Coventry City: Sky Blues 'accelerating back-up groundshare plans'

Premiership rugby side Wasps became Coventry City's landlords following their move to the Ricoh Arena in 2014
Premiership rugby side Wasps became Coventry City's landlords following their move to the Ricoh Arena in 2014

Coventry City are "accelerating" their "back-up groundshare plans" after the League One club's future at the Ricoh Arena was cast into further doubt.

City's owners have complained to the European Commission about the sale of the stadium to rugby union club Wasps.

That move prompted Wasps to discontinue discussions with City over the use of the ground, stating "the ball is back in the court" of their owners Sisu.

But Wasps' terms for talks are "onerous and undeliverable", say Coventry.

"There is no European Commission complaint against Wasps. The complaint, made by our owners Sisu in February, is against Coventry City Council only," said Coventry in a statement on their website.

"Wasps stated their position publicly yesterday, reiterating their previous opposition to legal action and now adding their opposition to any other action around the sale of the stadium in 2014, and their opinions surrounding the EU complaint.

"[Wasps chief executive] Nick Eastwood said yesterday: 'Regrettably, this means that the condition set out above for us to enter or continue discussions with CCFC has not been met'.

"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.

"Last Friday in our update to fans, we spoke of 'hurdles' and this is one of those hurdles that we alluded to. As a result, we are unfortunately accelerating our back-up groundshare plans."

Last month, the Supreme Court threw out Sisu's appeal over a judicial review into the sale by Coventry City Council.

Sisu claim the Ricoh was undervalued by £28m and is asking the Commission to see if the deal breaks state-aid rules.

Coventry's place in the English Football League could be at risk if they are unable to find a suitable stadium to play in next season, with EFL clubs due to discuss the issue on 29 May.