PKH - This Is About The Future of The Academy

26 April 2013 10:52
PKH On Higgs/Academy Row

Peter Knatchbull Hugessen has said that the Alan Higgs Centre have contacted Coventry City to try and get the Academy back at the Allard Way facility.

Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph's Andy Turner, Peter Knatchbull-Hugessen, Chairman of the Alan Higgs Centre Trust, said: “We at the Higgs Centre have an agreement with CCFC Ltd and when they were put into administration Mr Appleton wrote to us and said he didn’t need to use the centre because he didn’t have the Academy.

“So we asked questions. We asked where is the Academy and he said nothing about that really.

“So we asked the Football League and they said ask the Football Association.

“So we wrote to the FA and they said, quite unequivocally, that the licence is with the club that is in membership of the Football League. And as we know and was confirmed again on Wednesday when MP Bob Ainsworth met with the League, CCFC Ltd are the member of the Football League.

“Therefore the Academy is in Ltd, and as we have an agreement with Ltd my question is why is the administrator not prepared to operate the Academy which is his responsibility because that is where the licence sits.

“The Academy, as far as I am concerned, is vital for the value of Coventry City Football Club. You only have to look at what Dario Gradi has done at Crewe to see the value of an Academy, or the product of Manchester United’s Academy – Beckham, Scholes, Neville.

“An Academy is a vital part of a football club so why is he not operating it?

“Why is the administrator putting at risk something that is of real value? The Academy is a way of making the club more competitive against other clubs because you can develop your own talent and some of those you are going to move on.

"Gael Bigirimana is the most recent example of a really good sale, so why is that not part of his plan? He could have asked the FA just as easily where does the licence sit? A letter comes back and it tells you.

Mr Knatchbull Hugessen is concerned that City's Academy could lose their Category Two status which includes £480k a year of Premier League funding. 

He said: “Their grant of near half a million pounds a year for a Category Two academy is on the strength of that licence, and that licence, according to the FA, sits with the entity that is a member of the Football League.

"And the Football League are quite clear in writing and to Bob Ainsworth this week that it’s in CCFC Ltd that holds the League share.

“This is about the future of the Academy. We need to get the Academy back in otherwise they’re at the last chance saloon. In the agreements we have with CCFC Ltd the trustees could have, the moment they went into administration, cancelled the agreements and gone out and found new tenants.

“We haven’t done that because the reason it was built in that way was so that the Academy could be there.

"The charity didn’t spend that amount of money to build a community sports and leisure centre with facilities including a full-sized all weather pitch and indoor fourth generation facility that could be used by an Academy for any other reason.”

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Source: Coventry MAD


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