Coventry City were unable to play four home matches at the Coventry Stadium as scheduled due to pitch damage ©Getty Images

English football club Coventry City have played their first home match at the Coventry Stadium since the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, following a series of postponements due to the condition of the pitch.

The venue was used for concerts during English football's close season, followed by rugby sevens matches at Birmingham 2022 from July 29 to 31.

The resulting impact on the playing surface led to Coventry's home matches in the Championship against Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town on August 7, 16 and 20 respectively being postponed, while an English Football League Cup tie at home to Bristol City on August 10 was moved to Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium around 40 miles away.

The club was able to play its first match of the season at the Coventry Stadium last night with the pitch described as "safe and playable", although they lost 1-0 to Preston North End in the Championship.

In a statement, the club claimed that rugby sevens matches during Birmingham 2022 had made that pitch unplayable for football, but said improvements are planned.

"We apologise again to fans for inconvenience and disruption caused by the pitch issues," Coventry City said.

"Prior to the Commonwealth Games we were confident that the pitch would be playable for us to begin the season, and it was only following the usage at the Games that this changed.

"Following the end of the Commonwealth Games and the usage/lack of stadium access that involved, the Club is able to again be in regular dialogue with the stadium regarding the pitch and view the pitch, and we are confident the improvements made will ensure it is in a suitable condition for the rest of this season.

"Coventry City are not paying any additional funds on top of our rent agreement fee to fund the pitch improvements.

"While the stadium and pitch is not under our ownership or control, it is difficult to directly influence the pitch condition, though we will continue to be in constructive dialogue with the Arena."

Coventry City said that
Coventry City said that "prior to the Commonwealth Games we were confident that the pitch would be playable for us to begin the season" ©Getty Images

During the Commonwealth Games, a Birmingham 2022 spokesperson said that it had been planned for "several years" for the Organising Committee to be tenants of the Coventry Stadium and adjoining Coventry Arena from July 8 until August 14, but that it had been flexible to "accommodate CCFC matches within our tenancy".

The Coventry Stadium opened its doors in 2005, and held football matches at the London 2012 Olympics.

Coventry City's recent history has been marked by spells playing outside of the city amid disputes over the club's tenancy at the Stadium.

They played home matches at Northampton Town in 2013 and 2014 and at Birmingham City's St Andrews from 2019 to 2021 before returning to the Coventry Stadium at the start of the 2021-2022 season.

In the club's statement, it said the owners are leading a "long-term new stadium project", and it will "share news on this as soon as we can".