Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City owners Sisu 'cannot appeal against ruling'

Ricoh Arena
Image caption Premiership rugby team Wasps completed the takeover of the Ricoh from ACL back in November.

Coventry City's owners have been refused permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that a city council loan was lawful.

Sisu had claimed the council's £14m loan to Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), the previous operator of the Ricoh, was an illicit use of public funds.

But the Court of Appeal said there was not a good legal reason to challenge the original judgement.

Sisu said it would apply for another hearing in a bid to continue the fight.

In July, Mr Justice Hickinbottom found Sisu had, from April 2012, refused to pay rent "deliberately to distress ACL's financial position, with a view to driving down the value of ACL and thus the price of a share in it."

Coventry City Council gave ACL, at the time jointly owned by the authority and a charitable trust, the loan so it could pay off debts.

A Coventry City Council spokesman said: "We have always been confident we had a strong case and we're pleased the application, from Sisu-related companies for leave to appeal against Mr Justice Hickinbottom's High Court judgement, has been refused."

Premiership rugby team Wasps took over ACL last November.

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