Coventry & Warwickshire

FA chairman calls Coventry City Football Club's plight 'very sad'

Ricoh Arena Image copyright EPA
Image caption Talks to extend Coventry City's stay at the Ricoh Arena beyond the 2017/18 season have broken down

The chairman of the Football Association has branded the situation at Coventry City "a very sad case".

Greg Clarke was talking to the Culture, Media and Sport committee in Westminster following the departure of Sam Allardyce as England boss.

Coventry City's future is unclear, with a deal allowing it to play at the Ricoh Arena due to expire next season.

Thousands of people have signed a petition urging owners Sisu to sell up.

'Torrid time'

Mr Clarke said: "Coventry City is a very, very sad case.

"It's a fine football club 20 miles from my home town and I still remember them winning the FA Cup.

"Their fans have had a torrid time and the bad blood that now exists between the owners, the fans, the local council has failed to be healed by multiple acts of mediation by the Football League."

The Coventry Telegraph newspaper is campaigning for Sisu to sell Coventry City, citing nine years of falling attendances, revenues and league positions.

A rent dispute meant the team was having to play its home games in Northampton but a deal was struck to return to the Ricoh for two years in 2014.

The club's training ground has also been earmarked for new housing.

On Saturday, fans threw plastic pigs on the pitch before the match against Charlton to express their anger.

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