FL Set Cost Of Franchise At £1m

15 July 2013 11:21
Trust Statement The Football League have made one of the conditions for granting permission for Coventry City’s owner Joy Seppala to move the club 35 miles away from its home city being a payment of a £1 million “bond”. This bond is as hollow as the promises made by the Football League to take the supporters views into account because the “bond” is nothing more than a promise to pay arrangement if the club fails to return to Coventry within 3 years. No money has been placed in an independent account and history shows that keeping promises is not a strength of the club’s. It will be interesting to see what the toothless Football League will do when in 3 years time CCFC tell them that they are struggling to get planning permission to build in the Coventry area and are being forced to move the club to the other end of the country.


Will the Football League simply ask for their blood money and wish them luck? Do they care as long the club fulfil their fixtures? Has the cost of a franchise now been set by the Football League at £1 million? Will other unscrupulous owners look at this debacle and realise that the Football League is completely impotent, cares not one iota for supporters -  in fact cares only about the tainted “integrity” of its competition?


When Jean-Marc Bosman won his judicial challenge to transfer rules it changed football forever – this decision by the Football League could have similar far reaching consequences for football in this country.


AFC Wimbledon owners The Dons Trust has expressed its deep concern about recent developments at Coventry City, stating that it is “worried for the future of the Club.”


Chair of The Dons Trust, Matthew Breach, said that Coventry’s move to ground-share at Northampton Town “could be extremely dangerous for football”. 


“In 1992, the then owners of Wimbledon Football Club were given permission to move the Club, supposedly temporarily, to Crystal Palace FC’s Selhurst Park. This was meant to be a ground share which would end with a new stadium in our home borough. But this move and the lack of proper oversight by the football authorities fostered the conditions for the final destruction of the Club and its permanent removal to Milton Keynes.


“We’re extremely worried that in agreeing to this move, the Football League has not thought out the potential consequences, which could be catastrophic for Coventry City and its fans and community, but also could be extremely dangerous for football as a whole.”


Football supporters all over the country should be worried, the Football League has now established a price and it seems only a matter of time before another unscrupulous owner follows the unpalatable example of Joy Seppala. If they see it as financially advantageous they can simply promise to pay a £1 million and move their club elsewhere whether the club’s supporters like it or not.


The Football League has betrayed supporters everywhere and betrayed the game they claim to govern – Real Football, Real Fans has a very hollow ring to it these days.


Source: Coventry MAD