Friday, 30 August 2013

A statement following my meeting with Joy Seppala

Nikki today met with Joy Seppala and had an open and frank conversation.

Nikki would like to put on record her thanks to Joy for meeting her in person.

It was instantly agreed that the interests of Coventry city football club and its fans are paramount. 

Nikki explained that as a football fan, the trauma of a club moving out of its natural surroundings were devastating. Joy completely empathised with the fans and said that contrary to popular opinion, she felt for the fans and regrets the circumstances that has led to the current position.

Joy reiterated her acknowledgement of mistakes made in the earlier years of Sisu's ownership. Joy made it absolutely clear that she is not going anywhere and it is her intention to bring back Coventry City Football club to the area.

Indeed, it was reiterated that the Football League had made it clear that severe sanctions could follow of this was not accomplished. 

Joy regrets that ACL and in particular CCC leader Ann Lucas, despite public pronouncements, has not facilitated a meeting. It is still with great regret that the Council inexplicably rejected the CVA, costing the club ten points. 

One of the bars to the meeting has been the lack of recognition from the Council to the ownership of the club. This still remains a barrier to any future meeting. 

Joy explained that a club that doesn't control it's match day revenues is unsustainable, therefore, many attempts were made to renegotiate a fairer deal which would have been more sustainable for the club, securing its long term future and progress. 

A great deal of time was spent with Nikki putting forward many of the fans questions including the future stadium development, its continuing community work within the city, promised transport Northampton and shirt sponsorship.

The reason for a lack of shirt sponsor was given as the transfer embargoes. Nikki suggested offering the shirt sponsorship to a charity in the interim period and the idea was warmly accepted. 

They accepted and understand the Keep Cov in Cov campaign and that any possible return to the Ricoh would only happen if they were guaranteed some sort of security. 

Joy also expressed sorrow that Cllr Lucas had not agreed to meet with Nikki.

It was a positive meeting and communication lines will be kept open. Nikki will monitor the situation about the topics discussed to ensure that actions are completed and fans concerns are fully addressed.

Nikki remains open to discuss this situation with any of the stakeholders, either individually or collectively. Once again, she is also urging everybody to sit down and have talks, as that is what the fans deserve. 

The future of Coventry city starts here, not at some wish point in the future.