Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City fans stay away from new 'home' Northampton ground

Not many fans decided to turn up at the Northampton game (top) compared to the charity match at the Ricoh Arena
Image caption About 1,500 fans attended the game at Northampton (top) compared to about 5,000 at the charity match at the Ricoh Arena

Some Coventry City fans have boycotted their team's first home game at Northampton Town's ground.

The Sky Blues, who went into administration in March, are playing their home games 34 miles away after a dispute with Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) over rent at the Ricoh Arena.

Earlier this month, the club was deducted 10 points by the Football League and still faces liquidation.

Several fans gathered to protest ahead of the match against Bristol City.

BBC Midlands Today sports editor Nick Clitheroe, estimated there were 1,500 Coventry fans at the game.

The match finished 5-4 to Coventry.

But about 5,000 Sky Blues supporters went to a charity match which kicked off an hour before at the Ricoh Arena, featuring Coventry City Legends v Midlands All Stars.

During that charity match some fans chanted: "We want [club's former owners] Sisu out."

After the game, hundreds of fans flooded the pitch.

At the start of July the club announced it would be playing its home games for the next three seasons at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium - a move which has generated much opposition from fans.

Some gathered outside the stadium ahead of the game urging other Coventry supporters not to go to the match.

Watching from hill

Sky Blues fan Brian Treadwell, who lives in London, said that until this season he went to all home and away matches.

Image caption Fans gathered outside the stadium ahead of the game urged other supporters not to attend

He stopped at Sixfields on Sunday to get a programme on his way to the Ricoh Arena for the charity match, but said he would not go to watch his team play any games at Northampton.

Stephen McFarlane, from Tile Hill, Coventry, said before the match he was going to watch it from the hill above the stadium.

He said: "Why should I pay to go into a ground that isn't Coventry's? Why aren't they in my city?"

Last week, the club's first League One match of the season had to be stopped for three minutes after protesting fans ran on to the pitch.

About a dozen fans staged the protest when the team went 2-0 down in the first half of the game at Crawley Town.

Coventry City FC Ltd faces liquidation after ACL rejected a Company Voluntary Arrangement earlier this month.

But an application by the Otium Entertainment Group for a transfer of the club's share in The Football League has been accepted and they have been allowed to compete in League One.

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