Coventry City: Penalty points deducted for pitch shifts

Coventry City: Penalty points deducted for pitch shifts

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The pitch at the Coventry Building Society ArenaDuring the Commonwealth Games, 65 Rugby Sevens games were played at the CBS Arena over three days

Coventry City were granted a suspended points deduction after three league games had to be postponed due to the state of their pitch.

The problems stemmed from the pitch being used for Rugby Sevens matches during the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Sky Blues accepted that they had breached the English Football League’s ground maintenance regulations.

And the five-point penalty will be imposed if there is another breach in 2022-23 or next season.

City’s August home games against Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town had to be postponed because the pitch could not be used.

They were eventually cleared to play again at the Coventry Building Society Arena at the end of August after repair work was carried out by then-landlords, Wasps, through mediation from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

However, Wasps later went into administration and the site is now owned by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group.

City chief Dave Boddy said: “Our fans will know that following the broken promises of a new pitch from Wasps and the broken promises of a new pitch for our first games of the season at the arena, we were left unsafe, dangerous and Unplayable was extensive use in the Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens.

“The debacle they caused – and the cash flow problems, reputational damage and inconvenience they caused to the football club, as well as the impact on our sporting performance and our fans – should have given us all an indication of the financial plight, in which they were. “

Coventry have also been ordered to pay the three clubs compensation as well as the costs of the EFL investigation.

They also had to move a Carabao Cup game against Bristol City to Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium due to space issues.

The relevant regulation states that clubs are “responsible for pitch maintenance and for general ground maintenance, including (but not limited to) ground safety”.

They must also ensure that “reasonable accommodations are taken” to keep a place in “good order”.

The suspended point deduction was imposed on the basis of a “consensual decision” between the club and the league.

“We have accepted the EFL’s decision and the sanctions imposed on us in order to minimize the sanctions that would be imposed on us, with the point deduction being suspended,” Boddy added.

“We hope that this draws a line and that this is a situation that should never be repeated in the arena.”

Despite the situation early in the season, Coventry sit eighth in the table but earlier this month they were served with an eviction notice from Frasers.

They have since signed an agreement to play home games at the arena until the end of the season.

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