Coventry City are facing expulsion from the Football League unless they can provide guarantees around where the club will play their home matches next season.
The Blues’ current agreement at the Ricoh Arena expires at the end of the season, and they have until March 5 to outline their plans for the future to the league’s governing body – with serious repercussions facing them if they don’t.
A statement on the EFL’s website on Friday clearly outlined the league’s stance, with planning already under way for 2019/20’s fixture schedule.
It read: “In previous correspondence, the Board has been very clear about the need for Coventry City to provide absolute confirmation early in the second half of the current season.
“The club will still be given every opportunity to develop and present an appropriate resolution throughout the process, but the EFL is yet to receive any indication of where Coventry City intend to play next season.
“The club has until 5 March 2019 to provide a further update to the Board, addressing the outstanding matter and should a satisfactory solution not be found over the next two months, an Extraordinary General Meeting of Clubs will be convened to consider Coventry City’s expulsion from the League.”
The EFL’s chief executive Shaun Harvey insisted the tough stance had been taken with some reluctance, but it was necessary to ensure all clubs meet the same standard and obligations that come with being part of the league.
“The matter of Coventry City’s efforts to secure a home venue for 2019/20 season and beyond has been a serious concern for all parties for a significant period of time and the objective of the EFL, as it has always been, is to secure an appropriate solution for the long-term future of the club as they are a much valued member of our competition.
“The course of action taken this week is with reluctance, but the League has to ensure the integrity of our competitions is maintained and all clubs meet the obligations that come with being a member of the EFL.
“We remain in regular dialogue with the club and will provide all practical available assistance in line with EFL Regulations.”
This latest development is another blow for Coventry, who are currently appealing a court ruling that rejected a judicial review into the sale of the stadium to Wasps back in 2014 – which has in turn, delayed any agreement on a new stadium lease.