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SBD Global/December 17, 2012/Facilities

Coventry City Holds Talks With Hinckley United Over Stadium Share

Sixth-tier Blue Square Bet North side Hinckley United FC has offered its fellow "cash-strapped neighbours," League One side Coventry City, a "shock football lifeline by offering to ground share," according to the HINKLEY TIMES. The Knitters have offered Coventry City an opportunity to share its Greene King Stadium home after "discovering the Sky Blues could soon be homeless." The club has been looking at the former Rushden and Diamonds Stadium as a possible home, but "the distance is a turn off." Hinckley interim Chair Mike Sutton confirmed he had spoken with Coventry City Chair Tim Fisher this week about the ground share. The Sky blues have 6,000 season ticket holders whereas Hinckley’s stadium only has a capacity of 4,200, but Sutton said that "temporary seating would be installed to provide extra seating for fans" (HINCKLEY TIMES, 12/14).

PAYING THE RENT: The BBC reported the owners of Coventry's Ricoh Arena, Arena Coventry Limited, has issued Coventry with a Boxing Day deadline to "pay the claimed amount of rent, or face a winding-up petition." However, the Sky Blues believe that the rent is "too high in relation to other clubs of a similar level, and are keen to negotiate with ACL." The club is also interested in "retaining some of the match-day revenue, which currently goes to ACL" (BBC, 12/13).

PORT VALE ALSO OFFERS: The Staffordshire SENTINEL reported League Two side Port Vale CEO Norman Smurthwaite said that he "would allow Coventry City to play at Vale Park." Coventry-born millionaire Smurthwaite said, "If City end up needing a stadium, I'd be prepared to do a ground share. They haven't asked, but I'd to do it until the end of this season, though I wouldn't do it next season because we'll be playing them in League One. We certainly wouldn't let them come for free. But I would enter dialogue with them" (SENTINEL, 12/15).
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