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Coventry Rugby Club play on at Ricoh Arena

By Les Reid and Ian Davies , Coventry Telegraph
December 3 2009

COVENTRY Rugby Club’s players and officials have vowed to fight on in the hope of keeping the 135-year-old club alive, pledging: “It’s game on!” And they will start by honouring their Championship fixture against Bedford at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow night. After crucial meetings between Cov president Peter Rossborough, the Rugby Football Union and the rugby club’s advisory board, a deal was struck to play the match at the home of the Sky Blues.

A spokesman for the advisory board said: “The club will be playing at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow night to represent the city of Coventry, under the instructions of the RFU and with the full support and committment of the city council and the Ricoh Arena.

“Season tickets will be honoured but if any supporter wishes to make a contribution to the club it would be gratefully received. Normal admission charges apply and proceeds from the game will go towards meeting the salaries of the players.”

Daniel Gidney, chief executive of the Ricoh Arena added: “We have always had friendly links with Coventry RFC and understands the strong affinity this city has for rugby football.

“What has happened to Coventry RFC is a crying shame for all the supporters who helped save the club a year ago, and we are happy to offer our support during what is a very difficult time and help buy Coventry RFC more time to secure its future.”

It is understood the advice from RFU lawyers yesterday afternoon was that Cov chairman and owner Andrew Green had failed in his bid to put the club into voluntary liquidation, and cease the club’s trading.

Mr Rossborough said the advice was that until there was formal notification to the RFU and the club from an official liquidator or insolvency practitioner, the RFU would assume Coventry Rugby Club Limited still existed.

He said the RFU had told him that, as of yesterday, it was therefore business as usual, and the debt-ridden club was obliged to fulfil its fixtures.

Cov’s players have backed rebel officials’ efforts to keep the club alive by pledging to play without pay in defiance of Mr Green’s orders on Monday night that the club should cease trading with immediate effect, as he had enacted a creditor voluntary liquidation as the sole decision maker of Coventry Rugby Club Limited.

Before the Ricoh deal, Coventry City Council, which owns the freehold of Butts Park Arena, said it had granted a temporary safety licence to enable tomorrow’s game to be played at The Butts, which is held on a lease by the club’s former administrators.

Mr Rossborough said: “The RFU is happy for us to play tomorrow’s game. Their view is we don’t need a temporary licence to play as Coventry Rugby Club still exists and we are obliged to complete our fixtures.

“Nobody has been in touch with them or us to say, ‘I am the appointed liquidator’.

“The RFU is giving a lot of moral support and legal advice, and are encouraging us going forward. We didn’t talk in terms of punishments or penalties, just going forward.”

Club officials will be seeking further guidance on continuing to trade temporarily while seeking to put a rescue package together for the long term.

Championship club Birmingham & Solihull were docked 15 league points after going into voluntary liquidation last month, and the RFU gave them a month to sort out their tax bills to the Inland Revenue.

In announcing a creditor voluntary liquidation on Monday night, Mr Green cited problems included outstanding tax bills, believed to be in the region of six-figures, a collapse in talks with a potential investor, and a failure to obtain the lease to the The Butts Park Arena.

Mr Rossborough had earlier yesterday held talks with the players, who unanimously agreed to play without pay.

Phil Maynard, director of rugby, said his focus was on tomorrow’s game and urged as many people as possible to turn out to support the club.

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Unofficial Coventry Rugby
Coventry Rugby Club play on at Ricoh Arena
Unofficial Coventry Rugby (IP Logged)
03/12/2009 16:44
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2009:12:04:17:12:56 by Laugh Out Loud.

Re: Coventry Rugby Club play on at Ricoh Arena
lewys (IP Logged)
03/12/2009 19:50
"A spokesman for the advisory board said: “The club will be playing at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow night to represent the city of Coventry, under the instructions of the RFU and with the full support and committment of the city council and the Ricoh Arena."

does this mean we will be playing as 'the City of Coventry' then?

Re: Coventry Rugby Club play on at Ricoh Arena
covkid53 (IP Logged)
03/12/2009 20:11
Why no pay ?

If there is any profit from the match it should be shared out between the players and staff.

And, send the tin round to collect a litte Xbox as well.

What do you think ?

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