SISU versus Coventry City FC
The biggest pre-season game for Coventry City has already kicked off and looks to be far from a friendly affair.
Coventry City fan and successful businessman Gary Hoffman has achieved what many others have failed to do over recent years and has found real financial backers who are prepared to pump an initial £30 million into Coventry City to bring an end to the shameful antics of the current owners. SISU have assembled what they deem to be a high flying board with the ability to reduce or at least slow the leak in the CCFC finances and are clinging to their investment in the hope that it can become the cash cow that they hoped it would be.
According to reports the initial offer of £1 plus a commitment to invest an immediate £20 million to make the club financially stable and to strengthen the playing squad (at last) with a further £10 million allocated to buy half of the Ricoh Arena. This has been rejected by SISU for a technicality saying that it was not received on the correct headed paper. Reading between the lines, which we have to do as we never seem to hear any news of consequence from the current board, the offer is either not enough to satisfy the SISU exit policy, the club is actually not for sale as per the Chief Executive Paul Clouting's statement or is there so much bad blood from Hoffman's previous tenure as Vice Chairman that SISU just do not want to sell to him!
Dealing with the options one at a time, an offer of £1 may not seem attractive, but balanced with the fact that SISU have shown no intention of investing hard cash in the club and must surely be running out of assets to liquidate to cover losses now, has to be valued at £6 million per year with a promise of all of their losses refunded if the club becomes successful. Even as a first offer that does not sound too bad to me, especially when you consider that there is very little evidence of cash being invested by the current owners other than the sale of players, prozone and loans against next seasons income.
To hear a Chief Executive stating that "the club is not for sale" cannot possibly be true. Everthing and indeed in football everyone has their price, which brings me to point 3. Gary Hoffman resigned as he was unhappy with how SISU were (and are) running the club and made it public knowledge what we all feared. Has that caused such a breakdown in relationship that this takeover can only be seen as hostile. I truly hope not for the future of Coventry City as this shambles has gone on for way too long. We thank SISU for "saving the club" in 2007 but they are now making it worse and we have the opportunity of real investment with a fan at the helm. Please put aside your differences and get this resolved.
Whatever the result the club will continue in some format long after the SISU v Hoffman battle has completed so lets play nicely lads and then we can start talking football and not finances for once.