ACL step up claim for unpaid rent from Sky Blues

By Steve Carpenter Friday 15 February 2013 Updated: 15/02 13:22

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THE COMPANY which runs the Ricoh Arena have stepped up their attempt to claim back money owed by the Sky Blues over unpaid rent by serving a debt order on the club.

The Observer reported Yesterday (Thursday) how stadium company ACL, which is jointly owned by Coventry City Council and the Alan Higgs Charity, issued a statement claiming talks with club owners Sisu had collapsed.

And now this latest order give ACL access to some of the club's income – including compensation money received from Huddersfield Town for the services of manager Mark Robins.

“We don’t want to have to resort to such means as obtaining interim Third Party Debt Orders,” said Nicholas Carter, Chairman, ACL.

“But if the Club won’t agree to the very generous deal on the table and pay what it lawfully owes, we have a duty to our stakeholders to take all the necessary steps to protect ACL’s interests. It’s our responsibility as Directors to do all we can to make sure ACL gets paid.

“As we have made clear, if the Club Directors can’t or won’t follow through on the Agreement they participated in creating, then we suggest to them that the time has come to consider offering ownership of CCFC to an outside buyer better placed to run the Club’s financial operations.

“Make no mistake, now is the time for Sisu to pay up or sell up and get out of Coventry.”

ACL claim the cash-strapped League One club owe £1.347million in arrears after refusing to pay the cost of playing at the stadium since February last year.

They say an agreement was reached for the club to pay £400,000 per annum in rent while the Sky Blues remain in League One.

The deal would also see ACL waive more than £300,000 of the rent arrears, with a generous approach to clearing the total balance and the club were guaranteed to continue receiving matchday revenues.

But instead of confirming, Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher asked for the arrears to be cleared.

And he also wants the statutory demand for the payment of rent, which was issued in December 2012, to be dropped, or else the club will look to build a new venue elsewhere.

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