Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley named as preferred bidder for 'flagship venue'

Mike Ashley’s set to return to football – as Coventry City’s landlord.

Newcastle United's former owner was today identified as the preferred bidder for the Coventry Building Society Arena, which is also home to stricken Premiership rugby club Wasps.

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A statement from the 32,609-seater stadium’s owners read: “Arena Coventry Limited, Arena Coventry (2006) Limited and IEC Experience Limited have confirmed that they have applied to the Court for the companies to be placed in administration. The companies, and the proposed administrators from FRP Advisory, have run an accelerated sales process to sell the business and assets of the Companies, and have identified a preferred bidder.

The Coventry Building Society Arena.

“The Arena will continue to trade as normal. We would like to thank all the working parties involved in helping the companies get to this stage and we are delighted that the doors will remain open to this flagship venue.”