Coventry City Club Profile
Coventry City : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :|
We've Met Before;
Directions To The Ground;
Food And Drink;
Coventry City : Club Background
Like many football clubs, Coventry City's early years had a slightly nomadic and formational look to them, before they settled into the stadium and existence that would define the majority of their existence. They were formed as Singers FC in 1883. No, they weren't choristers, but were in fact cyclists - the team was formed by William Stanley who worked for the Singer bicycle factory in Coventry. Five years later they changed the team's name to its current one, and in 1899 moved to their famous Highfield Road ground, having previously played at Dowells Field and Stoke Road.
The Ricoh Arena, as viewed from a footbridge - this will be your first view of the stadium if you're walking from the city centre
Photo © 2013 Ciderspace
Once settled in at Highfield Road, they moved from the Birmingham League they had joined as Singers FC, into the Southern League in 1908. When World War I ended in 1919, they became members of the Football League, although needed until Christmas Day of that year before they won their first match at that level!
Their early years in the league were fairly non-descript, largely hanging around the lower divisions - their 1935-36 Division Three South title win standing out and taking them up to Division Two where they stayed on either side of the Second World War. But by 1952, they were relegated again to Division Three South.
When the two regionalised third tier divisions were nationalised, Coventry even found themselves in Division Four for the start of the 1958-59 season. However, it was to be their one and only season at that level, and also was to spark a significant rise up through the divisions that would see their whole club change beyond recognition. In 1961, Jimmy Hill arrived at Highfield Road as manager. Their home kit was changed from red and black, to a sky blue colour, and with that their previous nickname of the Bantams was lost as the Sky Blues nickname stuck.
We can imagine that some traditionalists might not have appreciated such radicalism, but with Coventry winning the Third Division title in 1963-64 and then the Second Division title in 1966-67, if there were any dissenters, they'd have been drowned out by the sudden success the club was having. The 51,455 that turned up at the tail end of that second title-winning season for a home game against Wolves was to stand as Highfield Road's all-time attendance record. The stadium itself was heavily modernised, with three out of the four sides being rebuilt to satisfy the new demands of a city that was booming largely thanks to car factories in the area.
Jimmy Hill never managed them in the top flight. He decided to quit football management entirely, deciding that there might be a few career opportunities for him in television coverage of the game. Despite the loss of the man who got them there, Coventry City had become big enough as a club to stay there, becoming one of the mainstays of top flight football between 1967 and 2001.
Inside the Ricoh Arena, with the North Stand at the far end
Photo © 2013 Ciderspace
Their peak as a club came during the 1969-70 season when they managed a 6th place finish under new boss Noel Cantwell - good enough to give them admission into the European Fairs Cup (an early version of what is now the Europa League). Otherwise they tended to be a fairly solid mid-table side with the odd injury scare.
The late 1980s brought them a major high and a major low inside 18 months, involving the same competition. Their 1987 FA Cup final win over Tottenham Hotspur represents their only major national trophy, as a Dave Bennett goal and a stunning header from Keith Houchen pushed Spurs into extra time - the 3-2 win eventually won by an own goal, as Gary Mabbutt's knee became legendary amongst Sky Blues fans. However, the 1988-89 season also immortalised Coventry City into FA Cup folklore for the wrong reasons, as they lost 2-1 against Sutton United at Gander Green Lane creating one of the biggest modern day cup shocks.
A total of 34 years after they had risen to the top of English league football, May 5th 2001 saw a Gordon Strachan led side lose their grip, and suffer the club's first relegation since 1952. They were never to return, and rarely looked like doing so - an 8th placed finish in 2005-06 represented the nearest they got to bouncing back.
After 106 years at Highfield Road, they vacated it in 2005, with the stadium being demolished a year later and sold off for housing development. Moving to the Ricoh Arena on the outskirts of town, the 32,609 capacity stadium was meant to bring a new dawn for the club - instead they almost went out of business. In 2007, crippled by £38 million worth of debt, they went into administration, and according to legend were 20-30 minutes from going out of business, taken over by current owners the SISU Group. But the general malaise was still there, and after finishes of 17th, 21st, 17th, 19th and 18th, no-one should have been surprised by the eventual 23rd place finish in 2011-12 that took them back into third tier football for the first time since 1964.
