COVENTRY City FC has been forced to postpone tomorrow’s EFL Championship match with Rotherham United at the CBS Arena as the pitch has been deemed ‘unsafe and unplayable’.
The club said it was ‘extremely disappointed’, adding it followed by an inspection by a senior match official.
Manager Mark Robins and Chief Executive Dave Boddy also attended.
The club said it was very frustrated the pitch at the Arena was not up to standard, and shared the huge disappointment by the Sky Blues fans, players and staff the opening home game had needed to be postponed under these circumstances.
Promised investment by the Arena into a new pitch has unfortunately not materialised over the summer, which has been compounded by concerts on the pitch and then a huge amount of use during the Commonwealth Games last weekend.
Coventry City FC added it appreciated the efforts in difficult circumstances that had been made by the ground staff who worked for the Arena.
Dave Boddy, Chief Executive at Coventry City, said: “We are extremely disappointed at this postponement due to the condition of the pitch.
“It has been deemed unplayable and unsafe by the inspecting official and, having seen it myself, I can understand this decision.
“Last season the condition of the pitch was highlighted as a concern and we expected this would be addressed by Wasps and the Arena, who are responsible for the pitch, over the summer – sadly this has not been the case, and this is the result of that, plus the large amount of use at the Commonwealth Games last week.”
He added he would be seeking urgent talks with Stephen Vaughan, the Chief Executive at Wasps, and the Arena over the condition of the pitch, and expected immediate and significant improvements to be made to make the pitch playable as soon as possible.
All tickets purchased for Sunday’s game will be eligible for the re-arranged game against Rotherham United, details of which will be confirmed in due course.
The club said it was ‘very sorry to have to bring this news to our supporters’ and it would keep them updated with regard to Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game against Bristol City.
A spokesperson for the Arena said: “Unfortunately, it has not been possible to prepare the pitch to the standard required for Sunday’s game.
“The decision to schedule the Rotherham fixture at the arena for this weekend was taken after talks with the EFL and Coventry City.
“Coventry City were understandably keen to play at home despite the extremely short turnaround following the Commonwealth Games, and Birmingham 2022 agreed to accommodate the request, despite having an exclusive tenancy agreement until August 14.
“We are implementing an action plan to ensure the pitch is repaired and available as soon as possible.”