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[28 JUL 98] RUGBY NEWS
Coventry Rugby Club Calls In The Receivers

Coventry Rugby Club logoCoventry Rugby Club have gone into receivership with debts of 2.3m.

Birmingham-based accountant John Kelly, of Buchler Phillips, is now running the financial affairs at the Coundon Road club.

He is due to meet with the club's remaining players in the next few days in a bid to help the club to meet its opening Allied Dunbar Premiership Two fixture in five weeks time.  Kelly, who was called in as Administrator when Moseley hit trouble last season, is confident that date can be met and is keen to attract new investors.  He said:

"I would say there is a 60-40 chance of us making that game.  There is a lot of good will at the club and a lot of people working for the promise of wages but not being paid.  They have continued to work here on a full-time basis and if their enthusiasm and commitment is reflected elsewhere then we can perhaps improve those odds.  We are going to talk to players as quickly as possible and then to members and creditors, but with such a small window of opportunity we need to concentrate on getting it sorted out as quickly as possible.

"The liabilities are in the region of 2.3m and the ground is worth about 1m with the promise of planning being granted."

Mr Kelly said the move to appoint him was unusual as the Coundon Road outfit was still a members club and not, like many of its rivals, a limited company.  He said the club had taken advice on members' liability and they had been told it did not apply.  He added that the players have not been paid for some time but he was keen to listen to any ideas they might have.  He is also keen to meet with Coventry City Council to try and find a home for the club after the sale of the ground to Bryant Homes.

He added:

"The tradition of Coventry is of a very successful club and there is no reason, if we can put this difficulty behind us, that a more successful club cannot appear in the future.

"Players are now more realistic about the sort of money they can expect to be paid.  Semi-professionalism is probably the way to go forward."

Player-coach Derek Eves revealed that the remaining players had not trained together since the end of the season but added that he had several new faces lined up.  He said:

"It's frustrating more than anything but hopefully now this has happened we will push forward.  I have been in day-to-day contact with the players despite what you might have heard.  There are 75% of our squad from last season who would play for us.  We have lost certain players but that wasn't just for financial reasons.

"I have 18 players who played last season and they are they are just waiting for their phone call.  They have been told there is a new body in control that will be speaking to them shortly.

Eves added that he had spoken to six or seven players who could be "on board in a matter of days".

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / News / 28 Jul 98

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