Yeovil and Coventry met at league level for the first time during 2012-13 as the Sky Blues finished in an underwhelming 15th position. But we were to miss the majority of Coventry's woes - a self-inflicted financial collapse during the following season that saw them go on rent strike, refusing to pay ACL, the owners of their stadium, any money over a 12 month period, and unsurprisingly ACL took them to court. The end result was that the group company responsible for Coventry's rental payments went into administration, they had 10 points deducted, and ended up finishing in 18th place in the final league table, just four points above the relegation zone.
Moreover, Coventry City spent the whole of the 2013-14 season exiled at Sixfields, home of Northampton Town FC, with the stadium landlords refusing to negotiate with them whilst Coventry's owners SISU took their own (ultimately failed) court action against ACL and their major shareholders Coventry City Council. Gates plummeted as the majority of Sky Blues fans boycotted the stadium, and a groundswell of their fans launched a well organised plan to get their club back to Coventry - with our without SISU's ownership. During the early part of the 2014-15 season, a judge and the Football League separately ruled on a number of matters surrounding money owed to ACL, and that provided the breakthrough for outstanding payments to be made and for Coventry to finally return to the Ricoh Arena. As such Yeovil Town have timed it rather well - our last visit to the Ricoh in February 2012 was just before the stadium row kicked off, and we return as only the second club (with Gillingham the first) to set foot in the stadium - unlike almost every other League One club we've managed to miss everything associated with Coventry's recent woes.
The West Stand at the Ricoh Arena, which is closest to the away section
Photo © 2013 Ciderspace
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|Coventry City : We've Met Before|
|Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Coventry City
|26/08/2017||Home||EFL2||W||2-0||3754||Browne 27, Olomola 75|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Coventry City
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Coventry City : Club Statistics
|23/09/2017||Exeter City||Home||EFL2||W||2-0||8340||Brown 58, Kelly-Evans 90|
|26/09/2017||Swindon Town||Away||EFL2||W||2-1||6340||Doyle 32, Nazon 76|
|30/09/2017||Crewe Alexandra||Home||EFL2||W||1-0||7664||Nazon 9|
|17/10/2017||Forest Green Rovers||Home||EFL2||L||0-1||6366|
Highest League Attendance: 10350, vs Notts County, 04/08/2017
Lowest League Attendance: 6151, vs Carlisle United, 12/09/2017
Average League Attendance: 7795
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win: ||3
||Games Without A Home Win: ||1
|Games Without An Away Win: ||2
||Games Without Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Home Defeat: ||0
||Games Without An Away Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Draw: ||2
||Games Without A Score Draw: ||14
|Games Without A No-Score Draw: ||2
||Games Without Scoring: ||3
|Games Without Conceding: ||0
||Home Results Sequence: ||LWWWWL
|Away Results Sequence: ||LDLWDL
||Overall Results Sequence: ||WWWDLL
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Coventry City : Club Information
The Ricoh Arena
(Click for map)
Telephone Number : 0844-873-1883
Fax : 024-7623-4099
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Managing Director : Tim Fisher
Secretary : Pam Hindson
Safety Officer : Arthur Barrett
Web Site / Press Officer : Nick Connoll
Manager : Steven Pressley
Capacity : 32,609
Seated : 32,609
Covered Terrace : n/a
Record Attendance (Highfield Road) : 51,455 (Wolverhampton Wanderers, Division Two, April 29th 1967)
Record Attendance (Ricoh Arena) : 31,407 (Chelsea, FA Cup 6th Round, March 7th 2009)
Colours : Sky Blue (see below!)
Nickname : Sky Blues (see above!)
Ticket Prices :
Away supporters at the Ricoh Area are allocated the South Stand at the ground, which seats up to 3,000 people. The tendency is for them to open up Blocks 6 and 7 for smaller supports which is on the corner of the South Stand and the West Stand (known as the Lloyds Pharmacy Stand). Hence although you're theoretically behind the goal, you're tucked into the corner. Note there is quite a steep incline on the stand. There's a red 'moat' between the stands and the pitch itself (it's not an athletics track, but has that effect) meaning that you're quite a distance from the pitch. Prices for this 2014-15 fixture are as follows:
Adults: £22.00; Over-60s and Aged 16-21: £15.00; Juniors: £11.00.
