John Clarke hoping for resolution in Ricoh rent row

By Steve Carpenter Thursday 07 March 2013 Updated: 07/03 10:40

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Buy photos » Lifelong Sky Blues fan John Clarke was appointed Coventry City’s vice-chairman back in 2011. (s)

FORMER Sky Blues deputy chairman John Clarke remains confident a deal over the Ricoh Arena can be reached despite his sudden resignation this week.

The life-long supporter shocked supporters by stepping down from his role after two years on the board.

Coventry born Clarke, who was awarded his OBE in 2005 for ‘Services to the community of Coventry’, revealed to the Observer that it was always his plan to step down in the new year.

And after dismissing rumours of the club heading into liquidation, Clarke is confident that a deal over the recent Ricoh rent row can be agreed despite talks breaking down last week.

“I have been very unhappy as the local director on the board with the danger of an insolvency event due to the current external legal pressures,” Clarke told the Observer.

“But I'm hopeful both parties will get around the table once again and find a way forward.”

“I remain hopeful that a resolution can be met that suits the stadium, the football club and most importantly the city of Coventry.”

Clarke was introduced as a club director for a second time back back in March 2011 alongside former board members Paul Clouting, Ken Dulieu, Onye Igwe and Leonard Brody, all of whom have since left the club.

He was responsible for bringing in the club’s current shirt sponsorship deal has also been active in his role as deputy chairman in the community, helping to build local relationships with the city’s universities, local sporting clubs, business and community groups.

"I understand the timing issue of this decision but I have been thinking about stepping down for several months to move on in 2013.

"It's a tough job which takes over your life but I feel privileged to have been given the chance to take on the role twice.

"I am privileged to have been able to go from being a fan from the terraces to work on the board.

Clarke returns to his role as one of the club’s Associate Directors, a group of local businesses who invested in the club in 2007.

"I will continue to work with the board and I hope to continue to attract local business to the club because it is important to have a local director.

"I am still very much the local man and I will continue to support the club both home and away."

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