Coventry Council Sells Ricoh Arena to London Wasps

Coventry Council Sells Ricoh Arena to London Wasps

Ricoh

After spending a year playing 35 miles outside Coventry in Northampton, CCFC’s recent return to the Ricoh Arena was welcomed by football fans across the country. Despite this step forward, however, the issues over the ownership of the club and the stadium have continued. A recent bid from London Wasps Rugby Club to purchase ACL, the company which runs the Ricoh, has been accepted unanimously by Coventry Council, putting the future of CCFC and Coventry Rugby Club in doubt.

The bid has been accepted without a full public consultation, and without the people of Coventry knowing the full details of the deal. The Wasps chairman, Derek Richardson, now owns 100% of ACL, having paid Coventry Council and the Alan Higgs charity £2.77million each, and taking on ACL’s £14.4million loan from the council. The council claims this deal is best for the club and the people of Coventry – but how do we know if they don’t give us the full details? Our money built the Ricoh, now it’s being stolen from us by a rich businessman from the other side of the country who couldn’t care less about us or our clubs!

In 2003 when Coventry Council was debating building the Ricoh there were 3 Socialist Party councillors who held the balance of power on the council and forced a full public consultation and debate. The views of the people of Coventry and Sky Blues fans were sought and as a result the Socialist councillors voted to build the new stadium. The current makeup of the council, with 43 Labour and 11 Tory cllrs, has led to a unanimous decision taken behind closed doors to lease out our stadium for 250 years – and we don’t even know the details of the bid!

Dave Nellist speaking to the press today about the sale

Dave Nellist speaking to the press today about the sale

Coventry already has a rugby club and a football club – London Wasps relocating here threatens both of them. CCFC fans can also sympathise with Wasps fans whose club is being moved 80 miles across the country – why should they lose their local club?

SISU and the council have shown repeatedly that they don’t have the best interests of the club of the people of Coventry at heart – the businesspeople who own Wasps don’t either. They’ll keep on selling us down the river – the club should be owned and run by the fans.

Thousands March to bring Cov City back to Coventry

At least 7,000 people, probably more, marched through Coventry today (July 12th 2014) demanding Coventry City Football Club is rightfully returned home. The march comes on the backdrop of another season where the club looks set to play their home games over 30 miles away in Northampton. As the dispute between the clubs owners, hedge fund SISU, continues with the City Council and ACL (the group that owns the RICHO Arena, which the Council is part of).

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Whilst there were mixed and varied messages from the different elements involved in organising the demo in relation to their stance on the clubs ownership by SISU. The overwhelming majority of supporters and people on the demo, were clear; they want the money grabbing parasite SISU OUT!

Football fans of from Chelsea, Leeds, Ipswich, West Brom, Middlesbrough and many more clubs were out giving their support and solidarity to the protest. Reflecting the fact that the fight to kick Big Business out of football is a fight who ever you support and for every football fan.

Thousands pack in Broadgate Square

Thousands pack into Broadgate Square

Socialist Party members were on the protest, selling a number of Reclaim the Game pamphlets.

The tragedy that has hit Coventry City FC is a perfect example of how these unaccountable profit hungry parasites such as SISU directly impact on working class communities and attack the traditions and culture of ordinary people. They must be stopped and discussions need to take place about how we can get fan and community ownership of football and sport in general.

check out the link below for Socialist Party book and Pamphlet ‘Reclaim the game’ to find out more on the struggle to reclaim football for diary working class people.

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/ReclaimTheGame/ReclaimtheGame.htm

Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party were out on the demo

Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party were out on the Demo.

St Michaels Socialist News – Charterhouse Fields Update

St Michaels Socialist News

January 2014

CHARTERHOUSE FIELDS UPDATE

Village green put on hold

 Shortly before Christmas former Cllr Dave Nellist, on behalf of the Charterhouse community, asked the City Council to defer any decision on the legal status of the Charterhouse Fields.  As long-standing residents will know Dave had made an application on our behalf for a “Village Green”. This was to give us legal protection for our community’s continued use of the Fields and to limit the expansion of Blue Coat’s control of the park.

The new Blue Coat Academy uses part of the area as a playing field.  Despite huge opposition from the local area, it was granted a formal lease from the Council in 2011 gaining new legal powers over land.  The Village Green application was seen as the only way to maintain our community access and prevent further development on our local fields.

Plans for a new Heritage Park

As a result of the successful ‘holding operation’ of the Village Green application, things have moved on. The strength of the residents’ organisation and the work done over a number of years by Socialist councillors paid off.

When the Charterhouse building itself was being disposed of by City College, working together we halted that sale.  Now the fields around the Charterhouse could form part of much wider proposals for a large Heritage Park being worked up by the Charterhouse preservation trust.

The determined campaign by residents supported by work of Socialist councillors was key to all that coming about – without them there was a real risk that the Fields would now be lost to us.

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Proud of this local community

Former Councillor Dave Nellist, told us:

“I am proud of the way this local community stood up for itself.  And because of residents’ principled stand the relationship with Blue Coat has started to improve over the past year.  The ambitious plans now for a fantastic new park centred on the River Sherbourne and The Charterhouse could benefit everyone.  There are serious proposals to relocate the school’s use of playing fields to south of the railway line. I am still working with local residents in a positive manner on these plans.  It seems only right that we defer consideration of the Village Green application to see whether those plans can be delivered.  

 But the Village Green application hasn’t gone away, merely put on hold. And if there is any threat to local people’s continued enjoyment of the marvellous mediaeval heritage of the Charterhouse Fields then, working again with local residents, we can and we will carry on down the Village Green route. Whilst the Council in the past often ignored what local people wanted, this issue of the Charterhouse Fields has shown that residents and socialists working together is the best defence to the real threat of the loss of green space we can all enjoy.”

Lets keep up the good work together!

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Interested in helping Dave Nellist and the Socialists campaign or joining the Socialist Party?   

Get in touch for info and details…

 07530 429441    coventrysocialistparty@gmail.com   

http://www.coventrysocialists.wordpress.com    www.socialistparty.org.uk

 Dave Nellist   

Ring  07870 294 237    Email: dave@nellist.net

Keep up with Dave on:     facebook.com/dave.nellist       Twitter: @DaveNellist

Football and big business: time to reclaim the game

John Reid (From the Socialist Newspaper)

At the start of the new football season, the same old robbers are wrecking the game. Since the outset of the Premier League, over 50 clubs have gone into receivership.The latest club in trouble is Coventry City. Docked ten points, and without a ground due to the antics of the money men in charge, fans have to travel to Northampton to see their team play!

Mismanagement has already ruined Portsmouth, Luton Town and also Glasgow Rangers, which was expelled from the Scottish Premier following off-field dodgy dealing.

Football is a game at the top owned by billionaires and played by multi-millionaires.

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