Coventry fans hail Ricoh return

Coventry fans have welcomed the Sky Blues' imminent return to the Ricoh Arena and urged supporters to unite behind the club.

The Sky Blue Trust called the move a "victory for common sense" after the club agreed a two-year deal, with the option of a further two, with ground owners Arena Coventry Limited (ACL).

Coventry will play their first Sky Bet League One game back at the Ricoh against Gillingham on September 5, to end their 13-month exile in Northampton, after the switch was rubber-stamped by the Football League.

They had been playing at Sixfields since August 2013 after a dispute between the club's owners Sisu and ACL started in 2012, with the club withholding rent.

"The situation of playing 'home' matches 35 miles from Coventry, in front of minute crowds, was untenable, heart breaking and divisive," read a Sky Blue Trust statement.

"This decision is a clear victory for common sense and fan power - the fans, when united, can be a major force in influencing events and decisions, we should never underestimate that power.

"We congratulate both sides on their hard work in getting a deal done but most of all we thank all those who have supported the Sky Blue Trust's efforts in helping to get the situation resolved.

"Now it is time for all fans to unite once more but this time behind Steven Pressley and the team at The Ricoh. We must now throw our efforts into cheering on the team and getting us out of this division and most importantly cheering the team on in Coventry."

A deal was struck between Coventry's owners after Sisu paid ACL £471,192 via the Football League last week, with the money going towards compensation and unpaid rent.

ACL had previously said it would not discuss a return until it received money owed by the club after they went into administration last year.

Steve Waggott, development director at Coventry, said: 'We are delighted to get this deal done and I am sure every supporter of Coventry City will be thrilled with this news.

'We are under no illusion what a difficult 12 months it has been for the supporters and that was uppermost in our thinking as we worked to get this deal done."

The Football League's chief executive, Shaun Harvey, added: "I hope it is viewed as a new beginning for all the parties and that Sky Blues supporters can transfer the passion and energy they have put into their campaigning back into watching their club play in Coventry."