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Coventry City FC Club Statement: Alan Higgs Centre

22 July 2016

The club provide an update on the progression of the Academy's residence at the Alan Higgs Centre...

Coventry City Youth Academy is one of the country's best Category 2 academies with a long history of training some of Coventry’s most famous athletes. 

In 2015, the Academy was ranked 5th out of the 72 English Football League (EFL) clubs in terms of providing a pathway for young athletes to reach the professional game. It is Coventry's site for developing players from grassroots all the way through to elite competition.

The Alan Higgs Centre has been the home of CCFC's Academy for over a decade. We have previously stated our opposition to plans by Coventry Sports Foundation (CSF), the operators of the Higgs Centre, to invite Wasps RFC to move their training base to the Alan Higgs Centre and thereby potentially displacing Coventry's youngest and most promising footballers. The club were therefore pleased to hear that CSF and Wasps would be open to working with the football club on finding a solution to safeguard the future of the Academy and its Category II EPPP status.

We are aware that Coventry Council planners have also noted the absence of any proposal for the football Academy in Wasps' planning application and have since sought written proposals from Wasps for the football academy. To lay the groundwork for a fruitful dialogue amongst all parties, the club have therefore requested that CSF provide us with information about the availability of facilities once our lease expires at the site in 2017.  

While the requirements mandated by the Premier League auditing process go beyond what is detailed below, at a minimum, the Academy will need guaranteed, unrestricted access to facilities such as:
  • 3 grass pitches on weekends and 2-2.5 grass pitches on weekdays
  • An outdoor 3G pitch 5 nights a week
  • An indoor pitch 5 nights a week
  • All current office and classroom space, along with dressing rooms, etc.
To explain more fully the club’s usage needs (i.e., specific hours that would be required during different times of the day, week, year), we have also provided CSF with the Academy’s Higgs Centre usage schedule.

Despite repeated requests for this information over a period of more than a month, CSF have yet to confirm that any of the facilities, or which parts of the facilities, would be available and on what basis.

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