Coventry City: Otium completes purchase of Sky Blues

By Ged ScottBBC Midlands Sport
Ricoh Arena

Coventry City administrator Paul Appleton has confirmed that the sale of the League One club to the Otium Entertainment Group has been completed.

But, although the sale is finalised, the club will remain in administration until a Creditors Voluntary Agreement is issued and agreed with all parties.

"This has been no ordinary football administration," said Appleton.

"I have tried to undertake a sale process allowing the club to compete in all next season's competitions."

London-based Otium have two registered directors, chief executive Tim Fisher and fellow City director Mark Labovitch, both of whom were on the Sky Blues board under outgoing owners Sisu.

Otium was founded by three former Coventry directors, all of whom have a connection with Sisu, who took over the club in 2007. They are ex-chairman Ken Dulieu, who was also previously a director at Southampton, Onye Igwe and Leonard Brody.

The Sky Blues have been in administration since a High Court hearing in March, but their long-running rent row with Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL), landlords of their Ricoh Arena home has now gone on for more than a year.

And, although they have been offered the chance to play at the Ricoh "free of any rental fee", it remains unclear where they will play their games next season.

Fisher revealed earlier this month that the club are in talks with three fellow league clubs, all within a 30-mile radius of Coventry, about a potential groundshare deal, while they press on with plans to build a new stadium in the city.

Subject to ratification by the Football League, Otium are now deemed to be the holders of the club's Golden Share.

"Otium has purchased the right and title to certain assets possessed in CCFC Limited, including the shares in the Football League and the Football Association," added Appleton.

"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.

"In this regard, 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.

"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."

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