Ricoh calls in Sky Blues rent debt

By Steve Carpenter Wednesday 05 December 2012 Updated: 05/12 18:02

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THE COMPANY which runs the Ricoh Arena admits they have become “exhausted” and “astonished” with the owners of Coventry City Football Club after issuing a statutory demand for the £1.1million owed in unpaid rent.

Stadium company ACL, which is jointly owned by Coventry City Council and the Alan Higgs Charity, have seemingly lost patience with the club after ten months of negotiations hit boiling point last week.

A war of words erupted between the two parties after the club labelled ACL's finances “fragile,” a claim they strongly denied.

In a statement released last week the club said they expected negotiations to continue.

However ACL confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that a statutory demand had been issued, which gives Sky Blues 21 days to either settle the debt owed, reach an agreement to pay or face insolvency or a possible a winding order.

“This is not a course of action the ACL Board wanted to take,” the statement read.

“However, the behaviour of Sisu, the owners of CCFC has left the Board with no choice but to issue the statutory demand.

“CCFC has failed to comply with its legal obligations and the Board is taking this action now to protect the long term sustainability of its already healthy and successful business.

“The Board feels that all other avenues to resolve this issue have been exhausted and is astonished that the club’s owners have allowed matters to come to this sorry pass.”

The ball now seemingly sits in Coventry City's court, who have until Boxing to pay the rent or face an uncertain future.

But ACL said they “remain hopeful” a workable solution can be reached.

“What happens next is very much in the hands of Sisu,” the statement added.

“CCFC has a legal obligation to pay its rent, which is required by ACL in order to meet its long term financial commitments.

“The Board has stated many times before that it cannot allow CCFC’s business issues to compromise the successful operations of ACL.

“We remain hopeful that a workable solution can be arrived at which allows CCFC to continue to operate in a financially sustainable manner.

“This must include the payment of the rent arrears lawfully owed by the Club to ACL and the production to the Board of ACL of a realistic business and financing plan to safeguard the future of CCFC.”

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