Coventry seeking ‘normality’
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had no complaints after
his side were beaten by a Cluj wonder goal on Wednesday.
The Romanians became the first visitors to win in the Champions
League at Old Trafford in three years thanks to Luis Alberto’s
swerving drive into the top corner from 25 yards.
The victory was not enough to see Cluj into the last 16 with
Galatasaray progressing to the knockout phase courtesy of a better
head-to-head record following their 2-1 win over Braga.
Despite the defeat, Ferguson was able to draw a number of
positives from the performance of his young side, who created
enough chances to get something from the match.
“It was a wonder goal that beat us,” said the United manager.
“We had a lot of good chances but with a goal like that we have no
complaints, You can’t do a lot about it.
“We had a young side out that did very well at times. I’m
satisfied they put a decent performance in.
“It was a good experience for the youngsters. Nick Powell I
though in the first half did quite well for us and Phil Jones had
an excellent game. It’s only his second game in about nine months
so I’m very pleased with that part.
“We qualified earlier so it gave us a chance to experiment and
play the players that needed a game. We gave some young players a
bit of experience and that will hold them in good stead.
“We’re into the next stage being winners of the group and there
are some big names in there. We could face Shakhtar Donetsk, Milan,
“We qualified comfortably and the real tournament starts in
February. The knockout stages are fantastic.”
The Sky Blues have been handed a 21-day deadline to pay their
outstanding rent on the Ricoh Arena.
ACL issued them with the deadline after being owed ?1.6million
by the Sky Blues, but the League One club will fight what they
believe are extortionate rates.
“We are disappointed by ACL’s actions to issue a statutory
demand to Coventry City Football Club rather than, as we had
requested, sitting down with us to negotiate a level of rent which
the club can afford and which is in line with the rent paid by
other clubs,” a statement read.
“For reference, ACL has been charging CCFC an annual rent of
?1.28 million, which we understand is the highest in both League
One and the Championship.
“We understand that the average annual rent paid by League One
clubs (excluding CCFC) is less than ?170,000 and that the average
in the Championship is less than ?290,000. All other clubs which
rent their stadia get full access to 100 per cent of match day
food, beverage and car parking revenues, unlike CCFC.
“The club’s objective in requesting these negotiations with ACL
has been only to bring about a state of commercial normality, where
CCFC pays the same level of rent and has access to the same type of
ancillary revenues as the other football clubs with which it
The Sky Blues left their Highfield Road home in 2005 to take up
residence at the 32,000-seater stadium, but insists it has become
unviable to continue there.
The statement continued: “It is unsustainable for CCFC to be put
at a severe financial disadvantage to its peers.
“While we have been seeking to normalise the rent, we have
continued to pay match-day costs to ensure that ACL is not left
“The club remains committed to the city and people of Coventry.
However, its viability depends on it finding an alternative home
ground where it can afford to play.”