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Wasps to replace much-criticised pitch at the Ricoh Arena ahead of Coventry City's next home match

Coventry City's pitch has been criticised by the club's manager Credit: Jon Buckle/EMPICS Sport

Wasps have announced plans to lay a temporary new pitch at the Ricoh Arena ahead of Coventry City's next home game.

The pitch has been much-criticised by a number of visiting teams and even by the Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley.

It's difficult to play in the manner that I want my team to play in on that pitch. The standard of the pitch is so poor.

In fact, at this moment in time, the Ricoh Arena pitch is probably the worst in the entire Football League.

– Steven Pressley, Coventry City manager (speaking in November)
Steven Pressley has called the pitch the worst in the Football League Credit: Jon Buckle/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Wasps will play their first match on 21 December at the Ricoh Arena Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Wasps say they will fully relay the pitch over the summer in order to be ready for the 2015/16 season.

The club's subsidiary ACL (Arena Coventry Ltd), which owns 50% of the stadium, will fund the temporary replacement.

The surface is expected to be ready in time for Coventry's next home game against Fleetwood Town on 20 December.

We are not willing to compromise on the quality of the playing surface and recognise that this issue needs to be addressed now, so we have provided the best temporary solution available to us.

– Nick Eastwood, Wasps Chief Executive

Wasps' match will be on 21 December against London Irish following their purchase of 50% of the stadium.

Wasps' Andy Goode reassures Coventry fans after move

The former Worcester Rugby and Leicester Tigers star - and Coventry City fan - Andy Goode has been quick to reassure Sky Blues fans after Wasps bought the Ricoh Arena.

He says the decision by his current side Wasps to move to the stadium will not negatively impact on the football club he has always supported.

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Pressley: Ricoh sale does not concern me

The Coventry City manager, Steven Pressley, says he is not concerned by the news that London Rugby club Wasps will be moving into the Ricoh Arena in December.

The Sky Blues have only recently returned to the stadium after a spell playing in Northampton, and as it stands the idea is for Coventry to share the facility with the rugby club.

New joint owners want Coventry City FC to remain at Ricoh

The new joint owners of the Ricoh Arena have revealed they want Coventry City FC to continue playing at the stadium.

Wasps have acquired 50% interest in shares in Arena Coventry Limited from Coventry City Council.

Coventry City take on Yeovil Town at the Ricoh Arena last month Credit: PA

There has also been much speculation in media outlets and social media recently about how this move will affect the future of Coventry City Football Club and Coventry RFC. We are delighted to see Coventry City Football Club back at the Ricoh Arena and this is where we want them to remain. We are keen to make this work for everyone. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the Sky Blues. We are very keen to build a close relationship with Coventry Rugby Club and are exploring running community and player development programmes together.

– Wasps club statement

Wasps joint owners of Coventry's Ricoh Arena

Wasps have become the joint owners of the Ricoh Arena after acquiring a 50% interest in Arena Coventry Limited from Coventry City Council.

Wasps will play their first home game at the Ricoh Arena in December 2014 – either Castres or London Irish – but will continue to play home games at Adams Park in High Wycombe until then.

Land Rover main club partner for Wasps after Ricoh move

Land Rover has today been announced as the new main club partner of Premiership Rugby club Wasps which is relocating to Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

Land Rover has today been announced as the new main club partner Credit: Daniel Karmann/DPA/Press Association Images

Further details of the move will be released at a press conference later.

Coventry City Council agreed a deal yesterday to sell its shares in the Ricoh Arena to Wasps Rugby Club.

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Further details into sale of Ricoh Arena to be released

Further details will be released today after Coventry City Council agreed a deal to sell its shares in the Ricoh Arena to Wasps Rugby Club.

Coventry City take on Yeovil Town at the Ricoh Arena last month Credit: PA

It's thought the deal is worth in the region of £20 million pounds.

The council and Chief Executive of the London-based club are holding a press conference later.

Ricoh decision with interest of community 'at its heart'

The decision to sell the Coventry City Council’s share in ACL – the company that runs the Ricoh Arena – to Wasps Rugby Club, was made "with the interest of Coventry taxpayers and communities at its heart."

The sale guarantees Coventry City Football Club’s continuing tenancy at the stadium, with primacy over match fixtures.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Ann Lucas said: “The decision about the Ricoh Arena’s future has been made with the interest of Coventry taxpayers and communities at its heart.

“This deal would not have happened if it threatened the future of the Sky Blues or Coventry Rugby Club.

“This is the most important decision this Council has ever made about the future of one of its best community assets, and we would not have made it unless we were confident it was the right thing to do.

“It’s really important for the city and its future. This sees significant investment by a successful sports franchise that believes Coventry is the place to develop a world class sporting facility and is here for the long term."

Council vote unanimously on sale of Ricoh Arena

Coventry City councillors have voted unanimously to accept Wasps Rugby Club's takeover of the Ricoh Arena.

The Ricoh Arena in Coventry Credit: PA

Councillors supported a deal to sell the Council’s share in ACL – the company that runs the Ricoh Arena.

The deal ensures the Council makes a return on its original investment of £13.7million into the Arena development alongside significant investment into grassroots and community rugby development across the city.

It guarantees Coventry City Football Club’s continuing tenancy at the stadium, with primacy over match fixtures. It will also lead to work to develop links with Coventry Rugby Club to ensure joint work to support both clubs.

Ricoh decision 'will be made on basis that Coventry City can continue playing there'

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