Note that all tickets increase by £2.00 on the day of the match. We have seen some mixed reports on paying on the day - some turnstiles appear to be unmanned, using the barcode on the ticket (as per MK Dons, Southend etc). However, we have seen that there's "cash admission on the turnstiles" - we'd suggest you work on the worst case scenario that you might need to purchase from the CCFC Superstore on the day before going into the ground.
Wheelchair users and ambulant disabled supporters pay the above prices, as per their age, but can admit an assistant free of charge. You will need to be on the Medium or Higher rate of Disability Living Allowance to qualify. There are 19 Wheelchair spaces for visiting supporters, all with an adjacent seat for an assistant. Ambulant Disabled supporters can sit in any seat. Coventry indicate that all relevant Club Shop, Ticket Office and Food/Drink counters have suitable provisions for disabled supporters.
For disabled parking spaces, contact 0844 873 6514 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - for other arrangements contact Dan Walker who is the club's Disabled Liaison Officer. He can be reached on 0844 873 6332 or via email email@example.com
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Coventry City : Directions To The Ground
Inside the South Stand, which is the away allocation - you'll be in the South-West corner
Photo © 2013 Ciderspace
In terms of finding the Ricoh Area, this must be one of the easiest ones to pinpoint. As with most modern football stadiums, this is an out of town ground. Coventry is situated on the south-east side of Birmingham, and the ground is around three miles north-east of the city centre on the A444, barely a few hundred yards from the M6, Junction 3. If you're driving things can't be more straight-forward than that.
If you're coming in from any other direction, we'll assume you can work out your own instructions - M6 Junction 3 is where you need to be, then take the A444 towards Coventry as above.
Assuming you're coming from the Yeovil/West Country direction, take the M5 as far as Junction 4A, then join the M42 Eastbound. Take the M42 as far as Junction 7, then drop onto the M6 London bound. Stay on the M6 for one junction only, then take the Junction 3 exit onto the A444 towards Coventry. This is Pheonix Way, and you will find the Ricoh Area on your left-hand side at the next roundabout.
There are 2,000 car parking spaces available at the Ricoh Arena, across three car parks. Car Park A and Car Park B are out of bounds unless you already have a car parking pass by other means. Spaces in Car Park C are available at £10.00. This is accessible from the A444 Pheonix Way Road dual carriageway, followed by a short walk across the pedestrian footbridge or under the subway to the arena.
You can book parking places by phone on 0844 873 6514. Coventry don't make it clear what would happen if you tried to turn up and pay on the day, although they don't specifically tell you that you can't. Give them a call if that's important to you.
The car park opens at 12.00 midday, closing at 8.00p.m. For midweek matches it opens at 5.00p.m., closing at 11.00p.m.
If you don't want to stump up what is a fairly hefty fee to park at the stadium, you should note that according to the stadium company there is "a strict residents' parking scheme enforced on event days as part of the Ricoh Arena’s green travel plan. This enforcement lies within two kilometers of the venue." They say that there are some independent car parking arrangements in the area, but these are not governed by Coventry City or the stadium operators.
There are a number of alternative car parks advertised. These are situated at Christ The King in Winding House Lane (Postcode CV7 9HS), Wayside Business Park and Novotel in Wilson's Lane which is just off the B4113 (Postcode CV6 6HL), St Finbars in Parkgate Road (Postcode CV6 4DJ), Leisure Ireland (website) (CV7 9GA) and two car parks hosted by Ricoh Arena Event Parking in Oban Road (B4113) (Postcode CV6 6HH). Expect to pay between £2.50 and £6.00. All options are around 10 minutes walk from the stadium - the Novotel and Leisure Ireland options are the closest to the M6.
