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Coventry City will do well to match last season's support as season tickets remain unsold

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According to reports in the Coventry Telegraph, Coventry City FC were consistently third-highest placed club for attendances in League One last term, behind Sheffield United and Portsmouth respectively.

However, City’s average league gate fell by more than a quarter in the club’s first season since relegation from the Championship.

Ricoh Arena gates were down 27 per cent to an average 10,973 compared to the previous season’s 15,120, and 17,420 four years ago in, although some of that can be put down to diminished numbers of away fans in League One.

That said, the stadium still attracted on average the second highest number of away fans (812) in the division.

The figures could  bedrastically reduced in the new season given the club still hasn’t revealed where they will be playing their home matches next season, sparking threats from some supporters to boycott home fixtures if they are away from the Ricoh Arena. It is impossible to allocate fans their season ticket whilst the ground issue is resolved. It also prevents the club allocating tickets to those clubs due to visit Coventry at the start of the season

At the club’s recent series of fans’ forums chief executive Tim Fisher estimated that a groundshare crowd could be between 6-7,000 if the Sky Blues are doing well, but conceded attendances could be as low as 3,000 if results are poor.

Fisher said: “If the team does really well; people like to watch winning football,” but he admitted: “The numbers don’t look great, but that is the risk.”

But despite the overall fall at home the club were still the third-best supported club in their division and the Sky Blues travelling support rose by 21 per cent to an average of 1,115 – the second highest in League One – from 923 the previous year.

That was, no doubt, boosted by the novelty factor of many fans travelling to grounds where they and the team had never been before as well as City’s outstanding away form which saw them chalk up a record 11 victories on the road, in stark contrast to the season before when they managed just one win away from home.

The 4,988 City supporters who made the trip to MK Dons at Christmas was the fourth-biggest away following for any game in the Football League, beating five Championship clubs including Leicester, with the highest being Sheffield Wednesday 5,971.

The club’s highest league attendance at the Ricoh was 15,185 against Shrewsbury Town on New Year’s Day when Mark Robins’s men lost 1-0. That compares to 22,240 who turned out to watch a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City the previous March, equating to a 32 per cent drop.

However, City will have topped the charts for all competitions with their 31,054 sell-out attendance, including 29,582 Sky Blues’ fans, in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final against Crewe in February.

LK

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