Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley makes controversial Coventry City move

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Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has reportedly told Coventry City to leave the CBS Arena after becoming landlord.

Coventry City have reportedly been issued with an eviction notice from the Coventry Building Society Arena by Mike Ashley’s Fraser Group. The former Newcastle United owner completed an eight-figure deal for the CBS Arena last month after its previous owners entered administration.

Sky Blues chief executive Dave Boddy previously claimed in his programme notes Ashley had given “assurances” over the club’s future at the stadium.

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He said: “The Football Club has had brief initial discussions with the Fraser Group regarding the future of the Arena and their interest in it, and they have given us assurances that the Sky Blues continuing to play at the Arena is very much part of their plans, should they purchase the Arena.”

However, according to BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, Ashley has told the Championship outfit to leave and they have no right to use the ground.

Coventry officials were informed on Friday they must return keys and access cards, forcing Saturday’s planned FA Youth Cup clash to be switched to Leamington.

Frasers have responded, saying the club will be given a reasonable amount of time to remove goods and property from the stadium.

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Doug King, who is set to become Coventry owner subject to EFL approval, had made a late attempt to gazump Ashley’s bid but a judge ruled in the latter’s favour. A £25million bid was believed to be lined up, however, the judge insisted “there wasn’t enough substance” behind King’s offer.

The Daily Mail had previously reported that Ashley’s purcahse of the CBS Arena would put the 58-year-old in a strong position to buy Coventry at knockdown price given he will have a significant amount of control over Coventry’s commercial activities.

Ashley sold Newcastle to the Public Investment of Saudi Arabia-backed consortium in October 2021 after a turbulent 14 years at St James’ Park. He attempted to buy Derby County in the summer, however local businessmen David Clowes won the race.

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