Coventry expect 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 on Thursday morning came after Arena Coventry

Limited (ACL), the management company behind the Ricoh Arena,

announced on Wednesday night 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.”

He added: “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.