Coventry to play in Northampton

08 July 2013 06:16

Coventry will play their home games more than 30 miles away at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium for the next three seasons, a Football League statement has confirmed.

The League One side left their home for the past eight years, the 32,600 capacity Ricoh Arena, after a lengthy rent row with management company Arena Coventry Limited who own the ground.

And on Monday the Football League's board of directors "reluctantly approved" the application by Otium Entertainment Group, the administrator's preferred bidder for the Sky Blues, for their home matches to take place 34 miles and 39 minutes away.

A Football League statement spoke of their board's "deep regret" that Otium Entertainment Group could not reconcile its differences with the stadium's owners but explained how there are a number of conditions that need to be met before full approval is granted.

"With the new season less than four weeks away, the Board required certainty as to where the Club would play its matches from the start of the new campaign," it said.

"Nevertheless, the Board's approval remains entirely conditional on the Club ultimately exiting administration in accordance with The Football League's conditions and achieving a successful transfer of its League share.

"Otium will also be required to provide a Performance Bond of £1m with The Football League as an assurance of the club's commitment to return to the Coventry area."

Football League Chairman, Greg Clarke, said: "The Football League believes that clubs should play in the towns and cities from which they take their name. Nonetheless, from time to time, the Board is asked to consider temporary relocations as a means for securing a club's ongoing participation in our competition.

"The Board did not take this decision lightly and it remains a matter of deep regret that the two parties involved cannot come to an agreement."

The Football League will now continue working with the various parties to to achieve an exit from administration for Coventry who kick off their campaign at Crawley on August 3.

Source: PA