The good news is that there will soon be a Coventry Arena railway station. The bad news is that it's not opened yet. Planning approval was granted in July 2012, and work was due to start on it in December 2012, but there have been a series of delays in getting the work done. It will sit on the Coventry to Nuneaton line with four trains per hour from Coventry, and two per hour from Nuneaton on matchdays, and with the existing track running parallel to one side of the stadium (see photo at the top of the guide) will be only a short walk away. However, that's no good for this 2014-15 fixture. The latest date for completion of this work is May 2015, although as this is around the third or fourth different date that's been published, don't rely upon that for future visits!
Coventry railway station is currently your nearest possible line. This is situated around six miles from the stadium, and so clearly walking between the two isn't an option. You'll either need a taxi or a bus. If you choose to take a bus from the railway station, you'll need one bus towards the bus station, and then another one from the bus station to the ground. See the 'By Bus' instructions for more info.
Routes from Yeovil vary according to the time of day, and may result in you leaving/returning to/from either Yeovil Junction or Yeovil Pen Mill, so you'll need a specific route planned out. The Yeovil Junction route is the most straight-forward, changing at Basingstoke. There is a route via Pen Mill that takes you via Westbury and Reading. You're looking at around a four hour trip each way, give or take 15-20 minutes.
For those coming out of London, Coventry is on the Euston line. There is a fast service taking about an hour, and a much slower stopping service taking 90-120 minutes. Both services are direct.
Check the National Rail Enquiries site for details of services.
Service 101 operates from Pool Meadow bus station directly to the stadium. Services start running around two hours before kick-off on a shuttle basis. To board the bus, you need a 'Coventry Matchdaysaver' ticket. Cost is £4.00 for adults and £2.80 for those aged up to and including 15 years old. You can purchase this ticket via any National Express Coventry bus from four hours before kick-off.
You can also get a number of bulk standard services that run on all days of the week. Bus No.4 and No.5 serve the Ricoh Arena from the city centre, whilst you can also catch a 20, 20A or 20E service. Get off at the Tesco Extra store at Arena Park for the nearest stop to the stadium.
Note for those coming in via the railway station, if you're thinking of catching a bus to the ground, there is quite some distance between rail and bus stations. The railway station is on the southern tip of the inner ring road, whilst the bus station is on the north east side in Fairfax Street (Postcode CV1 5RX). However, there are plenty of connecting buses to get you there.
A selection of Coventry taxi companies can be found here. Note that if you want a return journey after the game, you may want to agree a meeting point to avoid getting snarled up around the stadium area.
The East Stand in the Ricoh Arena
Photo © 2013 Ciderspace
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|Coventry City : Web Resources|
Coventry City Mad
Our reviews of the Mad franchise tend to be rather on the withering side. Often unmanned, with articles being auto-added through Press Association feeds. Not so this one - it's manned by real Coventry City supporters and you can tell the difference. Very comprehensive approach to news, and thus a rarity of a Mad franchise site that we'd give a firm thumbs up to.
Coventry City Official Website
Coventry City's club website. Under the PTV network. They appear to have gone to a bit more effort than some clubs to add information, but it still suffers with PTV-inflicted navigation hell.
Sky Blues Blog
Actually, this is a little bit more than a Sky Blues Blog - more a fully functioning independent website. In addition to the articles which give the site its name there are player profiles, polls, podcasts, match reports and very minimal adverts.
|Web Message Boards|
Sky Blues Talk
Bulletin board style set of forums. Guests can read - you have to register to post.
E-Mail Mailing Lists and Newsletters
Online dedicated Coventry City FC section from the Coventry Telegraph - updated daily.
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Coventry City : Food & Drink
With this being a (very) out of town ground, you almost know what to expect - separated from the better city pubs, and with a healthy walk to find a decent pub that isn't part of a retail park chain. We've therefore included a blend of those pubs that suit convenience for those heading direct to the ground, vs those who are arriving at the City Centre and therefore have more time to explore a bit.
There is one proper brewery in the city, with Byatt's Brewery serving up Coventry Bitter, Pheonix Gold, Urban Red and Regal Blond in order of strength. Their website doesn't list any known pubs within walking distance of the ground that stock their beer, so you'll need to be in the centre if you want to try them out. There is a new single pub micro-brewery called The Rainbow, in Allesley Village, but they've yet to go out to the mass market, and it's a decent drive to the opposite side of the city.
