Coventry Rugby Club is
hoping to soon attract big financial backers to help build a new
6,000 seater stadium.
The club's chairman
Keith Fairbrother was meeting merchant bankers and other
financial institutions at The Butts Stadium this week to press
the case for funding.
Coventry hope to start
playing rugby at The Butts midway through season 2003/4, but
meanwhile have agreed in principle a deal to buy back the club's
current home at Coundon Road from The Receiver.
have the first option to buy Coundon Road, subject to planning
consent to build houses on the site. In the meantime we have
agreed in principle to buy back the ground from The Receiver.
"We are awaiting
the necessary paperwork to be completed and we shall be
playing our matches at Coundon Road until the new stadium is
ready," said Fairbrother.
"It means we
shall have more time to get the financing into place to
convert The Butts Stadium. The new ground's capacity has been
downgraded to 6,000, but it still falls within the minimum
figure laid down by the RFU for clubs to be eligible to play
in the Premier Division.
"We expect to
have The Butts ready to play competitive matches from January
2003 and we would not have to wait until the start of a new
season. It would be relatively easy to move down from Coundon
Road in mid-season."
The Butts, which is
council owned, used to be the home of athletics and track
cycling in its heyday, but is now in a derelict state. Coventry
Rugby Club plans to build its club headquarters along The Butts
Radial Spur, with the playing pitch running parallel to the
It is planned to be an
all-seater arena and many believe it's central position in the
city will make it more accessible to spectators than Coundon
It is Coventry's aim to
bring Premier League rugby union to the city and Fairbrother is
looking to strengthen his team for the new season.
disappointed by the start of the season and the end, but the
middle section was okay,"
was his summing up of
the campaign which ended last month.
"We proved we
could beat most teams in the league, and with the addition of
one or two new signings, plus greater mental strength, I think
we have the nucleus of a good side," added the chairman.