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Coventry City close to finalising deal to return to Ricoh Arena next season

Ricoh Arena
The Ricoh Arena, initially built for Coventry City, is now owned by Premiership rugby union side Wasps

Coventry City are close to finalising a deal to return to the Ricoh Arena next season, BBC CWR reports.

It is understood a deal with rugby union side Wasps – the owners of the ground – is all but agreed and could be confirmed as early as Friday.

The Sky Blues have shared Birmingham’s St Andrew’s stadium since August 2019.

The English Football League will discuss the issue at a board meeting on Wednesday, when some of the details are expected to be signed off.

The deal, which contains break clauses, will be for up to 10 years, although Championship side Coventry will be guaranteed a minimum of seven years back at the Ricoh Arena.

Club owners Sisu still aim to build a new stadium on the south-west edge of the city, on land owned by the University of Warwick.

An agreement to end Coventry’s groundshare deal with Birmingham is yet to be reached, with a significant cost understood to come with ending the deal.

A long-running saga

Coventry left Highfield Road in 2005 to move to the Ricoh Arena but, after a long-running rent row escalated, they spent the 2013-14 season at Northampton Town’s Sixfields.

The Sky Blues returned to the Ricoh in September 2014, followed by Wasps moving in three months later. The ground, part-owned by the city council, was then sold to the Premiership rugby union club.

City then spent the next four full seasons there but Sisu could not reach an agreement with Wasps to play the 2019-20 campaign there and found alternative arrangements at St Andrew’s.

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