Coventry City trigger 'dispute resolution mechanism' as Wasps pitch row escalates - The Coventry Observer

Coventry City trigger 'dispute resolution mechanism' as Wasps pitch row escalates

Coventry Editorial 16th Aug, 2022   0

COVENTRY City have triggered the ‘dispute resolution mechanism’ in their agreement with landlords Wasps after having to postpone a second home league match in as many weeks.

The Sky Blues were due to host Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night (August 16) and Rotherham United (August 6) but were forced to postpone the two matches after the CBS Arena pitch was deemed ‘unplayable’.

And City also moved their League Cup tie against Bristol City to Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium on August 10.

The club have been unable to find a solution with CBS Arena owners Wasps with regards to the stadium’s pitch crisis after it hosted 65 rugby sevens matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

And Coventry have now decided to take action having been rebuffed in their attempts to help towards the cost of laying a new surface with possible fines and points deductions on the table if the club are unable to fulfil their fixtures.

Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy told BBC CWR: “Unless a new pitch is installed pretty quickly there is little chance of playing football any time soon.

“It’s not in our hands, it’s in the hands of our landlords, they’ve said they are not going to put a new pitch down.

“The only real option was to put a new surface down, it’s always been part of the agreement, it was prerequisite of us going back to the stadium that they would do that.

“It’s got to happen and it has got to happen now. We’ve talked about helping to fund it, they are not interested in that at this point.

“The premise of our relationship with them is that they have to provide us with a pitch that is fit for purpose and currently it isn’t and we’ve got a massive problem.

“We’ve triggered the disputes resolution mechanism in the licence agreement which is the next stage. We’re all frustrated, I feel for our supporters who deserve better than this.”

The club have turned to West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who will act as mediator, to help resolve the issue after he played a key role in helping Coventry return to their home city following their two-season groundshare with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.

Wasps released a statement last week in which the club’s Chief Executive Office Stephen Vaughan insisted they informed Coventry in May that the pitch would not be relayed and that no objection was raised at any time.

An independent internationally established research and agronomy company, appointed by the EFL, evaluated the pitch at the Arena last Thursday (August 11) and confirmed the pitch would not be ‘safe or playable’ for their Tuesday night clash with Wigan.


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