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I Disagree With Les Reid's Conclusions
One Man's View
I've got a lot of time for Les Reid, and it was a great article - but I'd absolutely disagree with his conclusions.
In essence, he seems to say that Coventry City Council should now sell up to SISU at the price that SISU want to pay. The Council took a gamble and lost, he seems to suggest, and now to get the club back in the city they need to cave in and move on.
As someone who pays tax in the City of Coventry as well as supports Coventry City, I've got to say that I think that's dead wrong.
When Coventry City Council stepped in to support Coventry City Football Club to get the Arena 2000(!) build complete, they weren't taking a gamble in the hope of massive financial reward (like SISU), they were saving the club who were at that point (through catastrophic mismanagement) effectively homeless. It came down to a single vote, that bail out, and I remember pretty much every fan out there wanting the Council to do it.
Now we've come to a position where once again, through catastrophic mismanagement, the club is without a home. And some people want the Council to bail out the club again, this time by handing over the freehold.
The freehold! Apparently there's nothing else that will bring SISU back now except if Joy gets the keys.
I think what the Council need to do now is forget all about CCFC, and do whatever it takes to maximise revenue from the Ricoh, even it that means knocking it down to build houses or factories (London Taxis are looking for a new place, I hear!). It's SISU who took a gamble and lost, and it's not the taxpayers' job to bail them out again.
The smart move though, in my humble opinion, is just to wait.
SISU's investors aren't going to want to hold on to a team playing in front of 2,000, and ACL have probably got enough backing for now with the Council behind them.
The plan for a new ground hasn't even reached the formal planning stage yet, and how do the finances for that really work out: Lose money for three to five years at Northampton, then spend £15 - £20m on a stadium smaller than the Ricoh. Then recoup all of those losses from an obviously smaller fanbase? Hmm.
If SISU's Judicial Review fails in November then I think we might see movement then. Failing that, if we don't get promoted this season, I think things will shift. If the liquidator finds half of what a lot of people suspect, then maybe that might change things too.
It's interesting that Joy Seppala has finally turned up for an interview - is really that because she's bullish about SISU's HR2 plan, or because they're on the run and need some pressure putting on the Council? You could read it either way.
I still don't think this game is over, and I think it's early days to be begging the council to hand over the Ricoh.
All my honest opinion, as ever - most will probably differ. :)
Source: Coventry MAD
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