Coventry City Offered Ground-share with Hinckley United

December 14, 2012

Coventry City have been offered a ground-share with Hinckley United’s Greene King Stadium.

The Knitters have offered the League 1 side an opportunity to share their Greene King Stadium home after discovering the Sky Blues could soon be homeless.

Sky Blues chiefs have ramped up their threat to quit the stadium and find a more affordable home this week after its Ricoh Arena owners ACL issued a statutory demand for rent arrears giving the club until Boxing Day to pay.

ACL have offered to cut the £1.28 million annual rent by 67% to £400,000 and give City 10 years to repay the £1.1 million but the football club have now started to look at other grounds.

If they fail to meet the deadline the Sky Blues, bankrolled by Sisu for the last five years, would have to declare themselves insolvent.

The club has been looking at the former Rushden and Diamonds Stadium as a possible home but the distance is a turn off.

Hinckley’s interim chairman Mike Sutton today confirmed he had spoken with Coventry City chairman Tim Fisher this week to offer the 1987 FA Cup winners a lifeline and an opportunity to share the Greene King Stadium.

The Sky blues have 6,000 season ticket holders whereas Hinckley’s stadium only has a capacity of 4,200 but Mr Sutton said temporary seating would be installed to provide extra seating for fans.

He said: “After hearing about the plight of Coventry City I rang up the club and spoke to the chairman Tim Fisher. He was very grateful for the phone call and the offer of help and said our offer would be seriously considered. I also know they are looking at the Rushden and Diamonds Stadium as well so we will just have to see what happens. But the offer is there. We have a lot in common at the moment with our financial problems. It would help out the Sky Blues who are a football club with a fantastic history and it would also give us a massive financial boost.”

The two clubs have a lot in common as both teams have been issued statutory rent demands from their stadium owners.

The Knitters’ former chairman Kevin Downes recently issued the club a statutory rent demand totalling £73,833.

This sum is the outstanding demand for rent due on the main stand for the period of March 1 2010 until October 1 2012.

But Mr Sutton said the club has reduced the debt from £185,000 to £75,000 and said he hopes the club will be out of debt by the start of next season.