Coventry City postpone Wigan Athletic match with pitch still 'unplayable' - The Coventry Observer

Coventry City postpone Wigan Athletic match with pitch still 'unplayable'

COVENTRY City have confirmed that next Tuesday’s home match against Wigan Athletic has been postponed with the CBS Arena pitch still ‘unplayable’.

The club were forced to call off last weekend’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Rotherham United and moved their midweek Carabao Cup match against Bristol City to Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium due to the condition of the turf at their home ground.

And the Sky Blues have now been forced to postpone another home fixture after an independent internationally established research and agronomy company, appointed by the EFL, evaluated the pitch at the Arena.

The findings confirmed that the pitch would not be safe or playable for Tuesday’s game against Wigan with the company having experience at a range of international tournaments and stadiums in the UK and abroad.

The club has apologised to fans for the inconvenience caused and explored the possibility of reversing the fixture, but due to other events at the DW Stadium this was not possible.

Coventry City Chief Executive, Dave Boddy said: “We are very disappointed to report the lack of improvement in the pitch, and we are very disappointed for our supporters, players and staff again that we have now had to postpone Tuesday’s home game against Wigan Athletic.

“I met with Stephen Vaughan at Wasps/the Arena on Monday and have been in regular contact via email since.

“To be clear, this is not the fault of the grounds staff.

“Promised investment into a new pitch, which was a fundamental part of the extensive negotiations for the club to return and then again a promise made publicly following the announcement of our return in March 2021, has not happened and there has been no significant refurbishment or repair work over the Summer either.

“Our concerns over the quality of the pitch have not been addressed, and we were extremely disappointed to be told in June that Wasps had made the decision not to take any action to put a new surface in.

“We still, despite repeated requests and the high-profile and urgent nature of this situation, await an ‘action plan’ from them to address this major issue, which they promised to implement publicly last Saturday.

“Even if we had been able to have our first three league games scheduled away as requested by Wasps, which wasn’t possible due to the EFL fixture sequencing rules which apply equally to all Clubs, it is clear that the pitch still would not have been playable.

“We do not wish to deal with this matter in public, but we are having to due to the situation and trying to keep fans updated. Instead, we simply want our landlords Wasps to provide a pitch which is safe and fit for purpose for their tenant, the City’s Football Club, to play at home.”

Boddy added: “It is our supporters who are suffering in this mess, and the players and staff too.

“These are incredibly difficult circumstances for the Football Club. The pitch has now been independently found to be unsafe and unplayable by the agronomists and previously by EFL match officials, and we are now desperate for this situation to be resolved by the Arena and Wasps.

“We will continue to keep supporters updated, and will provide further news as soon as possible.”

The club will communicate updates regarding next Saturday’s home game against Huddersfield Town, and also details of refunds for the games against Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic in due course.

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