Gaming Editor Kyle Moffatt reacts to the EFL’s decision to award Coventry the League One title, meaning the Sky Blues are back in England’s second tier
On the 9th June 2020, a crucial decision was made by the English Football League (EFL) regarding Leagues One and Two. The 2019/20 season would not resume due to COVID-19 and the final league tables would be based on a weighted points-per-game system, but relegations and promotions would still take place. Fortunately for Coventry City, they were promoted to the Championship as champions of League One, ending their eight-year absence from the second tier of English football. For the first time since 1967, the Sky Blues can also celebrate winning a league title, which could be a sign of things to come from this promising squad.
Manager Mark Robins has played an integral role in their recent success since taking charge in March 2017. After less than a month in the role, he guided the team to a historic victory in the EFL Trophy Final on the 2nd April. Despite the club’s relegation to League Two, hopes remained high among supporters due to the positive impact of Robins’ arrival. The Sky Blues then bounced back immediately and managed to comfortably survive in League One the following season. With promotion to the Championship now sealed, Coventry have certainly come a long way under Robins in such a short space of time.
Despite their upturn in fortunes, times have been tough for the West Midlands club. Two relegations and two spells playing away from Coventry in the past decade are enough to justify fan frustrations. Such issues have not entirely faded as court battles ensue away from the pitch, causing uncertainty over the next few years in the club’s history. Memories of the club’s illustrious 34 years in England’s top league have all but faded. However, being within one division of the Premier League may reignite supporters’ hopes of seeing Coventry in the top-flight in the future.
A lack of rivals in the lower leagues – excluding Sunderland and Walsall – have undoubtedly reduced average attendances for the Sky Blues in recent years. Facing the likes of Birmingham City, Derby County and Nottingham Forest next season, with the stakes higher than usual, should result in more excitement leading up to matches. When Coventry fans are allowed to sit in the stands again, we can expect to see an increase in numbers and a positive atmosphere to match.
This is an exceptional moment for the supporters and fellow Midlands clubs will take notice of their rival’s recent achievements. However, it is not just the supporters who are feeling ecstatic right now. Current players Callum O’Hare and Fankaty Dabo celebrated the success on social media platforms, posting videos of themselves in high spirits. Meanwhile, former Coventry star Carl Baker took to Facebook in a buoyant mood to celebrate the league victory.
Celebrations will continue through the summer in anticipation of the 2020-21 Championship campaign. Coventry’s sole focus will be to avoid relegation, but becoming an established team in the second tier will be the long-term goal for the club. Beating some of their local rivals would restore some faith in the club going forward and may spell the end of some truly dark times in its history. Hopefully, after experiencing much turmoil recently, Coventry will rise from the shadows, emerging as a serious force.
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