Coventry City have struck a ground-share agreement in case they are forced out of the Ricoh Arena by Wasps next season. The Independent understands that a deal has been provisionally agreed with Birmingham City to use their St Andrew’s stadium, 17 miles west of Coventry.
The EFL had given Coventry until 29 May to inform it where they will be playing their home games next season, with the club still hoping to agree a deal with Wasps to extend their stay at the Ricoh Arena.
In a statement, Coventry said: “This ground-share is in place to make sure the club has somewhere to play in the scenario of a deal to play at the Ricoh Arena not being agreed. We can confirm that talks with the aim to achieve a deal to play at the Ricoh Arena are continuing between Coventry City Football Club, its owners SISU and Wasps Holdings Limited.
“Our focus and desire is to agree a deal at the Ricoh Arena – this is everyone’s preferred option, and the right option for Coventry City. While the back-up of a ground-share exists to ensure the future of the football club continues, another groundshare is not something anyone wants to happen. Details of the agreed ground-share and of our ongoing discussions with Wasps Holdings Limited remain confidential, due to mutually signed confidentiality agreements.
“We understand the frustration that fans are feeling, and have expressed to us, at not knowing where their club will be playing next season, not being able to plan for next season and supporting Mark Robins and the team, and the time that this is taking. We will provide a further update to supporters as soon as we are able to.”
The Football League has told Coventry they do not want them to be based any further than six miles from their current home. An alternative to St Andrew’s, which is 16 miles west of the Ricoh Arena, is Coventry Rugby’s Butts Park, which falls inside the Football League’s requested limit.
Additional reporting by PA