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59% possession v Abu Dhabi. Now for Coventry.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal went to the home of the champions – a football club effectively owned by Abu Dhabi. We had 59% possession, used our third choice goalkeeper, played without our inspirational captain and got a draw.  Not a bad result.

Next up we play SISU, the city council, the Higgs Trust, at least as far as I can make out.

Conor Henderson has joined League One side Coventry City on loan for three months but presumably the normal rules apply – he can’t play against us.   He played in the FA Cup 2 years ago against Leyton Orient  but then got cruciate knee ligament injury during a pre-season friendly match against FC Koln in July 2011.

Conor will stay at the Ricoh Arena with Coventry (if they survive financially).  Which takes us back to SISU Capital Limited – a privately owned firm that invests in the pubic equity, fixed income, and alternative investment markets in the United Kingdom. It makes event driven investments in high yield and distressed debt securities for the restructuring of industrial companies.  It recently seems to have sacked the man who looks after the Coventry City bit of the business.

Last month Coventry City were given more time to repay in excess of £600,000 in rent and other bills owed to Arena Coventry Limited who own the ground along with the Higgs Charity.    This was after the football club was taken to the High Court in Birmingham after stopping payments of £100,000 a month in rent in April.

In June Auditors raised doubts over the finances of Coventry City after it revealed growing losses having been relegated to the third division making a loss of £6.7 million that year  compared to a mere £3.1 million in 2010.

Like its local chums Birmingham City FC it had a transfer embargo because of unpaid debts, and the auditors said there is a “fundamental uncertainty” over such matters as falling revenue, ongoing talks to reduce rent costs at the Ricoh Arena and difficulties in slashing wage costs.   They are now looking like they might go down to the fourth division (which I personally wouldn’t mind since I live about 45 minutes from the ground and relegation would mean I could go and see them play Torquay United, my second club – for reasons that will not become clear at this point).

The auditor: “These conditions … indicate the existence of a fundamental uncertainty which may cast significant doubt over the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Accounts for Coventry City FC for the year to May 31 show the club actually increased turnover, but failed to cut staff costs and saw pre-tax losses increase to £6.7 million.The Auditors also said, in that lovely chirpy way auditors have, that uncertainty exists over the directors’ ability to make cuts to payroll costs, as agreements are yet to be forthcoming.They say directors of the club anticipate raising the necessary cash flow to allow manager Andy Thorn to compete in the transfer market, but “the realisation of such cash flows is not yet certain”.

Directors have said they will, “reduce the cost base while improving revenue earnings capacity”, but in the last year the number of players and management staff actually increased, from 94 to 108, and total staff costs rose from £10.3 million to £10.4 million.  Income from match receipts fell from £4.4 million to £3.9 million, but revenue from commercial activities – television, sponsorship and advertising, rose from £4.9 million in 2010 to £6.3 million last year.   The owe £54.9 million, and as we have seen are in default on the rent.
The transfer embargo on the club was lifted prior to the start of the new season, but it doesn’t seem to have done much good.  But who do we put in our team?

How about any of  these

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With


Santos, Djourou,  Squillaci, Miquel

Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Eisfeld

Chamakh, Watt, Arshavin


Special Guest: Serge Gnabry

12 comments to 59% possession v Abu Dhabi. Now for Coventry.

  • debashish

    Mannone and Giroud should play, both for confidence building reasons. If Olivier can open his account even against Coventry, it’ll help him a lot. I highly doubt he will start vs Chelsea anyways. But Chamakh needs a run out too. And a goalkeeper needs as much time in goal as possible.

  • elkieno

    You lost me on this one!
    Great game but, bring on the Russians play thing now..

  • nicky

    A sobering report on the financial shenanigans involving Coventry City and Birmingham. It should make those of our supporters think again, when they advocate greater spending by the Board in order to “buy” some silverware.
    Even the odd Citeh fan may now be wondering whether spending money is always the sole answer to success.

  • Nurav Rian

    My team for wednesday night’s match would be

    Yennaris Djourou Miquel Santos
    Coquelin Eisfeld
    Ox Arshavin Gnabry

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Slightly OT but this talk of financial shenanigans made me think of Michael Laudrup’s comments about match fixing. It makes me wonder if certain clubs do offer bonuses to other clubs to spice up ‘dead rubber’ matches. As I recall the difference between 15th and 16th is only about £1 million in prize money. The difference between 17th and 18th is many times that even with parachute payments.
    FWIW I think every team should approach every match looking for a win, it’s an entertainment business after all. Other clubs paying them to do what they should be doing anyway ought to be pointless rather than immoral.

  • Shard


    Been a little out of touch with things, but what were the Laudrup comments?

  • Big Dave

    If Abou Diaby owns Man City then surely he could do us a favour by selling all their best players.

  • Ong Bing

    No, no, please don’t play Ox from the start. Better we play Frimpong and Coq as double pivot, Eisfeld as play maker.

    This Cup is useless, no need to play first team players in here, except first team players that never played, like Chamakh, Frimpong and Arshavin, rarely played like Djourou, Coq and Santos.

    I have no problem if we lose this Cup.

  • Ong Bing

    OOT, sorry, just another football reason.

    Oh Theo, if you can makes a few winning goals or assists, you just deserved your 100k.

  • richie

    “a privately owned firm that invests in the pubic equity, fixed income, and alternative investment markets in the United Kingdom.”

    are you sure it should read “pubic” and not public?

  • Wooby

    I can see Wenger coming back with Rambo on the heels of the good game he had at the Ethiad. Theo is probably due for a full game too to give him a chance to earn that next contract or a big transfer fee. How about the following?

    Yennaris / Djourou / Miguel / Santos
    Coquelin / Eastmond
    Eisfeld / Rambo / Arshavin

  • menace

    @ Big Dave – lol!! I too read the heading twice.
    @ richie – wot the l? not much difference with todays paparatzi.

    Certainly like the idea of Giroud playing to get a feel of the joy of scoring (different from pubic).