCFC should be placed into administration, the High Court will then appoint an administrator to sell CCFC to a buyer that is able to restore financial stability to the Club.
- It will provide for an interim period, pending the outcome of the hearing, during which other parties (including CCFC owner, Sisu) will be unable to wind-up or liquidate CCFC.
The Board of Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) has announced that it has made an application to the High Court in London to request that it make an administration order against Coventry City Football Club (CCFC).