Take it or leave it, insist Ricoh Arena chiefs

By Steve Carpenter Thursday 28 February 2013 Updated: 04/03 10:04

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THE RICOH Arena rent saga could be coming to an end after the stadium owners told the club to either accept their latest offer or deal with the consequences.

Stadium company ACL, which is jointly owned by Coventry City Council and the Alan Higgs Charity, have confirmed this week that all negotiations between themselves and the club over rent issues and match day arrangements are at an end.

Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher had told the Observer last week that he wanted to bring in an independent mediator to help broker a deal between the two parties.

But the Sky Blues board have been officially informed that ACL will not negotiate the matter any further.

And have told them to accept the final offer, which would reduce the annual rent from £1.2million a year to £400,000 or expect legal action.

“The Board of ACL made a fair, reasonable and generous best and final offer to Coventry City Football Club,” said Nicholas Carter, chairman of ACL.

“The situation is quite simple. The football club owes ACL £1.3m which a court of law has confirmed our right to collect.

“Our Board has participated in hours of discussions with the club during which we have made many concessions and they have made none.

“The club's owner owners can now either take the offer which is on the table or face the legal consequences. It is entirely their decision.”

This latest move by ACL comes just days after Mr Fisher assured supporters in an open letter that he would negotiate a deal that was right for the football club.

He said: “I know people look upon us as big bad Sisu, but we cannot be forced into a deal that is not the right one in the long term for the football club – because that's just not viable for any party involved.

“It's right that football becomes a more sustainable business but, at the moment, the way Coventry City is unable to access all of the revenues means we are going to be hamstrung next season.”

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