Coventry City Groundshare at Birmingham City for 2019/20 Season
League One side Coventry City have announced that they will groundshare at Championship club Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium in the 2019/20 season. The Sky Blues were in talks to remain at the Ricoh Arena, but a deal with landlords, rugby club Wasps, failed to materialise.
Coventry City to Groundshare at Birmingham City
We’ve Been Here Before
This isn’t the first time in recent history that Coventry will play a season away from their City. They were tenants at Northampton Town’s Sixfields stadium in the 2013/14 campaign after they were once again forced out of Coventry.
A statement on Coventry’s website acknowledged the disappointment that is sure to be felt by their fans at having to watch their side play in a different city again.
The statement said: “We are incredibly disappointed and extremely frustrated that continuing differences between our owners SISU and Wasps, and also Coventry City Council, could not be set aside to allow for a deal to play the club’s home games at the Ricoh Arena.
“The Ricoh Arena is the stadium built to be the football club’s home, and our fans should be able to watch their team play in the City that we are proud to represent.
“We have said previously and continue to state publicly and clearly, the club’s willing intention to do a deal to stay at the Ricoh Arena. However, in order for a deal to be agreed between landlord and tenant, the conditions for the deal need to be deliverable by the tenant.
“What the landlord requested of CCFC’s owners and ultimately, the club, was simply not deliverable. It can be argued that the landlord was fully aware of this.”
The Future of the Club
Footy News recently spoke to Ryan John, Chair at the Preservation Sky Blues Group, and he feared that another groundshare after the 2013/14 debacle would be “suicidal” for the club.
Attendances at Northampton barely pushed the 2,000 mark and while Birmingham’s ground is a significantly shorter distance away from the city than the Cobblers, fans are likely to stay away once again in protest at their owners, SISU.
Coventry City remarked in their statement that temporarily moving to Birmingham was a “last resort” and there’s every chance it could be the final nail in the coffin of this once great club.