Coventry City chief Dave Boddy hit back at claims made by Wasps that the football club turned their back on a constructive rent offer to play at the stadium.
He added that the signing of an indemnity clause was “absolutely a requirement” during negotiations.
He said: “CCFC had a deadline from the EFL of Monday 20th July at 5pm to inform them where we would be playing our home games for the 20-21 season. This date had been known to Wasps for some weeks. I personally twice told Stephen Vaughan (Wasps CEO) the date and all parties engaged in the process had been sent written confirmation of this deadline from the EFL some weeks ago.
Wasps & Coventry City 'very close' but not close enough to agree a groundshare deal at the Ricoh Arenahttps://t.co/2j7pHlFYhi— Wasps Rugby News 🐝🏉📰 (@WaspsRugbyNews) July 24, 2020
“The principle and concept of an indemnity against Wasps and a third party was absolutely a requirement, and this indemnity would have put the Football Club at substantial risk and jeopardise its very future.”
But in their statement on Friday night, Wasps Group said that they “did not require the football club or its owners to sign any indemnity around legal action over the Ricoh Arena,” and that they firmly believed that they had “made the deal as commercially attractive as possible” for the Sky Blues.
Boddy reacted: “We would be happy to produce correspondence to support all of our claims but unfortunately we are bound by the NDA, which we signed at the start of talks at the insistence of Wasps.”
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He added: “Because progress was being made the EFL extended the deadline twice during this week to Friday; and on that expiry we were instructed by them to confirm where we would play. All parties in the process were well aware of these extensions.
“We were faced with exactly the same problem last season, and were effectively ‘timed out’ by them again.”
Boddy added: “Throughout my three-and-a-half-year career at the club, Wasps have consistently and flagrantly ignored critical deadlines set for us by the EFL and treated them and those deadlines with disrespect. In fact, they only instructed solicitors to act for them on Monday morning when they were well aware of the Monday 5pm deadline.
“It happened regularly when we agreed the one-year extension to our last license for the 2018-19 season. The EFL have been nothing but supportive during the whole period of time I have been at the Club.”