Sports clubs end bitter dispute to agree 10-year deal

Wasps Group and Coventry City Football Club have ended their bitter dispute and agreed a 10-year deal for the football club to return home.

The long, litigious dispute has been brought to an end, with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street involved in bringing the parties together.

Coventry City is currently playing home matches at Birmingham City’s St Andrews stadium for a second season and previously spent a year ground-sharing with Northampton.

But they will kick-off the 2021-22 season at the Ricoh Arena.

Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group chief executive, said it is “the start of a new era” for the two clubs.

He said: “It is time to put the past firmly behind us. There has been a massive amount of work going on behind the scenes to get us to this point as both organisations felt it was very important that we agreed a long-term deal to bring certainty and continuity, which would in turn allow us to build even stronger futures.”

This year will see the Ricoh Arena host events for the City of Culture celebrations and the Rugby League World Cup, as well as start preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Coventry City chief executive Dave Boddy added: “We look forward to building a positive and co-operative relationship with Wasps Group over the term of this agreement, the length of which allows us stability as a club as we look to continue our progress on and off the field.

“The deal is also the best that the Club has had at the Ricoh Arena in terms of access to commercial revenues, which will further aid the development of the Football Club.”