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SBD Global/April 24, 2013/Franchises

League Side Coventry City Takes City Council To High Court Over Arena Bailout

Coventry City Council’s £14M ($21M) bailout of the Ricoh Arena company "is to be challenged in the High Court" by League One side Coventry City, according to Les Reid of the COVENTRY TELEGRAPH. The football club "wants a judge to rule whether the deal was a lawful use of taxpayers’ money." Councillors "unanimously agreed the highly confidential deal behind closed doors in January" -- to bail out the part council-owned stadium management company Arena Coventry Ltd. by buying out its outstanding mortgage loan with Yorkshire Bank. It "was amid fears ACL could be heading for administration" -- after nearly a year of Coventry City Football Club refusing to pay its £100,000 ($152,000)-a-month rent for using the stadium -- which "could have forced the sale of the Ricoh at a knock down price." The legal challenge "partly concerns whether the council paid over the market value for the stadium company’s mortgage, and could therefore be unlawful under 'state aid' rules" (COVENTRY TELEGRAPH, 4/23).

DUNFERMLINE: The SCOTSMAN reported Scottish First Division club Dunfermline AFC has been "issued with a Notice of Complaint by the Scottish FA after going into administration." The Pars "have been ordered to appear before an SFA hearing at Hampden" on May 9. And the Fife club -- which entered administration earlier this month in a bid to stave off a winding-up order launched by U.K. tax authority HMRC over a £134,000 ($204,256) unpaid tax bill -- has until Monday "to respond to the complaint" (SCOTSMAN, 4/23).
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