Coventry could face winding-up order over debts
COVENTRY, England (AP) Eleven years after being relegated from the Premier League, financially stricken Coventry is facing the threat of liquidation following the failure of the club's owners to pay their stadium debts.
Arena Coventry Limited, which owns the club's Ricoh Arena stadium, is giving Coventry three weeks to settle unpaid rental debts of 1.1 million pounds ($1.77 million).
"This is not a course of action the ACL Board wanted to take," ACL said Wednesday in a statement. "However, the behaviour of Sisu, the owners of CCFC, has left the board with no choice but to issue the statutory demand."
Coventry, which now plays in England's third-tier League One, said it was "disappointed" that ACL had made the demands rather than "sitting down with us to negotiate a level of rent which the club can afford."
In a statement, Coventry - founded in 1883 - said its annual rent of 1.28 million pounds is the highest in England's second and third tiers.
"The club remains committed to the city and people of Coventry," the club said. "However, its viability depends on it finding an alternative home ground where it can afford to play."
The midlands club won the 1987 FA Cup but has struggled financially since dropping out of the Premier League in 2001. The team was relegated from the League Championship in May.
The Ricoh Arena hosted football matches at this year's London Olympics and has been Coventry's home since 2005.
Updated December 5, 2012