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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 15:35 GMT
Coventry saved by late takeover
Coventry City
Coventry City have been saved from entering administration and suffering a 10-point deduction after a takeover from Ray Ranson's group Sisu Capital.

The Sky Blues had until 1600 GMT on Friday to complete a deal and prove their solvency and they left it late.

"The successful conclusion of this transaction ensures our future is secure and the threat of administration is avoided," said a Coventry statement.

The takeover has allowed Ranson to become the Sky Blues' new chairman.

Ranson, who played for Manchester City and Birmingham City, has been linked with takeovers for Man City, Aston Villa and Southampton in the past.

I am delighted that the threat of administration - and uncertainty surrounding it - has been lifted

Coventry chairman Ray Ranson

Major shareholders Craigavon and Sir Derek Higgs - who own 71.4% of the club's shares - have agreed to the offer and the takeover is subject to the acceptance of 90% of all shareholders.

The offer will be forwarded to the remaining 28.6% of shareholders later on Friday.

Retiring chairman Joe Elliott admitted he was delighted to welcome hedge fund Sisu Capital and Ranson to the club.

"This is a very exciting day in the long, proud history of Coventry City Football Club and I am positive that will be reflected in the attendance for Saturday's game against Southampton," said Elliott.

"I am sure that Ray Ranson and Sisu Capital will help drive Coventry City forward into a brand new era for the club.

"I'd like to pay special thanks to Iain Dowie, his management team, the players and all of the staff at Coventry City who have loyally supported the club through such a difficult time."

Dowie - who had suggested he might leave Coventry should they go into administration - revealed his relief that the club's future was now more secure.

606: DEBATE

"This takeover can only benefit Coventry City Football Club and I look forward to sitting down with Ray and discussing the way forward," said Dowie.

"These are exciting times for everyone connected with the Sky Blues and I am delighted that the threat of administration - and all of the uncertainty surrounding it - has been lifted."

Sisu - who made an unsuccessful bid for Southampton last month - have told supporters that Coventry's reported 38m debt will be restructured to ensure ongoing financial and operational commitments are met.

Resources up to the value of 20m have also been promised, with Ranson named as Coventry's new chairman.

The existing Sky Blues board will resign from their positions ahead of new appointments being made.

"Both Sisu and Ray Ranson would like to take this opportunity to thank the existing board for the services they have provided to the club and their valued support during this acquisition process," read a statement.

Sisu have also signed a co-operation agreement with stadium owners ACL for the continued use of the Ricoh Arena.

Ranson's Sisu Capital group looked to have competition for the club from Greek billionaire Alki David, but the filmmaker withdrew his interest earlier this week.

David, with a reported fortune of 4bn, had claimed that the club was "falling apart".

SEE ALSO
Billionaire enters Coventry talks
10 Dec 07 |  Coventry City
Coventry plan for administration
03 Dec 07 |  Coventry City
Manager Dowie may quit Coventry
29 Nov 07 |  Coventry City
Coventry takeover names revealed
01 Nov 07 |  Coventry City
Lowe opposes Southampton takeover
23 Nov 07 |  Southampton
Saints in talks with hedge fund
25 Oct 07 |  Business


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