Group purchases Coventry City FC, but doubts linger about where team will play

Sky Blues remain in administration and fans face baffling business complexities as uncertainties remain

Otium Entertainment Group Limited have completed their purchase of Coventry City Football Club Ltd, joint-administrator Paul Appleton has confirmed.

Appleton brought an end to a lengthy saga two weeks ago when he announced Otium had emerged successful amid four final bidders for CCFC Ltd, part of the League One club placed in administration by hedge fund owners Sisu in March.

The decision has been met with anger by the majority of Sky Blues supporters as the company is related to Coventry City Football Club (Holdings), which has continued to operate under Sisu.

The Football League have since been working with Appleton and Otium to ensure the bid meets their criteria, and are still to rubber stamp the deal, with CCFC Ltd remaining in administration for the time being at least.

Appleton's statement read: "I can confirm that the asset sale by Coventry City FC Limited to Otium Entertainment Group Limited has been completed.

"Otium has purchased the right and title to certain assets possessed in Limited including the shares in the Football League and the Football Association. I stress that I have only been able to sell such right and title to these as Limited possesses because CCFC Holdings Ltd asserts beneficial ownership over them.

"This has been no ordinary football administration and I have tried to undertake a sale process which allows the club to compete in all of next season's competitions.

"Obviously, one of the key points now is to determine where the club plays its football next season, but that is a matter for the purchasers and the Football League."

Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher last month revealed plans to move into a new stadium having claimed Coventry had been given no choice but to leave the Ricoh Arena as their ongoing rent row rumbles on, with a proposal to groundshare on an interim basis for three years while it is being built.

Those plans cannot be formally announced until CCFC Ltd comes out of administration, although Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), who manage the Ricoh Arena, insist they remain committed to keeping the club at the stadium.

CCFC Ltd were handed the opportunity by ACL to play at the Ricoh Arena rent free next season while they are in administration, but Appleton's statement goes on to pour cold water on the offer.

"The offer made by ACL to allow the club to play at the Ricoh was dependent on Limited remaining in administration and was based on the mistaken belief that Limited had the ability to field a team," it read.

"However, as I've stated on many occasions, it is Holdings which employs the players and, consequently, Limited was never in a position to take up the offer.

"The Football League have been kept closely informed of developments and I am continuing to work closely with them so that the process of transferring the share can begin.

"This will involve sending out proposals for a voluntary arrangement to creditors which will be considered at a meeting of creditors to be convened within the next three weeks."

PA

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