The Mike Ashley Coventry City u-turn that may surprise Newcastle United fans

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Mike Ashley has backtracked on the original arrangement which would have seen Coventry City locked out of their own home ground.

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has completed a surprise u-turn in his battle to wrestle control of Football League outfit Coventry City.

Frasers Group, the new name for Ashley’s Sports Direct empire, had been set to block the playing of home games at the Coventry Building Society Arena, having bought the lease to the property recently. This is a move that would have thrown the Sky Blues’ Championship season into disarray.

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However, Frasers and Coventry have now come to an agreement, signing a new licence agreement to play at the arena, from now until May 2023.

Ashley is reportedly keen to capture the full purchase of the club. The move to allow games to played could easily been seen as a ploy to gain control, a tactic so often deployed during his near 15 years in charge at St James’ Park.

The official statement, in full

Coventry City Football Club is pleased to confirm that it has signed a new licence agreement with Frasers Group in order for the Club to continue to play home games at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

This represents a positive step forward for the Club and its fans and we now look forward to establishing a constructive working relationship with Frasers Group.

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The licence that we have today signed will run until May 2023 and is subject to EFL approval, which we expect to be granted on Tuesday.

Coventry City will now commence amicable talks with Frasers Group with a view to agreeing a longer-term licence for the Club to play at the Arena.

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