Coventry City: Ricoh return would be 'crazy' without full control

Coventry City owner Joy Seppala says that the club would only consider returning to their Ricoh Arena home if they have full control of the ground.

The Sky Blues spent eight years as Ricoh tenants before ending a year-long rent row this summer by opting to move to Northampton.

But Seppala insists that the club would only return if they bought the stadium.

Coventry's homes of football

Highfield Road
  • Formed in 1883 as Singers FC, moved to Highfield Road in 1899, before joining the Football League in 1919
  • The 32,000-capacity Ricoh Arena has been the Sky Blues' base since 2005 when they left Highfield Road, their 106-year-old home
  • Arena Coventry Ltd manage the Ricoh Arena on behalf of the stadium's joint-owners, Coventry City Council and the Alan Edward Higgs Trust
  • The Sky Blues moved to Sixfields this summer over a row with ACL over more than a million pounds in unpaid rent

"It would be crazy from a business perspective to go back to the Ricoh without full control," she said.

"All the money that's been put into this club would be put at risk again.

"Everything we've done is to implement a long-term strategy that will see the viability of this club for the long term," she told the Coventry Telegraph, in a rare interview.

"From the moment a decision was made for a joint venture with the council for the Ricoh Arena, the club lost control."

Owning the club, as well as the ground, was the main intention of American tycoon Preston Haskell, when he put in his bid to the administrators to take over the League One Club earlier in the year.

The club, who were offered the chance to play at the Ricoh "free of any rental fee", have now played four home games at Sixfields, where the Sky Blues remain unbeaten, despite their lack of home support.

They have so far been watched by gates averaging little more than 2,000, as discontented fans continue to show their lack of affection for the current regime.

Seppala has not responded to requests for an interview from BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.

The sale of the League One club to the Otium Entertainment Group, who have a tie-up with former owners Sisu, was completed in June.

After starting the season under a 10-point penalty from the Football League - given when part of the club was left facing liquidation - Coventry's 'home' form has enabled them to edge clear of the League One drop zone.

Steven Pressley's exciting young side have lost just twice in eight matches, winning four of them to stand 20th, clear of the bottom four, but only on goal difference.