By 90Min
April 24, 2019

Coventry City, FA Cup winners in 1987 and a founder member of the Premier League, appear to have been offered a stay of execution after an agreement with Wasps Rugby over a one-year extension to their tenancy at the Ricoh Arena is reported to be 'close'.

Coventry's tenancy agreement at the venue is due to expire this summer and the club was faced with an uncertain future after the EFL called an Extraordinary General Meeting to allow all 72 member clubs to vote on whether to expel the Sky Blues from the league.

As things stand, their homeless state would fail to meet EFL criteria for the 2019/20 season.

According to Sky Sports, a deal to continue playing at the Ricoh Arena for at least one more season is 'close' to being agreed after talks reached an 'advanced stage'. As such, the EFL EGM, due to be held at Walsall's Bescot Staium, has been postponed until next month.

A statement on the matter from the EFL on Wednesday morning read: "A planned Extraordinary General Meeting for Thursday 25 April to consider the future of Coventry City has been postponed, with a revised date set for Wednesday 29 May.

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"The EFL Board had set tomorrow's date to consider the Club's expulsion from the League if an agreeable solution as to where they will play their home fixtures from 2019/20 onwards could not be provided.

"The EFL has been in regular contact with the Club over an extended period and, over the course of the last seven days, significant progress has been made with a solution believed to have been identified.

"To allow the Club the maximum period of time to finalise appropriate arrangements, the EFL Board has opted to postpone Thursday's EGM and remains hopeful such a meeting will not be required."

After leaving their old home at Highfield Road, Coventry were formerly the sole tenants at the council-built Ricoh Arena, opened in 2005. But a disagreement with the stadium owners saw the club forced to play home games in Northampton during the 2013/14 season.

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Coventry were able to return the following campaign, but 2014 was also the year that Premiership Rugby club Wasps permanently relocated to the West Midlands from High Wycombe and took over full ownership of the Ricoh Arena.

It was only earlier this month that Coventry lost a Supreme Court appeal over the 2014 sale of the Ricoh Arena to Wasps by the city council. Upon the ruling, Wasps made it clear that they would be willing to open discussions over extending the tenancy agreement.

There have been contingency plans for Coventry to play home game at Coventry Rugby Club's Butts Park Arena, or a potential groundshare with Birmingham or another un-named EFL club.

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