Sky Blues falling down! Crisis club Coventry deducted 10 points by Football League
15:54 GMT, 28 March 2013
15:54 GMT, 28 March 2013
Coventry City have been deducted 10 points after entering administration.
The deduction leaves the Sky Blues in 15th place in League One.
A statement from the Football League read: 'The Football League can confirm that Coventry City Football Club have been deducted 10 points, in accordance with its rules and regulations.
Tough task: Steven Pressley (left) recently took over as Coventry manager
'This Sporting Sanction has been implemented with immediate effect. Coventry City have seven days in which to appeal.
'The League has now begun discussions with the administrator aimed at achieving a sustainable future for the club within The Football League.'
Coventry had earlier reached a short-term agreement to play their three remaining home games this season at the Ricoh Arena.
Amid an ongoing row between the Sky Blues and Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), who manage the stadium and claim to be owed over 1.3million in unpaid rent stretching back 12 months, the npower League One outfit last week placed a non-operating subsidiary of the club into administration.
That subsidiary, Coventry City Football Club Limited, held the lease and licence for the Ricoh Arena, covering permission to play home matches at the stadium as well as the rental of the club shop and offices, which have already been emptied, with all staff having moved to their Ryton training ground.
Up against it: The Sky Blues have been deducted 10 points
It sparked speculation and uncertainty over where City would play their remaining home fixtures this term, starting with tomorrow’s visit of league leaders Doncaster.
But a statement released this morning read: “Coventry City Football Club Holdings Ltd are pleased that an agreement has been reached with ACL and the administrator that enables us to play our last three remaining home matches at the Ricoh Arena.
'We apologise profusely to our fans about the confusion surrounding these fixtures and are delighted that this has now been resolved.
'We can now look forward to playing current league leaders Doncaster on Friday 29th March in the hope of doing the double over them.
'Moving forward we hope that we can continue a constructive dialogue with ACL with the aim of securing a sustainable future for the club at the Ricoh Arena.'
The final line of Coventry's statement suggests the club's long-term future may still lie at the venue, which is jointly owned by the Alan Edward Higgs Charity and Coventry City Council.
The lengthy row centres around Coventry's refusal to pay an annual rental fee of 1.28m, the highest in both League One and the Championship by some considerable distance, while also bemoaning the fact they do not get access to 100 per cent of matchday revenue.
After negotiations collapsed, Coventry and hedge fund owners Sisu found themselves in the High Court in London last Friday battling against an application for administration submitted by ACL.
That initial hearing was adjourned, just hours after City placed their non-operating subsidiary into administration – although insisting it is business as usual as Coventry City Football Club (Holdings), which they claim holds the crucial 'golden shares' which provide membership to the Football League and FA, operates as normal.
ACL on Tuesday returned to the High Court and asked for their own application for an administration order to be dismissed.
They claim to have it on good authority from the Football League and the Football Association that Coventry's 'golden shares' do in fact still lie with Coventry City Football Club Ltd, which has already gone into administration, hence the withdrawal of their application.
All eyes are now on the Football League, who are yet to make an official verdict on the matter, with Coventry appearing to face the prospect of a 10-point deduction.
The Sky Blues are currently 10th in League One, five points off the play-offs, with a 10-point penalty certain to end their promotion hopes for this term.