Coventry City kicks-off blame game as stadium crisis worsens

Coventry City has criticised the “onerous and undeliverable” conditions set by Ricoh Arena owner Wasps over their continued groundshare, and has doubled down on plans to find an alternative option.

Wasps has consistently and publicly said it would not extend Coventry City’s tenancy at the stadium if legal action by the football club’s owners, Sisu, continued.

Coventry City do not currently know where they are going to play their next home match and face a Football League meeting later this month that could have severe repercussions if a solution is not found quickly.

The long-running dispute goes back to when Wasps bought the ground from Coventry City Council.

The most recent judgement in April resulted in the Supreme Court rejecting Sisu’s appeal to force a judicial review of the Council’s decision.

Sisu is now escalating its legal action to Europe.

Wasps said that in mid-April, Sisu had signed an undertaking to cease proceedings against Wasps relating to the sale and lease of Ricoh.

The football club’s defence is that the European Commission complaint is against Coventry City Council only, not Wasps.

Coventry City’s chief executive, Nick Eastwood, said earlier this week of the escalation to the European Commission: “Regrettably, this means that the condition set out above for us to enter or continue discussions with CCFC has not been met.”

He said: “As everyone knows, we have consistently maintained over a long period of time that we were happy to sit down with Coventry City to reach agreement over their future at Ricoh Arena, once the club’s owners had agreed to cease all legal action or proceedings surrounding our acquisition and ownership of Ricoh Arena.”

Coventry City responded and said: “The condition referenced yesterday by Nick has not been broken, but instead yet more onerous and undeliverable conditions have been added by Wasps to their pre-existing conditions to enter talks.”

The League One side said in a statement on their website that further details of discussions with Wasps Holdings Limited will remain confidential, due to mutually signed confidentiality agreements.