Ricoh Arena management restructure as Gibb feels the Wasps’ sting

A merger between the Ricoh Arena stadium operator and its parent company Wasps will see the Ricoh’s managing director Andy Gibb leave the business.

Gibb, who previously worked at international events company GES and contractor Opex Group, has been in the Ricoh MD role since March 2015.

The restructure means the Ricoh Arena and Wasps will operate as a single business entity, according to the local Coventry media, which quoted Nick Eastwood, Wasps Group chief executive, saying: “As we are all aware, we have made huge strides in the last two-and-a-half years, since Wasps acquired the Ricoh Arena.

“For the next stage of its development and growth, we need to complete the merger of the two organisations so that we operate as a single business entity.

“On that basis, we have agreed with Andy Gibb that it makes sense for him to move on from the business and seek bigger and better opportunities elsewhere.

“Andy has played a pivotal role in the success of the move and the development of the ACL business and we wish him all the very best for the next stage of his career.”

Gibb’s departure follows the news that Wasps’ chief executive David Armstrong is also to step down this summer.

It is unclear precisely what is meant by the “merger” of the businesses under any cost-cutting restructure, as in law the two companies would have to continue as separate legal entities.

The Wasps group includes ACL and Wasps Holdings Limited – London Wasps Holdings Limited before the stadium company’s sale in 2014 by Coventry City Council – which recorded annual losses last year of £3.8m.

The Coventry Observer said the group had debts of over £43m, mainly residing in a retail bond scheme issued by a separate company, Wasps Finance plc. The Coventry Observer noted that substantially rising costs – of staging events, management and salaries – had helped increase losses from £2.4m the previous year.

Wages and salaries rose by £5m to £17m, with the highest paid director receiving £407,255 for the year, the Observer revealed.

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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