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Coventry City fans offer rent money to return home

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Campaigners at Coventry City say they have found a way out of the club’s predicament – by offering to pay for some of the Ricoh Arena’s rent.

Last season Coventry City played all of their “home” games 35 miles away at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium as the club owners (SISU) and stadium holders (Coventry City Council/The Alan Edward Higgs Charity) failed to reach an agreement over rent.

With no end to the impasse looking likely, Coventry City fans have taken action and offered to make up the difference in rent.

Michael Orton, co-ordinator of the Keep Cov in Cov (KCIC) campaign said: “Everyone we talk to just wants the Sky Blues to return home but there is no sign of any movement at all.

“Something has got to change so we have put together a plan that allows us to return to the Ricoh at no cost or risk to SISU.”

The offer made by KCIC is to pay rent and associated matchday costs – but only if crowds are more than 5,000. This would be double the average attendance for Coventry City matches at Northampton last season.

KCIC wrote to the owners with their offer last week – a letter in which the group also offered to purchase the debt-ridden club. So far, the owners have only acknowledged that they have received the letter, but given no further response.

“We operate through an informal but very large network of City fans,” Michael said. “People help out in a hundred and one different ways and this plan has developed in exactly the same way as all our other initiatives.”

The group is so concerned about the state of the club, and the possible threat of liquidation, that they tabled a £51,987.35 offer to buy the club.

The symbolic addition of £1,987.35 relates to the club’s 1987 FA Cup win, while 35 miles is the distance to Northampton.

“The key point is we can kick-off the new season back at the Ricoh without any cost or risk to SISU at all,” Michael said. “We desperately hope SISU will respond positively.”

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this story.

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