Coventry Council have denied accusations from Coventry City owners, SISU, that they “acted against the interest of the club”.
The Council say the club’s owners have failed to take responsibility for the position the club finds itself in.
They have also called for SISU to show they are “serious about building a new home for the football club in the city” by “dropping the litigation and entering meaningful talks with Rugby Union side Wasps about a tenancy agreement which will ensure that the club can fulfil the requirements of the English Football League.”
In a joint statement – Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, and Cllr Gary Ridley, Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party – responded to the SISU open letter, saying: “It is regrettable that the current owners of our great football club continue to trot out the same arguments about the conduct of others while completely failing to take responsibility for the position that the club finds itself in under their stewardship.
“They continue to paint themselves as victims where, in reality, the current situation is a direct consequence of the actions taken by the owners in recent years.
“The arguments about the unlawful actions of others detailed in their letter have been tested numerous times now in the courts and have failed every time.
“It is the continuation of this litigation which is alienating them from the partners in the city who they should be working with to secure a successful and sustainable future for Coventry City Football Club.
“Coventry City Council has been consistent in its desire to see a successful football club secure a long term future in the city whether that be at the Ricoh Arena or in a new stadium and deny we have acted against their interests at any time.
“We have also been consistent in stressing that any application for an alternative development will be dealt with completely impartially and in accordance with our statutory duties.
“We firmly refute the baseless allegation that our impartiality as a planning authority is questionable. Any decision we take can be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and if they ever feel procedurally disadvantaged they can of course take us to the Local Government Ombudsman.
“SISU have been talking about developing a new stadium for almost six years now but we have seen no evidence of any real progress or intent.
“If they are now serious about building a new home for the football club in the city, let them show they mean business by dropping the litigation and entering meaningful talks with Wasps about a tenancy agreement which will ensure that the club can fulfil the requirements of the English Football League and allow time for SISU to bring forward and deliver a stadium proposal which is viable both logistically and financially.
“Let them show they are serious about their commitment to Coventry City Football Club by taking this first step to secure its immediate future and to help get the club back to its rightful place in the upper echelons of league football.”
Joy Seppala, the head of SISU, owners of Coventry City, broke her silence over the row which threatens to see the club expelled from the English Football League (EFL) in six weeks’ time.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, the hedge fund chief revealed she believed their disputes with Wasps and Coventry City Council can be resolved – and that every battle they have fought in 11 years of ownership was “to make the club the very best it can be”.
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