English League One

Coventry seeking 'normality'

Wednesday 5th December 2012 22:11

Ricoh Arena: Coventry handed a rent payment deadline

Ricoh Arena: Coventry handed a rent payment deadline

Coventry will seek to start negotiations with Arena Coventry Limited to achieve "commercial normality" after being handed a rent deadline.

The Sky Blues have been handed a 21-day deadline to pay their outstanding rent on the Ricoh Arena.

ACL issued them with the deadline after being owed £1.6million by the Sky Blues, but the League One club will fight what they believe are extortionate rates.

"We are disappointed by ACL's actions to issue a statutory demand to Coventry City Football Club rather than, as we had requested, sitting down with us to negotiate a level of rent which the club can afford and which is in line with the rent paid by other clubs," a statement read.

"For reference, ACL has been charging CCFC an annual rent of £1.28 million, which we understand is the highest in both League One and the Championship.

"We understand that the average annual rent paid by League One clubs (excluding CCFC) is less than £170,000 and that the average in the Championship is less than £290,000. All other clubs which rent their stadia get full access to 100 per cent of match day food, beverage and car parking revenues, unlike CCFC.

"The club's objective in requesting these negotiations with ACL has been only to bring about a state of commercial normality, where CCFC pays the same level of rent and has access to the same type of ancillary revenues as the other football clubs with which it competes."

The Sky Blues left their Highfield Road home in 2005 to take up residence at the 32,000-seater stadium, but insists it has become unviable to continue there.

The statement continued: "It is unsustainable for CCFC to be put at a severe financial disadvantage to its peers.

"While we have been seeking to normalise the rent, we have continued to pay match-day costs to ensure that ACL is not left out-of-pocket.

"The club remains committed to the city and people of Coventry. However, its viability depends on it finding an alternative home ground where it can afford to play."