Sisu Failed To Support Ranson

Last updated : 29 March 2011 By Covsupport News Service/RD

Former Coventry City vice chairman Gary Hoffman, who is currently seeking investment to form a consortium to buy the club from Sisu has revealed why chairman Ray Ranson has walked away from the club he saved in 2007.

Hoffman claims that Sisu gave Ranson no backing or support and went against his advice on footballing matters which left him in an untenable position with no alternative than to resign.

When Ranson first came to Coventry he said he wanted to build a young team capable of challenging for promotion, but as soon as talented footballers came tot he club and started to perform their monetary value increased and they were sold off as assets by Sisu.

The sale of Scott Dann and Dan Fox went ahead against the wishes of Ranson as did the loan of academy starlet Conor Thomas to Liverpool, a move which prompted Mr Hoffman, a close ally and supporter of Ranson, to resign as vice chairman.

Mr Ranson threatened to quit himself at the decisions to sell some of Coventry City's players, but was persuaded to stay by Hoffman and former director Joe Elliott, but with the removal of both of the lifelong Coventry supporters from the board and the introduction of new board members including the new chairman Ken Dulieu, Sisu had total control over the affairs of the club.

It is now understood that Ray Ranson has handed over all of his shares in the club and has written off over £1m of his own money when he resigned. He will remain as a football consultant at the club until the end of the season.

The two former board members Hoffman and Ranson remain close friends and in addition to the consortium headed by Hoffman, Ranson is also thought to be putting together pans of his own to buy the club.

Mr Hoffman said to the CT: "Everyone knows that Ray and I are close and that is not going to change. We are shoulder to shoulder. My interest is the football club and I know that Ray wants to make this place successful and he will continue to do that whatever position he happens to find himself in or be placed in."

"Ray, who was an outsider, has come in and adopted this club. People who have seen him and talked to him and I spend time with him every week at the games, know that he has become really attached to Coventry City and he was and still is very committed to the success of Coventry City."

"Ray is attached to this club more than any of the others. I have heard people question whether Ray has an attachment to the club because he is from Manchester. I spend lots of time with him and he really does want to make a difference and make Coventry City successful."

"He just hasn't been given the tools to enable him to do it. That is why he was so upset about the sale of Danny Fox and Scott Dann, and why is he upset that the model we were trying to build of bringing young players in and building a team has been put to one side in short-term interests."

The Sisu dominated board decided to sell Fox and Dann to raise about £5m to balance the books as the club was and continues to lose about £4m a year.

The decision to allow young Thomas to move to Liverpool was another move aimed at bringing in money to help balance the books. The deal involves an initial loan fee and a transfer fee which would rise to about £1m dependent on appearances.

Mr Hoffman said: "It is all of our jobs to unite behind the team and Andy Thorn to ensure that we stay in the Championship because that's the No.1 priority, but Ray's resignation is certainly the latest, and I would hope the last, in a series of events and decisions that are regrettable and not in the interests of Coventry City."

"I know that everyone wants clarity and obviously the reason I left was because my position had become untenable with the lack of clarity and, as everyone knows, me not seeing eye to eye with people about some of the decisions being made because I only have one interest and that is the football club, and I was becoming worried about the future of the football club and some of that has become more obvious and transparent over the last few weeks since I left."