City In Private Eye Again

18 October 2013 02:22
More Doubt Cast Over City's Future

Remember when being a Coventry City fan meant reading the sports pages not the business pages? It's now a hat-trick of appearances for CCFC in satirical magazine Private Eye, with article copied below

 ----------------------------- PLANET FOOTBALL

 Coventry City

Only one of the three companies involved in the ownership of the Sky Blues has finally managed to produce its much-delayed 2012 accounts.

The League One club's new/old owner, Otium Entertainment Group, filed its accounts on 30 September, eight months after they were due. Coventry City Football club (Holdings) and Otium's parent Sky Blues Sport & Leisure have still to file accounts that were due in February. Whether Companies House will carry out its threat, reported in the last Eye, to prosecute the directors remains to be seen.

The Otium delay may not be unrelated to the need felt by auditor BDO to add an "emphasis of matter - going concern" warning note to its report. These relate to "material uncertainties" in the forecast for Otium's continued ability to fund the club over the next 12 months.

Despite promises of funding from Otium's main backer, the Cayman Island ARVO Master Fund, managed by the club's previous hedge fund owners Sisu Capital, "there is no contractual certainty that such funding will be made available nor that loans will be called", states BDO. A £6m revolving loan facility from ARVO is due for repayment in December. ARVO helped buy the club out of administration for £1.5m.

The directors had also made forecasts of revenue that may be jeopardised by the ground-share with Northampton Town FC. "Uncertainty exists regarding the level of support and attendance.which impacts on other commercial revenues and there is no certainty that the level of revenues projected will be achieved." That would seem right on the money, given the small number of Coventry fans prepared to make the 65-mile round trip for 'home games'.

Finally, BDO cast doubt on the needed cuts in wages and overheads: "Many of these savings have yet to be implemented and uncertainty exists regarding the directors' ability to complete all of the planned savings."

Otium/Coventry director Tim Fisher signed off these accounts to May 2012 on 26 September. However, BDO did not sign off on the accounts until four days later - which suggests much discussion about its report and that vital "going concern" ability to continue in business until the next season. The BDO verdict is not reassuring for Sky Blues fans. There is "a fundamental uncertainty which may cast significant doubt over the company's ability to continue as a going concern".

Source: Coventry MAD