Carry on Coventry: City hope pitch battle is over as they prepare to head home

The Sky Blues have seen three league fixtures postponed.

By Press Association Published: 25 August 2022 - 2.01pm

Coventry will be able to play their Sky Bet Championship home game against Preston as scheduled on August 31 after the latest assessment determined the pitch was safe and playable.

The Sky Blues had seen matches with Rotherham, Wigan and Huddersfield at the Coventry Building Society Arena postponed, while the Carabao Cup tie against Bristol City was switched to Burton’s Pirelli Stadium.

Following more work on the playing surface – which hosted 65 rugby sevens matches at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the end of July – it has now been confirmed Coventry’s home fixtures can resume.

“Coventry City can confirm that a further inspection of the Coventry Building Society Arena pitch took place on Wednesday by the independent agronomist, and that following the extensive work that has taken place, at the time of the visit the pitch was in a safe and playable condition with no safety concerns about next Wednesday’s game against Preston North End being played,” a club statement read.

“New synthetic fibres have been stitched into the ground throughout the pitch. These new fibres will give increased stability to the existing structure and then allow for better growth now and in the future.

“Also, areas which have been more widely damaged have been subject to extensive and increased maintenance work so they can be fully integrated with the existing pitch.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day One
65 rugby sevens matches were played at the Coventry Arena last month at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (Mike Egerton/PA)

Coventry chief executive Dave Boddy had previously called the situation a “mess” during a war of words with the club’s landlords, rugby union side Wasps.

Following what was a six-figure investment to remedy the playing surface, Boddy is now looking forward to the Sky Blues being back in action on home turf.

“This is very pleasing news and we can’t wait until next Wednesday’s game,” Boddy said on the club website.

“The confirmation that the pitch work has been successful in making the required improvements is what Sky Blues fans have been waiting to hear.”

The EFL are satisfied the upgrades would hold going forwards, but as yet have not made any decision over Coventry’s postponed fixtures at the start of the new campaign.

“Today’s decision follows pitch improvement work taking place at the CBS Arena over the last week to give increased stability to existing pitch infrastructure, which should provide for better growth conditions in the future,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The independent assessment has determined that the pitch has improved considerably thanks to these works and there were no concerns regarding player safety at the time of inspection.

“The EFL continues to review the circumstances around the postponements of the Huddersfield Town and Wigan Athletic fixtures and will determine an appropriate course of action, in accordance with EFL Regulations, in due course.”

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