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Sky Blues begin Ricoh talks with Wasps

Coventry City has confirmed it has began talks with Ricoh Arena owners Wasps over an extension to their tenancy at the stadium.

In a statement, the Sky Blues also say tomorrow's scheduled EGM meeting, which would have seen the EFL's member clubs vote on whether to expel CCFC from the competition, has been postponed.

It comes following progress made by the club with regards to where it'll host matches next season - with a ground share still possible if necessary.

See the full statement from Coventry City below:

"Coventry City Football Club can confirm that the English Football League EGM and the vote on the Club’s place in the EFL, previously scheduled for Thursday 25th April, has now been postponed.

"This postponement follows significant progress by Coventry City in working to meet the EFL stadium criteria for next season.

"We have worked closely with Shaun Harvey and the EFL over a long period of time on this matter, and are grateful to the EFL Board for giving us the extra time needed to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion, which would see Coventry City continue to play its fixtures in Coventry.

"We can confirm that Coventry City Football Club has started initial discussions with Wasps Holdings Limited regarding an extension to our current license agreement to play at the Ricoh Arena.  

"We can also confirm that a Heads of Terms agreement has been signed to groundshare at an alternative venue. However, the timescales involved with this option means that a deal with Wasps will need to be concluded very quickly, otherwise our option with the alternative venue will be lost.

"We are unable to comment further at this time due to a mutually-signed confidentiality agreements, but will keep supporters updated when we are able to do so.

"We want to conclude this matter as soon as possible, with the continued aim of Coventry City playing at the Ricoh Arena, and will work extremely hard in the next few days to that end."

 

The EFL has also released a statement on the issue, it reads as follows:

"A planned Extraordinary General Meeting for Thursday 25 April to consider the future of Coventry City has been postponed, with a revised date set for Wednesday 29 May.

"The EFL Board had set tomorrow’s date to consider the Club’s expulsion from the League if an agreeable solution as to where they will play their home fixtures from 2019/20 onwards could not be provided.

"The EFL has been in regular contact with the Club over an extended period and, over the course of the last seven days, significant progress has been made with a solution believed to have been identified.

"To allow the Club the maximum period of time to finalise appropriate arrangements, the EFL Board has opted to postpone Thursday’s EGM and remains hopeful such a meeting will not be required."

 

Statement from supporters group The Jimmy Hill Way:

"We have heard this morning that the Extraordinary General Meeting of the EFL which was to be held tomorrow, to decide on the possible expulsion of Coventry City FC from the League, has been postponed. This is to allow talks between CCFC and Wasps Rugby Club to continue, with a view to the Sky Blues continuing to play at the Ricoh Arena. 


This is very positive news for CCFC supporters and the whole Sky Blues Community. For several weeks now, members of the Sky Blue Trust and the Jimmy Hill Way Campaign have been working to influence all parties involved in this situation, to find a solution so that Coventry City can
remain at the Ricoh. We are delighted to hear about progress, though clearly there is still work to be done, so we will limit comment at this stage to allow CCFC and Wasps to proceed to a swift and hopefully successful conclusion.

 

In the meantime, the Sky Blues still have a very slim chance of making the playoffs. Wouldn't it be fantastic for on-field and off-field matters to have concurrent happy endings?"

 

Here's what fans group The Sky Blue Trust have to say:

“For many months the Sky Blue Trust has been urging all the parties to the Ricoh Arena dispute to negotiate a settlement to enable Coventry City to remain at the Arena. We are pleased that discussions now seem to be well under-way. We hope that those talks will be concluded swiftly and that a new deal will confirm the Ricoh Arena as the Sky Blues’ home ground for many seasons to come.  We need a deal that gives certainty, stability and the opportunity for sustained success.

“We are concerned to note that a ground-share out of the City has not yet been ruled-out. We hope that all concerned will try their utmost to avoid such a calamitous exile.”

 

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