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Coventry City: EFL vote cancelled as League One club has ‘groundshare venue in place’

Coventry City have spent the past five seasons back at the Ricoh Arena after a season groundsharing with Northampton Town

Coventry City say they have a “groundshare venue and agreement in place” for next season if they are unable to stay at the Ricoh Arena.

A planned vote of English Football League clubs regarding Coventry’s place in the league has now been cancelled.

Coventry, owners Sisu and rugby union club Wasps – who own the Ricoh – are in talks over City staying at the ground, which is Coventry’s preferred option.

But their ongoing legal case is causing problems with those negotiations.

A groundshare agreement with Birmingham City has been widely reported but, when contacted by the BBC, Coventry would not confirm that the deal could see them playing at St Andrew’s next season because of a confidentiality agreement.

Earlier this month, League One City’s owners complained to the European Commission about the sale of the stadium to Wasps in 2014 – with Coventry later saying the complaint is only against Coventry City Council and does not involve Wasps.

However, that move prompted Wasps – who have asked Sisu to cease all legal proceedings surrounding the sale – to discontinue discussions with the Sky Blues over the use of the ground, stating “the ball is back in the court” of Sisu.

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

Coventry said in a statement on Sunday: “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.”

The Sky Blues relocated from Highfield Road to the Ricoh Arena in 2005 but, following a dispute with the company that ran the stadium, spent the 2013-14 season groundsharing with Northampton Town before returning in August 2014.

EFL clubs were due to vote on Coventry’s future on 29 May and they could have been expelled from the league if they had been unable to agree a deal to stay at the Ricoh or found an alternative venue.

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