FL urged to block groundshare

Arena Coventry Limited have called on the Football League to block Coventry's proposed groundshare with Northampton.

Last Updated: 04/07/13 at 17:21

Ricoh Arena: Home to Coventry for the past eight years

Ricoh Arena: Home to Coventry for the past eight years

Ricoh Arena management company Arena Coventry Limited have issued a statement calling on the Football League to block Coventry's proposed groundshare with Northampton at Sixfields Stadium.

Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher revealed plans in May to move into a new stadium having claimed City had been given no choice but to leave the Ricoh Arena as their lengthy rent row with ACL rumbles on, with a proposal to play 'home' games elsewhere for three years while an alternative venue is being built.

Unconfirmed reports are now stating that groundshare has been agreed and Coventry, from the start of the forthcoming 2013/14 campaign, will play at Sixfields - 34 miles and 39 minutes away.

Cobblers chairman David Cardoza admits talks have taken place but an agreement is far from complete amid speculation the Football League is meeting on Thursday to discuss the move.

And ACL, who manage the Ricoh Arena on behalf of joint owners the Alan Edward Higgs Charity and Coventry City Council and have insisted throughout the process that they remain committed to keeping the club at the stadium, want the League to veto the move.

Their statement read: "We want to see the Sky Blues playing home games in their home city at their rightful home the Ricoh Arena.

"This is what the supporters of Coventry City are pleading for. The way the fans have been treated by the club's owners is utterly cruel and any proposal that the club should be ripped from Coventry and relocated to Northampton, or anywhere else outside the city, is absolutely heartbreaking for everyone involved. It cannot make financial sense for the club.

"With the club set to remain in administration for some months to come, we have already made an offer to the joint administrator for them to play at the Ricoh Arena during this time. So far we have heard absolutely nothing in response to this offer, which is astonishing given the circumstances.

"There is no reason for the club to leave the city of Coventry. We trust that the Football League, as an organisation which holds the passions and interests of fans close to its heart, will not sanction this proposed move under any circumstances."

League One City are understood to be closing in on a site in the Coventry area to build their new stadium, just eight years after first moving from Highfield Road and becoming tenants at the 32,600 capacity Ricoh Arena.

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