Fans have joined forces to demand that Wasps RFC and Coventry City return to the negotiating table to agree a deal for the return of the Sky Blues to the Ricoh Arena for the 2020/21 season.
It was announced on Friday that the Sky Blues will again play their home games at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s stadium next season, as they did this season.
City have made clear their desire to play in Coventry, but after failing to strike an agreement with Ricoh Arena owners Wasps Group, they will spend another season at the home of the Blues.
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In the longer-term, the club are working with the University of Warwick on recently announced plans to build a new stadium at a cost of nearly £100m on the university’s main campus, which the Sky Blues would own and be entirely responsible for.
Now a number of Coventry City fan groups have produced the following ‘Open Letter on Behalf of Coventry City Fans’.
“On behalf of all Coventry City fans we, as fan groups, demand representatives of both Wasps RFC and Coventry City FC to return to the negotiating table to agree a deal for the return of Coventry City to the Ricoh Arena for the 2020/21 season and beyond,” the statement says, before going on to refer to the latest twists in the dispute reported extensively by Coventry Live.
“Rather than dwell on what has gone, we request that all parties return to negotiations to bring Coventry City FC back to Coventry. All unreasonable requests for restriction of legal rights should be dropped.
“We ask Coventry City Council to publicly confirm that they do not require any legal restrictions, or indemnification, to be written into any contract for Coventry City to play at the Ricoh Arena.
“We ask Wasps RFC to not request any legal restrictions, or indemnification, from Coventry City or Sisu.
“We ask that both Coventry City FC/Sisu and Wasps RFC put their differences aside and immediately return to negotiate commercial terms in good faith for a deal that is mutually beneficial, and considers any financial penalties that may be incurred by Coventry City as a result of the agreed contract to play at St Andrew’s in the upcoming season.
“We call on the English Football League to confirm they will enable Coventry City to return to Coventry to play at the Ricoh Arena, even if the season has commenced when a deal is agreed.
“We ask that Andy Street returns to help mediate talks between Coventry City FC and Wasps RFC to enable the clubs return to the city of Coventry.
“If a deal was as close as has been reported, then there is no reason why a deal cannot be concluded if the unreasonable terms implied by a third party to the deal are not removed.”
The letter is signed by Sky Blues Trust, Sky Blues Talk Online Community, Northern Sky Blues Supporters Club, Coventry City Diamond Club, Coventry City Former Players Association and Coventry City LGBT+ Supporters Group.