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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Council hits back over takeover
Coventry City Council has said it is prepared to listen to offers for its share of the Ricoh Arena.

But the council has said it has had no bids for its share of the stadium from US consortium Manhattan Sports Capital Partners.

The consortium agreed a deal to buy the Sky Blues earlier this year.

John McGuigan, a director at the city council and Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), said the council would not stand in the way of a takeover.

He added: "The council has agreed that it will consider offers for those shares, as long as it is from new investors who have already concluded a satisfactory deal with the football club.

'Long-term vision'

"The investors also need to demonstrate they share our long-term vision for the future of the city, have management experience that can strengthen the football club and the arena's ongoing business, and can bring forward the necessary finance to deliver this."

He said that the ACL board, which runs the stadium separately from the council, had provided "detailed financial information" to Manhattan Sports Capital Partners and had pressed it to make an offer.

He added that ACL shareholders would not to expect to receive dividends from the company for several years.

He said: "A valuation and offer for ACL is relatively easy to construct as a starting point for any subsequent commercial discussions.

"What is perhaps more difficult is to decide, and then finance, is what sum of new money is needed to put the football club on a sound financial footing.

"It is important to emphasise that the city council and ACL are not standing in the way of any proposed takeover of Coventry City Football Club, nor have we done so at any time."

Daniel Gidney, chief executive of the Ricoh Arena, said it would support "any process that can deliver a long-term sustainable solution" for the football club.


SEE ALSO
Coventry takeover still on course
22 Jul 07 |  Coventry City
Coventry investors urge patience
14 May 07 |  Coventry City
US group eyeing Coventry takeover
07 Mar 07 |  Coventry City

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