Rugby Trade Directory

CBS Arena operators file for administration

The operators of the Coventry Building Society Arena have applied to be placed into administration and identified a preferred bidder for the stadium, reported to be Mike Ashley, the former owner of Premier League club Newcastle United.

Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), Arena Coventry (2006) Limited and IEC Experience Limited confirmed the news in a statement today (Wednesday) and it is anticipated that the administration orders will be made in the forthcoming weeks.

The companies and the proposed administrators from FRP Advisory have run an accelerated sales process to sell the business and assets of the companies. CBS Arena, which serves as the home of Premiership rugby union club Wasps and Championship football team Coventry City, will continue to trade as normal.

Ashley, who sold Newcastle last year, is the preferred bidder to secure ownership of the CBS Arena, according to reports by The BBC. Ashley’s bid only relates to the stadium and he is not interested in buying Coventry City.

Wasps was placed into administration last month and the club is set to be demoted from the top tier. Andrew Sheridan and Raj Mittal, partners at FRP, were appointed as joint administrators of Wasps Holdings Limited, the holding company for Wasps Men, Wasps Ladies, Wasps Netball, the associated coaching and support teams, and the respective academies and pathways.

At the time, CBS Arena was unaffected by the administration of Wasps but the stadium’s ownership appears set to change hands following today’s announcement. Wasps has been suspended from playing after entering administration but Coventry City has continued to play at the CBS Arena as scheduled.

Wasps’ joint administrators were required to make 167 employees redundant, including all members of the playing squads and coaching staff. A small number of employees were retained to support with the orderly wind down of the company and the operation of the CBS Arena.

Earlier this week, Wasps Holdings Limited accepted an offer from the Wasps Legends consortium to buy the rugby team.

Coventry beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at the CBS Arena yesterday (Tuesday) and is currently 19th in the Championship. The club has two more home matches before the break for the Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

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