Following the publication of Coventry City Football Club's accounts please read our Q&A based around your questions
The accounts for Sky Blues Sports & Leisure and Otium Entertainment Group to the end of May 2013 were filed with Companies House last Friday and have become available to the public this week.
That has sparked several questions from supporters, which we have answered below.
Were the accounts filed on time?
How were the accounts signed off if the club is still losing money?
Accounts are regularly signed off when companies are losing money. There simply need to be assurances that future costs are expected to be met.
Does that mean it is just ‘saddling the club with debt’?
No. When a business is funded it must be through either equity or debt. You can’t just write cheque after cheque without there being some record of the money. The recent funding from SISU has been as equity, with earlier funding as debt. This is a Football League requirement.
But it’s not debt in the way that most people think of as a standard loan or mortgage. Again, SISU have stated that while there is money owed, they have no intention of requiring the debt to be repaid upon demand.
So while people talk about the club being saddled with debt, that’s simply not the case but is, instead, money that has been ploughed into the club to keep it afloat.
Despite lots of rumour and speculation, no other party has ever shown the wherewithal to do that.
Why do SISU continue to fund the club – especially now the club is playing home games at Sixfields in front of 2,000 supporters?
Playing at Sixfields was not a step the club took lightly. The club were being told that they could not play at the Ricoh Arena in the run up to this season starting and that the owners of the Ricoh Arena would only ever deal with the administrator.
Had the club not agreed a groundshare, the club’s place in the Football League was in serious jeopardy.
Sixfields is a temporary solution and while extremely painful from an emotional and financial point of view, it is where the club will be until we build and own our very own stadium.
The future for Coventry City and, indeed, every football club is to own its own stadium and the revenues it generates. With those revenues, coupled with strong management of the club’s costs, there is the opportunity to make this is a self-sustaining club.
That is the only way forward for the football club and Financial Fair Play rules make that even more the case.
Surely the money being lost by playing at Sixfields is hurting the club financially?
Most of the supporters have taken the decision not to attend Sixfields and we understand the heartache it has caused. In terms of finances, it is abundantly clear that revenues from ticket sales have been hit.
But we will have to continue to take the short-term hit on revenues because, ultimately, building our own stadium moving forward is the only way the club can survive in the long-term.
The club needs to be in a position where there is no reliance on other parties but is a complete master of its own destiny. By owning its own ground, the revenues that come with it and getting close to a break-even point that will be the case.
The accounts appear to cast doubt over the club’s ability to continue as a going concern – what does that mean?
Most clubs – certainly at League One level – will have that wording in their accounts. The point here is that most football clubs are losing, not making, money and, therefore, this phrase in the accounts reflects that.
That has been the case at Coventry City for many, many years and that is what we want to change through stadium ownership, tighter control on costs and maximum investment in the team and Academy in accordance with Financial Fair Play to give us the best possible chance of success.
Until such a point that we build and own our own stadium, the club will rely on a commitment from SISU to cover those losses which they have shown, once again, they are willing to do.