Coventry set to go into administration
CHIEF executive Tim Fisher admits Coventry have been prepared for the possible threat of an administration order and are working with their advisers to "minimise the damage to the club".
Fisher's statement this morning came after Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), the management company behind the Ricoh Arena, last night announced it has made an application to the High Court in London to request that it make an administration order against the club.
The cash-strapped Sky Blues owe over £1.3million to ACL in unpaid rent stretching back a year, an ongoing row which has subsequently seen their bank accounts frozen, while earlier this month City were also placed under a transfer embargo having again failed to file their annual accounts on time.
Coventry's owners Sisu are disputing the terms of the lease but the npower League One club would face a 10-point deduction by the Football League if they are placed into administration.
Coventry are set to go to the High Court later this month, and responding to last night's development 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 and we will be keeping supporters informed of any developments.
"In terms of the day-to-day affairs, it is business as usual as we have to make sure we are all fully focused on Saturday's important game against Hartlepool United."
ACL, who manage the stadium on behalf of joint owners the Alan Edward Higgs Charity and Coventry City Council, announced a month ago that talks to resolve the ongoing rent issues had collapsed, although Coventry quickly stated that they remained committed to reaching an agreement.
ACL chairman Nicholas Carter last night said: "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.
"Following recent statements in the media from the CCFC's owners threatening the club with liquidation, we are keen to stop this from happening. Our action prevents Sisu simply closing CCFC and walking away from the situation.
"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 10-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 High Court will decide in the next few weeks whether the club is fit to continue trading.
If it decides it is not, it will be placed into administration and an administrator appointed to sell it.