The Coventry Wasps have stated their refusal to participate in mediation that could potentially resolve the conflict and allow the team to continue playing at the Ricoh Arena. Instead, the team has asked for direct talks without an intermediary. The team released the request as the incoming chief executive corrected an earlier statement that stated the Wasps had not been contacted by MP Chris Heaton-Harris, the person in charge of mediation.
According to Nick Eastwood who is slated to take over as CEO of the team in June, a letter was sent to the team and the team responded. The clarification occurred following the Telegraph, the area’s newspaper, contacting representatives over the claim mediation had not been sought and that the team had not responded to mediation requests.
Eastwood stated, “In light of Mr. Heaton-Harris saying that he has contacted the Wasps, I have double-checked internally and an introductory letter was sent to our group CEO.” Eastwood explained he had not seen the letter and replied according to the knowledge he had of the situation at the time.
The deal the Coventry City Wasps have to play at the Ricoh Arena is set to expire at the end of the next season.
When asked whether the team will participate in mediation in an effort to find a long-term home for play, Eastwood stated, “Our position remains the same – we would like Coventry City to remain at the Ricoh Arena and are willing to listen if they do make an approach to discuss options. ” Eastwood further explained he does not think mediation is necessary at this point and that the only thing that needs to occur is for the city to sit down and discuss the issue directly with team officials.
Team officials have repeatedly stated they need a stadium that gives them access to non-match day revenue and believe sharing ground share at Coventry Rugby’s Butts Park could be “the preferred option because it keeps us in the city.”