won't say where cash would come from for ACL to buy Sky Blues 'The administration process is complex and the bidding element is subject to complete confidentiality,' says statement Share on printShare on email Coventry City and the Ricoh Arena COVENTRY City Council is refusing to say where the cash would come from for ACL’s bid to buy the indebted Sky Blues. The Telegraph exclusively revealed yesterday the part council owned Arena Coventry Limited, which runs the Ricoh Arena, had swooped in with a bid to buy Coventry City Football Club Limited out of administration. The move is controversial, given the potential for taxpayer involvement in the club, which has up to £70million debts. Council Conservative opposition leader John Blundell said he was “shocked” to learn of the move in the Telegraph – and said his group had no prior briefing from council officers or Labour leaders. ACL is one of what are believed to be six provisional “indicative bidders” to buy CCFC Limited. The bidders have until tomorrow to make “best and final” offers to administrator Paul Appleton. Bidders also include Sisu-owned Coventry City Football Club (Holdings) Ltd, which put the Limited company in administration and says the club owes it and related companies at least £45million. ACL would first have to buy any assets in Limited, and then offer a multi-million pound price to Holdings/Sisu, if it wants to obtain the club as a whole. ACL’s profits last year were only £1million, and it has been affected by lost football related income, including Sisu’s refusal to pay rent. Coventry City Council agreed a £14million bailout of ACL in January when it bought out the firm’s mortgage in a secret cross-party deal. The Telegraph asked the council and ACL – jointly owned by the council and Alan Edward Higgs Charity – how much there were prepared to bid for CCFC Ltd. We also asked where the money would come from, whether they would look to sell the club on to a private partner, and whether any politician sanctioned the decision to bid. We also asked whether the council or ACL would have to borrow more money, or whether it could come directly from council coffers. The council refused to be drawn on the questions, saying only: “The administration process is complex and the bidding element is subject to complete confidentiality.” It also added the ACL offer to allow the club to play next season on a cost-only basis – if it is still in administration – was to “keep CCFC in Coventry”. A statement from new Labour council leader Ann Lucas said: “I’m delighted that ACL’s offer today gives us the opportunity to see our team play in its home at the Ricoh Arena next season.” Council chief executive Martin Reeves and finance director Chris West are also ACL board members. Sisu and Holdings are already seeking a High Court judicial review over the £14million bailout - claiming the council had contravened “state aid” laws in seeking to wrest control of the club, and by creating unfair competition in buying out ACL’s Yorkshire Bank mortgage. The council insists it has acted properly.