Coventry City FC has today confirmed a temporary arrangement with Northampton Town FC to play home games at the Sixfields Stadium for the next three seasons. This arrangement has been provisionally ratified by the Football League.
Tim Fisher, the Sky Blues' Chief Executive, stressed that the move to play games at Sixfields was part of a bigger plan to develop its own stadium in the Coventry City area.
Tim Fisher said, “We are very pleased that the Football League has found our plans acceptable. Nobody wanted this day to come but we feel we have no choice but to take this course of action and that the only credible future for the Club now lies in owning its own stadium. Building a stadium that is ours in the Coventry area and which will generate revenues we can put on the field of play is necessary to ensure the club can succeed under the FIFA Fair Play Rules.
“If there had been an economic option which would have allowed us to stay at the Ricoh we would have pursued it. There was no proposal on the table in time for us to make realistic plans for the coming season. We could not wait any longer.”
“Over the last month or so – through a series of forums – we have made it clear this move is not a game of brinkmanship or a negotiating strategy - it is the only credible option. If our plans did not show a clear path for returning to the Coventry City area they would not have been approved by the League.
“The Club and its owners acknowledge the support of the League, Northampton Town FC and the Northampton Borough Council for working constructively to provide a port in what is hoped will be a temporary storm. We are currently working on detailed ticketing and travel plans to take into account the inconvenience caused to supporters by this move and will provide further information very shortly.
“If the City Council and ACL had truly wanted to support the Club, it would have taken up the offer made by SISU to pay off its debt and extend the lease. Instead it used £14 million of public money to stop the deal happening. The suggestion that the Club could play “free” whilst “it is administration” was, as the administrators pointed out, not one which they or indeed the Club could accept or which had any value.
“The proposed new stadium makes commercial and economic sense, providing new prospects to the City, incorporating commercial opportunities that support the revenues and development of the Club and secures its future. The project has momentum and the negotiations with the site's vendors are progressing very well.
“We have much to do before the new season, including working with the League to approve the restructuring of the corporate ownership of the club and the swift resolution of the administration of CCFC Ltd which will see the transfer embargo lifted. We hope that the fans will support the Club’s players and staff through what, we accept, will be a difficult transitional period, towards independence and a stable long term home venue.”