Lennon: Outgoing players are heroes
Coventry have confirmed they will definitely not be returning to
the Ricoh Arena next season.
Chief executive Tim Fisher has revealed the club are instead in
the process of securing a site in the local area on which to build
a new stadium.
Fisher says that whilst the new ground is being constructed,
they will groundshare with another club, with their plans to be
presented to the Football League at the start of June.
The move comes following a year-long rent row with Arena
Coventry Limited (ACL), who manage the Ricoh Arena on behalf of
joint owners the Alan Edward Higgs Charity and Coventry City
Fisher said: “It’s a new era and we retained specialists some
months ago to advise us on where to build a new stadium for the
club – and in the immediate Coventry area by the way”.
City claim they did not want to leave the Ricoh but they had to
make the move because “the doors locked on us”.
In a statement of their own on Thursday, ACL said “our doors
remain open to the Sky Blues”.
But asked if there is any chance of Coventry playing at the
Ricoh Arena next season, Fisher replied: “None.
“People have to understand we do not posture, we do not
threaten, because that is not how you do business, you only do
business in good faith. Always.
“We have started the process of procuring land so that we can
shift the new stadium build forward at a pace. The stadium will be
in the Coventry area in accordance with Football League rules.”
Fisher added: “We have left the Ricoh Arena.
“We were told categorically by ACL and by the council that there
was no commercial deal to be done and in actual fact they would
only ever work with the administrator.
“We were very, very clear in our minds as to exactly what was
intended. Given the position we have had to make contingency plans
to fulfil our fixtures on an interim basis – while we deliver the
“That long-term vision has us playing in the Coventry area in a
new stadium that will be designed and delivered in three years.
“All this will be in full consultation with the fans – starting
with the upcoming forums. In consideration of financial fair play
then we will own all the revenue streams that come from matchday
and, non-matchday activities, and therefore we will have every
chance of becoming a solid, vibrant club.”
Ferdinand, who has spent over a decade at United under Sir Alex
Ferguson, has not yet agreed an extension on his current deal that
runs out this summer.
And the 34-year-old, who won his sixth Premier League title this
season, announced on Wednesday he was retiring from England duty in
order to concentrate on club matters.
And United boss Ferguson said: “I think it is something he could
have done last year.
“Ending his international career will definitely help him, as it
did with Paul Scholes, and hopefully Manchester United will get the
benefit of that.”
But Fotheringham will be in no mood to do Inverness a favour on
County will stop Caley Thistle qualifying for the Europa League
if they win or draw and St Johnstone beat Motherwell.
But the rivalry on the pitch will not extend beyond those
And, for a player who began his career at Celtic, Fotheringham
welcomes the mutual respect.
Fotheringham said: “I was in the gym the other day having a
stretch on our day off and I bumped into one of the Inverness guys
and I was up shaking his hand. It’s nice to see the lads.
“It’s not like that type of atmosphere when I was a kid at
Celtic and I had to hide in the bottom of a taxi and had my green
colours on coming home from a game and there was an Orange
“It’s nothing like that, up here it’s all about the good,
“When the whistle blows, we are competitive guys so we are going
out there to win the game and that’s the only thing on our
Fotheringham added: “We know it’s a derby and you have got to go
out and win for the bragging rights for the fans.
“We are just glad both teams are doing well for the Highlands.
It’s good for this part of Scotland.”
County have not beaten Inverness this season in five games but
Fotheringham has no inferiority complex, especially with both games
at the Global Energy Stadium ending in draws.
“We are not too bothered about records because in the games so
far we have given a really good account of ourselves,” he said.
“But the main thing is to get points on the board and we want to
win the game and finish the season on a high.”
Lennon’s Scottish Communities League Cup-winning squad will be
together for the final time when they take on Kilmarnock in the
Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Lennon this week told striker Sam Parkin and midfielder Graham
Carey they would not be offered new deals and he advised four
contracted players to find new clubs.
Loan players Paul Dummett, Conor Newton and Esmael Goncalves are
due to return to their parent clubs while goalkeeper Craig Samson
has rejected an offer amid interest from Motherwell and Kilmarnock
and playmaker Paul McGowan is keen on a switch to England.
Lennon said: “This is a difficult stage of the season for any
manager and it’s inevitable that players that you want to stay are
going to go and arguably go on to better things, and there are
players that want to stay but have to go.
“And there are players out there that we have identified that we
want to bring in and will try to get business done sooner rather
“But the group of players we have had here, it’s a remarkable
achievement what they have done.
“Their season is going to be remembered for winning the League
Cup for the first time in the club’s history and every single one
of them that go out the door will go out with their heads held
high, and they will be remembered at this football club for the
rest of their days.”
Lennon admitted he found it hard to tell players their services
were no longer required.
“It’s never an easy part and it’s a part of the job that you
don’t like,” he said.
“But you have got to be honest and be true to yourself and do
what you feel is the best for your football club.
“And for these players that do go, we wish them and their
“I’ve had conversations with players who are still under
contract and laid it on the table to them where they stand.
“And I’m sure they are ambitious and want to go out and
“A club our size can’t afford to carry that and it’s important
the club, the players and their representatives work close in hand
to try to achieve that outcome.”