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Council backs multi-million pound bailout of Ricoh Arena

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Coventry City Council has voted to bail out the Ricoh Arena stadium company with a £14m loan.

Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) runs the stadium on behalf of the council and the Alan Edwards Higgs Trust charity.

Coventry City Football Club has been in a long-running dispute with ACL over unpaid rent since March last year.

The move means the Council is effectively becoming banker to ACL, so that it can pay off its current loan arrangements with its existing bank.

ACL will pay back the council in instalments over a longer period at lower interest rates.

John Mutton, leader of Coventry City Council said: "We have taken a decision that will secure the future of one of our best loved public assets that brings great benefits to Coventry people. I've always believed that councils can - and should - be prepared to take bold and radical decisions when they are the right thing to do.

"It's up to ACL and the club now to find a way forward on the rent issue; we know that ACL is totally committed to doing this, and we hope the club's owners will be committed to doing so, too."

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Coventry City Council has voted to bail out the Ricoh Arena stadium company with a £14m loan.
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