Coventry City stadium uncertainty continues

Negotiations continue

League One side Coventry City could find themselves expelled from the Football League if they are unable to provide more information over where they will be playing their home games next season.

The club’s agreement with the Ricoh Arena runs out at the end of the season and the two parties are yet to agree terms ahead of the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

Coventry played their home games at Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium back in the 2013/14 season due to a disagreement with rugby union side Wasps, who purchased the ground back in 2014.

The EFL board have requested further details on where they intend to be playing their home games next season, with the Sky Blues stating that the Ricoh Arena is their only option, ruling out a return to Northampton.

The row between Coventry and Wasps stems from the sale of the ground back in 2014, with Coventry’s owners Sisu claiming that Coventry City Council undervalued the ground by £27m during negotiations.

Sisu called for a judicial review into the sale back in October but saw it rejected, although they are planning to appeal that decision and are also unhappy at the current rates of rent to use the stadium on home games.

Wasps will not negotiate the terms of a new tenancy agreement whilst legal proceedings are continuing to take place.It is the latest in a line of traumatic incidents for the club over recent years, with the Sisu ownership being nothing short of a disaster. On Saturday afternoon, Coventry’s away fans protested against the club’s owners during their televised game against Luton Town with ‘6 and out’ signs.

Coventry Oxford

Official statement

On the current state of affairs, the club released the following statement: “Coventry City Football Club has received a formal letter from the EFL Board with a final request for clarity regarding where the Club will play home matches in the 2019/20 season.

“Following receipt of the letter, we felt it was important to make Sky Blues fans and the wider community aware of this letter and the dates outlined in it.

“Coventry City has until Tuesday 5th March 2019 to provide a further update to the EFL Board. Should a satisfactory solution not be found over the next two months, an Extraordinary General Meeting of EFL Clubs will be convened to consider Coventry City’s expulsion from the English Football League.

“This meeting would be held on Thursday 25th April – this is to provide clarity regarding Coventry City’s future membership in advance of relegation and promotion issues being resolved during the run-in to the end of the season.

“These dates show how stark the situation facing the Football Club now is and that time is running out.

“Our only option is to continue to play at our home, the Ricoh Arena.

“Coventry City Football Club wants to do a deal with Wasps Rugby Club as soon as possible, to resolve this impasse so that the dates above are not encountered.

“All parties now need to work together for good of Coventry City Football Club, its supporters, the Ricoh Arena, the City of Coventry and our community – the continued future of the Football Club needs to be everyone’s focus to prevent more heartache and worry.

“No one should be in any doubt of the significance of Coventry City to Coventry – not in the past, now or in the future.”

The club won the EFL Trophy back in 2017