Please read an open letter direct from Tim Fisher and Joy Seppala to the supporters of Coventry City Football Club
Dear Coventry City supporters,
Firstly we would like to commend Steven Pressley and the team for the great job they did last season. We are proud of both their style of football and the way the manager is moving his football model forward and everyone is looking forward to an exciting campaign next season with the main aim being to mount a strong challenge for promotion.
You have heard a lot from everyone else about any potential return to the Ricoh Arena. However, we understand that you want to hear from us about what is going on. You want the Sky Blues to return to play home games in Coventry. We do too. But any return to the Ricoh Arena has to be driven by Financial Fair Play. We want what is best for the club for the long term and this must be built on financial stability.
We appreciate that some of you have pledged to pay the rent for the Ricoh Arena. We are grateful. But unfortunately the rent is not the biggest problem. We have always been happy to pay a competitive rent but we need to access the match day revenues.
The club’s proposal is very simple. We are happy to pay a rent which is competitive in League One. But, we must have access to our very own match day revenues. That is, under Financial Fair Play Rules, all the business that is generated on a match day is managed by the club so that 60p in every £1 generated can be allocated to Steven Pressley to spend on improving and growing the calibre of the first team squad with promotion to the Championship and beyond in mind.
The generation of revenue also assists in maintaining and growing our excellent Academy so that we continue to produce young local talent to be developed by Steven Pressley and his coaching staff.
Our issue is why should the money you spend in support of the football club be taken away from the club? The first team and Academy should not be disadvantaged - your money should be invested into putting the best team on the pitch and cultivating young players that you can be proud of. As you know, investment in the playing talent is the lifeblood of a football club.
That said, we want the club playing home games in the right place as soon as possible – back in the Coventry community. So, we are ready and willing to talk about a deal that brings the club back to the Ricoh Arena, until we can own our own stadium.
In a statement earlier today, the Football League said the most immediate need is to 'concentrate on the more pressing issue of getting the club back to the Coventry area within the prescribed timeframe' as well as acknowledging 'the club has placed the full sum of £590,000 into an escrow account pending the outcome' of the Football League board’s deliberations. We completely agree and want to play our part to make this happen.
We know that reconciliation will need effort from all sides but we will do all we can as long as it does not jeopardise the long term future of the club. We know we haven’t done enough to communicate with you. We want this to change. We promise to share as much as we can about what is going on.
We are all passionate about the club becoming an essential part of the Coventry community, determined to secure its long term future and build a team that continues to make us all proud for generations to come.
- Joy Seppala & Tim Fisher