The nightmare that fans of Coventry City fans have endured since relegation in 2001 took a another turn for the worse when it was revealed that they would start the 2013/14 season with a 10-point deduction.

This is a massive blow to the club, and already the fragile hopes of promotion back into the Championship look to be shattered.

If this handicap wasn't enough, manager Steven Pressley has been unable to sign new additions to his young squad due to a transfer embargo. The only way new players can join is if a current player leaves. Even then, the new players wages have to be at most 75% of the departing players pay.

With 12 players leaving and only two new singings, (not including former academy players) the team looks weaker than it did last season.

It seems unlikely that Coventry would have been able to muster a good enough season to challenge for the play-offs, which players and fans alike seem to agree was realistic aim before the deduction. The goal for this season is survival and consolidation, such is the mess the club find themselves in. Anything else is a bonus.

Loyal fans have watched in horror as the club has fallen from Premier League stalwart status to third-tier strugglers. As a final insult, they cannot even watch home games in their own city.

Coventry will play their games at Northampton Town's home ground this season, over 30 miles away. The ongoing problems that beset the club are largely due to the huge rent they have to pay. The Ricoh Arena, their home since 2005, is thought to cost the club somewhere in the region of £1.3m a year.

Last season they were paying more, in League One, than any club was in the Championship. This would be a lot even to a club that had any money, let alone one in administration. Add to this the fact the club take no profit from food and drink sold at games or the money-spinning concerts at the stadium, and you can see why the financial issues run so deep.

The season started with a loss at Crawley and continued protests by fans, and that was followed by a morale sapping late defeat in the League Cup to Leyton Orient. The omens aren't good , but a thrilling 5-4 win at the weekend put a smile on the fans faces for a change. Still, there's much work ahead.

With a battling attitude and some very prudent spending, Coventry might just survive this season. It would be quite an achievement, considering the obstacles in front of them. At least things can't possibly get any worse. Can they? 


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