Coventry City's proposed Ricoh Arena return blocked by European Commission

However club insist they remain in talks with Wasps over their continued presence at the Ricoh Arena next season

Ricoh Arena
Image: Coventry City had hoped to return to the Ricoh Arena for the start of the 2019-20 campaign

A European Commission investigation into the sale of the Ricoh Arena in 2014 is blocking any agreement for Coventry City to return there next season, Sky sources understand.

A two-year deal between City's owners SISU and Wasps rugby club, who own the stadium, was understood to be close last month - lifting the threat the club would be homeless and potentially kicked out of the EFL.

The League One club have until Wednesday, May 29 to inform the EFL where they will be playing their home games next season, and have told officials they do not want to be based any further than six miles from their current home.

However, Sky sources believe a request by SISU earlier this year to the European Commission to investigate the legitimacy of the council's sale of the stadium has meant negotiations have slowed to a standstill.

"The Commission has received a complaint regarding the sale of the Ricoh Arena to Wasps Rugby club and is currently assessing it in line with its standard procedures," the EU said in a statement, although it was not clear if this was in relation to SISU's request.

SISU's defeat in the Supreme Court last month brought to an end any legal action between the warring factions, re-opening negotiations that were expected to lead to an agreement over the Ricoh Arena within days.

And a statement issued via Coventry's official Twitter account also insist they remain in talks with Wasps over their continued presence at the Ricoh - despite the latest twist in the long-running saga.

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Although the club have groundshare options at Coventry Rugby Club's Butts Park Arena or Birmingham City's St Andrew's ground, they have made it clear they would prefer to remain at the Ricoh.

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