Coventry-Bristol City to be played at Burton due to ‘unsafe’ pitch
Coventry’s Carabao Cup first round tie against Bristol City will take place at Burton’s Pirelli Stadium due to the ‘unsafe and unplayable’ pitch at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
The teams were due to meet at the home of the Sky Blues – who share the stadium with Premiership Rugby outfit Wasps – on Wednesday night.
Coventry’s opening home match of the season against Rotherham was postponed on Saturday as a result of the issues, which came after pictures emerged on social media last week that showed a dry, patchy surface, with the stadium having been used for concerts over the summer and rugby sevens matches in the Commonwealth Games last weekend.
A statement released by the EFL on Monday evening read: “Due to ongoing issues relating to the playing surface at the Coventry Building Society Arena, in line with competition rules, the EFL has granted permission for Coventry City’s upcoming Carabao Cup Round One tie against Bristol City to be played at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium.
“After discussions between clubs and relevant parties, the alternative venue was agreed in order to allow the fixture to be fulfilled, with the tie taking place as scheduled on Wednesday, August 10 at 7.45pm. Our thanks go to Burton Albion for making its stadium available at short notice.
“The EFL continues discussions with Coventry City regarding the fulfilment of its upcoming league fixtures and has requested observations from the club regarding the circumstances that led to the postponement of Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Rotherham United.”
This follows a statement released by Coventry on Saturday which read: “Coventry City are extremely disappointed to confirm that Sunday’s game against Rotherham United has been postponed.
“Following an inspection by a senior match official on Saturday, the pitch at the Coventry Building Society Arena has been deemed unsafe and unplayable.
“This follows an inspection that took place on Friday by the EFL and a local referee, which was also attended by Manager Mark Robins and chief executive Dave Boddy.
“We are very frustrated that the pitch at the Arena is not up to standard, and share the huge disappointment that fans, players and staff will feel that our opening home game has been 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 at the Commonwealth Games last weekend.
“We appreciate the efforts in difficult circumstances that have been made by the Grounds Staff who work for the Arena.”
Boddy added: “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 that 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.”
A new date is yet to be announced, while the club confirmed it will keep fans updated with regards to the Carabao Cup first round clash at home to Bristol City, which is scheduled for 7.45pm on Wednesday night.