Council calls for end to Ricoh Arena legal action


Published Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Leader of Coventry City Council has called on the owners of the Sky Blues to end their campaign of legal action.

Cllr George Duggins made the call at a Full Council meeting today, just days after the High Court announced that Sisu-related companies had been unsuccessful in their appeal seeking a second Judicial Review against the Council. 

The judgment supported the Council’s belief that its decisions taken more than four years ago had been appropriate and lawful.

Addressing all Council members, Cllr Duggins praised the cross-party support and senior Labour and Conservative councillors in particular who had “stood firm” in the ongoing legal fight.

He said since 2012, there had been a rent strike by the club, two relegations, two administrations, two Judicial Reviews, a spell playing in Northampton and the loss of thousands of supporters.

Cllr Duggins said: “I am sure that the people of Coventry want to see an end to this and I reiterate that this Council wants to see a football club that is successful.

“I have never said that Sisu and their various organisations do not have a right to take legal action, but what I do say is that they need to be responsible for the consequences that flow from this continuing litigation.

“Consequences include the burning of a number of bridges with partners that you need to work with. One of our great strengths in Coventry is our partnership working as a city. 

“I simply say to them, don’t play Russian roulette with the future of our great football club – do not continue with legal actions that are so damaging to your own reputation and the reputation of our great and loved football club.

“As a city we have some major challenges and exciting opportunities over the next four or five years, some of which can have lasting positive legacies for many years to come.

“I want everyone in the city to focus on these challenges and opportunities instead of futile sideshows. This must be the end.”

Cllr Gary Ridley, Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party, added: “There are many things which we will disagree over in this chamber and disagreement and debate is healthy for our democracy. However, on this issue you cannot get as much as a cigarette packet between both groups.

“Throughout the whole process my focus has been on ensuring we protect taxpayers and their interests. Like others I remain firmly of the view that the decisions members have taken have been sound, legal and right for the people of Coventry.

“Supporters want to see a team that’s winning and owners want to see a club that’s growing and stable. As civic leaders we want our teams to be successful representatives for our city. Yet this ongoing litigation process is helping nobody, except the lawyers.”

Cllr Ridley added: The judges have spoken, they think it’s all over and I hope for everyone’s sake it is now.”



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