English League 1

City could face points deduction

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Tue, 26 Mar 2013 22:21:00

Gordon Strachan says Scotland have to cut out the defensive mistakes after going down 2-0 to Serbia in Novi Sad.

Scotland are now out of the running for a place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and, just as in their 2-1 defeat by Wales on Friday, they lost concentration for five key minutes in the defeat that ended any slim hopes of qualification.

Filip Duricic made the most of their lapses on 60 and 65 minutes to give Serbia three points and leave Scotland bottom of Group A with only two points from six games.

Alan Hutton was caught out by a long ball for the opening goal and was also on the end of a hospital pass from Gary Caldwell for the second, leaving Strachan wondering where his side's concentration had gone.

"When it's 1-0 you have always got a chance of winning but it seems to happen too often that when one goal comes, a second follows," said Strachan, who is still waiting for his first competitive win in charge.

"The same thing happened on Friday so if we lose a goal we really need to see that the game's not finished. There's a time in international football the players have to be told.

"It's a shame for everyone who makes a mistake after putting a lot of good work in. It's not dishonest mistakes.

"It was heavy going and I thought technically they were a right good side. Physically they were stronger than us which gave us problems but they didn't have bigger hearts than us.

"Some of these lads have never played international football before and some of them are playing with injuries but they took the responsibility on their shoulders.

"The longer the game went on the better it got for us. We were happy with loads of things but it happens too often that one goal goes in and another one quickly follows so we have to remedy that.

"It's easy to work on people who are good people. It's not a quick fix to get as strong and as technically gifted as that. But there's lots of things I know I can work on.

"I said that we might have to take a few slaps but we have to do something, we can't keep plodding along and hoping something happens. I want to pick players that will make things happen.

"Unfortunately for players like Shaun Maloney and Steven Naismith, the conditions weren't great for them but they can't be embarrassed. Sometimes when you have played a game of football, as long as you have given it your best shot you can hold your head up high. Sometimes the other team is better and that is what happened."

Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), who manage the Ricoh Arena and claim to be owed over ?1.3million in unpaid rent by the Sky Blues, today returned to the High Court in London and asked for their own application for an administration order to be dismissed.

It came after the initial hearing was adjourned last Friday, just hours after Coventry - owned by hedge fund Sisu - placed a non-operating subsidiary of the club, Coventry City Football Club Limited, into administration themselves.

The npower League One outfit insist it is business as usual as Coventry City Football Club (Holdings), which they claim runs the football operation and holds the crucial 'golden shares' which provide membership to the Football League and FA, operates as normal.

But ACL say they have it on good authority from the Football League and the Football Association that Coventry's 'golden shares' do in fact still lie with Coventry City Football Club Ltd, which has already gone into administration, hence the withdrawal of their application.

It is now down to the Football League to make an official verdict and rule on the potential 10-point penalty, which has not yet been imposed.

A statement released by ACL tonight said: "We are grateful to the Football League for coming back so quickly to our legal team to confirm that the Football League share resides with CCFC Ltd, not CCFC Holdings, as had been suggested previously by the CCFC and the appointed administrator.

"We are grateful also to the Football Association for its prompt response confirming that the Football Association share resides with CCFC Ltd, not with CCFC Holdings.

"Both of these organisations have acted quickly to bring clarity to this process and most importantly, clarify the situation for Sky Blues fans.

"It has been our understanding from the outset of this legal process that the respective shares reside with CCFC Ltd."

Coventry are currently 10th in League One, five points off the play-offs, with a 10-point deduction certain to end their promotion hopes for this term.

Coventry issued their own statement this afternoon following today's proceedings in the High Court.

Chief executive Tim Fisher said: "I acknowledge that ACL has now accepted that it must withdraw its administration application from the High Court notwithstanding the fact that this was an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction.

"I hope all parties will now focus on re-establishing a constructive dialogue for the good of the club and football in Coventry. We would like to ensure that Coventry City Football Club can, in the first instance, continue to play its remaining home matches this season at the Ricoh Arena."

It still remains to be seen where Coventry will complete their three remaining home games season, starting with Good Friday's visit of Doncaster.

The subsidiary of the club placed in administration held the lease and licence for the Ricoh Arena, covering permission to play home matches at the stadium.

Coventry have already emptied their club shop and offices from the stadium, moving all staff to their Ryton training ground.

But ACL insist the Ricoh Arena remains available for use by City, who are hopeful of striking a new short-term deal, with an agreement expected in the next 48 hours.

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