Coventry City: Sky Blues must firm up ground plan for EFL board meeting

Coventry City moved to the Ricoh Arena in 2005 after selling their former home at Highfield Road
Coventry City moved to the Ricoh Arena in 2005 after selling their former home at Highfield Road

Coventry City have been told that they must have a 'more robust' plan in place ahead of Tuesday's English Football League board meeting about where they will play their home games next season.

City, yet to agree a new deal with Ricoh Arena landlords Wasps, have been threatened with expulsion if they cannot offer an acceptable resolution.

Club chairman Tim Fisher admits they are at an impasse with Wasps.

"Our focus remains on agreeing a deal next season at the Ricoh," he said.

"But, while the current impasse remains, with Wasps choosing not to enter negotiations, the management has a responsibility to the club and its future, and to its fans, to explore other options that could ensure the club's survival."

Fisher's comments were made to the club's website on the day that City's accounts for their 2017-18 promotion season were revealed.

They showed an operating loss of just over £1.6m, up from £1.1m the previous season, which the club attributed largely to playing in front of smaller gates in their one season in League Two.

Fisher told Talksport last week that "the Ricoh is, practically speaking, the only option we've got" as they have been told by the EFL that they must play within six miles of Coventry city centre, thereby scuppering any thoughts of a return to Northampton, their temporary home in the 2013-14 season.

"We've had it in writing umpteen times that we have to play in Coventry. We've got to play within six miles of the city centre, simple as," he said.

The Sky Blues, who are in their fifth season since returning to the Ricoh from Sixfields in September 2014, are currently eighth in League One, just five points outside the play-off places.

And speaking on behalf of the club's owners Sisu/Otium Entertainment Ltd, Fisher said Coventry fans should "not feel too dismayed" and "they soon hope to have some sun on the uplands" and "crack the Enigma Code at the Ricoh."

Their current rent deal with Wasps expires at the end of this season.

In a statement last month, the EFL gave Coventry until 5 March to provide an update "addressing the outstanding matter".

The statement continued: "Should a satisfactory solution not be found over the next two months, an Extraordinary General Meeting of clubs will be convened to consider Coventry City's expulsion from the League.

"This would be held on 25 April in order to provide clarity regarding the club's future membership in advance of relegation and promotion issues being resolved during the run-in to the end of the season."