Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City: Rugby planners talk to club over stadium

Ricoh Arena Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Coventry City left Highfield Road and moved into the Ricoh Arena in 2005

Planners in Rugby have revealed they have been in talks with Coventry City Football Club about building a stadium in the borough.

The Sky Blues currently play in Coventry's Ricoh Arena but had a long dispute with the stadium's previous owners.

The council said the club wanted to meet to understand how it would deal with a planning application.

The club said it was not commenting "at this stage".

'Big change'

The club's owners, Sisu, have been involved in a long-running stand off with the previous operators of the Ricoh that saw the Sky Blues play the 2013/14 season in Northampton.

The arena is now owned by Premiership rugby team Wasps.

In a statement, Rugby Borough Council said its leader and the council's executive director and head of planning had met with Coventry City in March.

"The club requested the meeting to understand how the council would deal with any planning application for potential stadium sites in the borough of Rugby," it said.

It said the plans would need to be finalised by September to be included in the council's local plan, but added that a site had yet to be identified.

Peter Ward, from Sky Blues Supporters' Consultative Group, said he was pleased to hear that things were "moving" with the club's search for a new home.

"It's good that finally there is some evidence things are happening," he said.

"As we've heard from the club's directors, there is a need to take control of and have access to all the revenue streams."

However, he said that fans could find a move out of Coventry difficult - particularly as they only moved from their previous home, Highfield Road, to the Ricoh in 2005.

"The move from Highfield Road to the Ricoh was a big emotional move for the fans," he said. "This would be another big change."

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