Away form gives Coventry promotion hope despite ground issues
There are few positives in Coventry’s current turmoil. Unpaid rent for their Ricoh Arena home and owners at loggerheads have ultimately led to the expected conclusion that the club will be playing its home games 34 miles from home for the next three seasons.
With the pitch at the more-local Walsall deemed unable to cope with double the amount of fixtures, it is Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium that will provide the ground share.
The reality of the club playing home games outside of Coventry will almost certainly cause the boycott of some supporters, while the capacity at the Sixfields is virtually 3,000 less than Coventry’s average attendance of last season in any case.
The aim is that in three years a new stadium complex will be built for the club to move into.
With Coventry and Northampton due to play at home on the same day 11 times this season, some change will definitely be needed to the fixture schedule.
However, if there are any positives to emerge, Coventry could look at Cagliari in Serie A for a ground move that makes even less sense.
Cagliari will play at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste this season, over 1,000km away from their regular home in the south of Italy.
Meanwhile, Coventry’s record on the road was better than at the Ricoh Arena last season, so an argument could be made that their chances of promotion are enhanced by the ground share.
Only League One champions Doncaster won more away games in the division last season and if the final table was based solely on away form, Coventry would have been in the play-offs.
The fact that manager Steven Pressley has also had a pre-season to work with his squad and that defender Richard Wood is the only big regular to exit so far, must offer some hope.
Coventry are 7/1 to be promoted from League One this season, which is considered more likely than the move causing them to be relegated, which is priced at 8/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.