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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Troubled Coventry Rugby Club move match to Ricoh Arena

Ricoh Arena
The Ricoh Arena has previously hosted top European rugby matches

Troubled Coventry will play their next Championship match against Bedford at the Ricoh Arena, home of Coventry City, on Friday night (1945 GMT).

The club's owner Andrew Green announced on Tuesday that he had put the company into creditor voluntary liquidation.

But the Rugby Football Union revealed on Friday that the club have now been placed in administration.

"The appointment of an administrator is a positive step forward," said RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron.

"We will be asking them to keep us informed of developments."

The appointment of John Kelly, of Begbies Traynor, as administrator to Coventry, means the return of a familiar face.

Kelly helped with the rescue bid the last time Cov ran into financial difficulties in June 2008. And he was also involved when Moseley suffered similar problems back in 2002.

All we're doing is providing a venue to ensure they fulfil a fixture and we're just delighted to do that

Ricoh Arena chief executive Daniel Gidney

"We will be consulting with Begbies Traynor," added Baron, who met with Coventry president Peter Rossborough at Twickenham on Tuesday.

"And we will assist where possible and appropriate to ensure the future of the club and Championship rugby in the city.

"In the short term the focus is on tonight's game against Bedford Blues at the Ricoh Arena and I would urge Coventry fans and rugby lovers in general to go along and support.

"We are very keen to do whatever we can to maintain rugby in Coventry, where there is a great history and tradition.

"We are hopeful that Peter and other interested parties can put in place a plan of action that assures the legal status of the club and can deliver long-term certainty to the club.

"We will be working with Peter to help him where we can and are in dialogue with the other Championship clubs to ensure we maintain the integrity of the league."

The Ricoh Arena last staged rugby back in April when, for the second year running, it hosted the two EDF Cup semi-finals.

Ricoh Arena chief executive Daniel Gidney admitted to BBC Coventry & Warwickshire that they were only too happy to help out their rugby neighbours.

"Whatever we could do to help was never going to be a problem," he said.

"We're a partner with the RFU anyway, with the Rugby World Cup in 2015, and this is just the right thing to do.

"So many people put in a lot of their own money last year to raise money for the bond to help save the club at that time.

"All we're doing is providing a venue to ensure they fulfil a fixture and we're just delighted to do that."

The match will be live on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.

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see also
Coventry face doubts over future
01 Dec 09 |  English
Coventry saved from bond deadline
03 Jul 08 |  English

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