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Over-used Mertesacker in need of rest

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Ranson consortium takes over Coventry

Coventry are set to avoid administration after Ray Ranson's SISU Capital consortium completed their protracted takeover at the Ricoh Arena.

The Championship club had been given a deadline of 4pm on Friday to complete the deal and prove their solvency, or face a 10-point deduction.

However, Ranson has proved to be City's saviour in the face of a reported £38million debt and will finally take the reins.

The takeover is subject to the acceptance of 90% of all shareholders, but major holders Craigavon and Sir Derek Higgs - who own 71.4% - have already agreed to the offer.

Retiring chairman Joe Elliott admitted he was delighted to welcome SISU Capital and Ranson to the club.

'This is a very exciting day in the long, proud history of Coventry City Football Club and I am positive that will be reflected in the attendance for the game against Southampton,' he said.

'I am sure that Ray Ranson and SISU Capital will help drive Coventry City forward into a brand new era for the club.

'I'd like to thank the board and associate directors for their magnificent support and ask that remaining shareholders return their signed forms or attend the special office at the Ricoh Arena, as per the instructions within the shareholder's document, by Monday evening.

'I'd like to pay special thanks to Iain Dowie, his management team, the players and all of the staff at Coventry City who have loyally supported the club through such a difficult time.'

SISU have told supporters that the club's debts will be restructured to ensure the all ongoing financial and operational commitments are met.

Resources up to the value of £20million have been promised to support the development of the club with Ranson named as Coventry's new chairman.

The existing Sky Blues board will resign from their positions ahead of new appointments being made.

'Both SISU and Ray Ranson would like to take this opportunity to thank the existing board for the services they have provided to the club and their valued support during this acquisition process,' read a statement.

SISU have also signed a co-operation agreement with stadium owners ACL for the continued use of the Ricoh Arena.

Meanwhile, City boss Iain Dowie admitted his relief that the club's future was now more secure.

'This takeover can only benefit Coventry City Football Club and I look forward to sitting down with Ray and discussing the way forward,' he said.

'These are exciting times for everyone connected with the Sky Blues and I delighted that the threat of administration - and all of the uncertainty surrounding it - has been lifted.

'I would like to extend my thanks to the outgoing board for all of their support during my time with the club and in particular to Geoffrey Robinson, who has given me a great deal of help both personally and professionally.

'I don't think anyone should devalue the hugely important role he has played in helping Coventry City Football Club.'