Club Bar :
Alcohol is on sale inside the ground, subject to the usual rules on the sale of beer in football concourse bars. We're talking plastic bottles of Carling Lager and Magners Cider. For once you'll probably wish they did have ice chucked into your Magners as reports suggest there's no attempt to chill these bottles. There's obviously food inside the stadium, but you'll find a burger van or two around the stadium as well.
Local Pubs :
As there are only a few pubs around the stadium, expect them to be packed full of Coventry fans, and to have bouncers on the door. You'll therefore stand more of a chance of admission if you've got your club colours zipped up and are acting sensibly when you enter. There's a few mixed messages in terms of whether away fans are specifically barred from the most local pubs, probably because of that sort of 'discretion' applied by the bouncers on a match-to-match basis.
|Black Horse: Walking distance from the ground and useful if you're using one of the couple of car parks close to the Novatel. It's situated on the opposite side of the motorway - head under the M6 at the roundabout next to the Novatel and into Longford Road (B4113 northbound).|
Black Horse, Coventry Road, Exhall, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV7 9FU. Tel: 02476362020. Map: Click Here.
|City Arms: One of a couple of Wetherspoon outlets in the city centre. This one is rated as the best one, but suffers slightly in convenience in that it's situated on the west side of the railway station - thus taking you a little further away from the football ground and the bus station than you really want to be. If your opinion is that all Wetherspoon pubs are much of a muchness, you may prefer the Flying Standard or the Earl of Mercia which are both in the heart of the inner city area.|
City Arms, 1, Earlsdon Street, Earlsdon, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV5 6EP. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|Coach and Horses: In the same road as the Longford Engine, a little further south, and thus as the crow flies a little closer to the Ricoh Arena. Very much a home pub, so use discretion over club colours.|
Coach and Horses, Longford Road, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV6 6BG. Tel: 02476-365-795. Map: Click Here.
|Greyhound Inn: Situated walking distance from the Ricoh Arena - provided you can find the canal path to walk along to get to/from the pub/ground. Driving there, it's best accessed via the Black Horse pub in Exhall, north of the ground - turn towards Exhall and Bedworth (B4113 northbound) at the Novatel roundabout and go under the motorway. Turn right at the Black Horse and follow Black Horse Road as it loops around and starts to turn back to go under the motorway again. Sutton Stop is a left turn towards the canal. Local CAMRA branch pub of the Year.|
Greyhound Inn, Sutton Stop, Longford, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV6 6DF. Tel: 02476-363046. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|Longford Engine: One of the closer pubs to the Ricoh Arena and therefore a bit of a home pub. About a 15 minute walk from the ground, on the B4113 between the motorway junction and the stadium. Expect to have to be discreet about club colours in this pub.|
Longford Engine, 270 Bedworth Road, Longford, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV6 6BP. Tel: 024-7664-5343. Map: Click Here.
|Whitefriars Olde Ale House: A worthwhile option for those coming in via Coventry railway station, and wanting an olde worlde real ale pub in the city centre. Opens at 12 noon and serves Sharp's Doom Bar and five rotating guest ales, with reports that local brewers Byatt's Brewery are well served here.|
Whitefriars Olde Ale House, 114-115 Gosford Street, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV1 5DL. Tel: 024-7625-1655. Map: Click Here.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :
Coventry fit into the category of club where they won't really see Yeovil Town as worth getting shirty about, but are a large enough club to expect away supporters to be seen and not heard.
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Coventry City : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels
Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide
to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.
Other Points Of Interest
Coventry as a city is a little bit grey and concrete-filled to ever fit the bill of being a tourist attraction. However, there are a few places worth visiting, such as Coventry Transport Museum and the Midland Air Museum if transport-related stuff is your thing. You can also visit Coventry Cathedral - something that is probably more interesting for the ruins of the two original cathedrals, St. Mary's Priory and Cathedral and the original St Michael's Church that was bombed during the Second World War. The fragments of both still remain, with the rather more modern St Michael's Cathedral next to the ruins of its namesake.
[No responsibilty is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]
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