Coventry City to play Luton Town in 2023 Championship Play Off Final at Wembley

Coventry City v Luton Town Championship Play Offs

Having reached the Championship Play-Off Final, Coventry City are now one step away from returning to the Premier League after a 22 year absence

Coventry City have reached the 2023 Championship Play-Off Final after a 1-0 aggregate win in the semi-final against Middlesbrough.

The Sky Blues are looking to end their 22 year absence from the Premier League with victory against Luton Town in the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 27th May 2023.

Coventry had been in the top flight for more than 30 years before dropping down into the second tier in 2001. Since then, like Luton, they have had quite the journey to be in a position where they could realistically find themselves in the Premier League once again next season.

Following their relegation from the top flight, Coventry sacked manager Gordon Strachan, replacing him with Roland Nilsson. It was a season where the club will have looked to return to the top flight at the first time of asking, but they ended up missing out on the promotion playoffs, ending the 2001/02 season in 11th place with 66 points.

The club was, however in a dire situation financially with the Sky Blues going very close to going into administration in January 2002 – matters were not helped when ITV Digital collapsed a few months later.

Nilsson left the club at the end of that season, and replaced by Gary McAllister.

October 2003 saw the Coventry City Council give the go ahead for a new Arena project that would be Coventry’s new home with a capacity of 32,000. The stadium was partly owned by the Higgs Charity and the council themselves.

McAllister left in the middle of the 2003/04 season with Eric Black going on to take over as manager. Eric was sacked after a 12th place finish and was replaced by Peter Reid.

By January 2005, Reid left the club with Coventry in a relegation battle. Micky Adams took over to help them steer clear of danger, and he did just that with City finishing in 19th place. Adams was doing an impressive job, and he guided the club to an 8th place finish the following season (2005/06), just two spots below the play-offs.

The 2007/08 season was famous for a 2-0 Carling Cup win against Manchester United at Old Trafford. However, City were once again under threat from administration, but Ray Ronson finally completed a takeover at the 11th hour to prevent this from happening.

Coventry spent several seasons finishing in the bottom half of the Championship table until the club suffered relegation to League One with a 23rd place finish in the 2011/12 season. This would now be the club’s first experience of the third tier for 48 years.

After the sacking of manager Andy Thorn, Mark Robins took over as the club’s new manager in September 2012. Form improved considerably under Robins, who managed to take the club within touching distance of the play off spots. However, Robins left to take over at Huddersfield Town in February 2013 – Steven Pressley was chosen to take over a month later.

The 2012/13 season saw Coventry City finish 15th in the league with 55 points. The remainder of that season was not helped by a 10 point deduction that was imposed after an arm of the club entered administration after a rental dispute over the stadium.

Unfortunately for Coventry, they were forced to look for a new, temporary home after unsuccessful talks to remain at the Ricoh Arena. A deal was eventually agreed for a groundshare with Northampton Town at the Sixfields Stadium.

Another points deduction was imposed ahead of the 2013/14 season, but this did not faze them. Callum Wilson and Leon Clarke helped lead Pressley’s side to an 18th place finish.

Coventry finally struck a deal to return to the Ricoh Arena on 21st August 2014.

By the time the 2015/16 season came around, Tony Mowbray was now Manager and he led the club to an impressive 8th place finish and just 5 points off the promotion play-offs.

However, Mowbray was sacked after a poor start to the 2016/17 season, and he was replaced by Technical Director Mark Venus. Poor form at the halfway stage saw Russell Slade take over but he was then sacked in March 2017.

Mark Robins returned to the club as Slade’s successor and led the club to a 2-1 win in the Checkatrade Trophy Final against Oxford United – this was Coventry’s first silverware since 1987.

However, relegation beckoned for the Sky Blues at the end of that season and the club would be spending the 2017/18 season in League Two.

A 6th place finish was secured in League Two, seeing them enter the play-offs. Robins led the Sky Blues to an immediate return to League One after beating Exeter City 3-1 in the Play-Off Final at Wembley. This was followed up by an impressive 8th place finish in League One the following season (2018/19).

Unfortunately, the club had to groundshare once again, this time at Birmingham City’s St. Andrews.

Glory then came for City at the conclusion of the 2019/20 season when they secured the League One title.

The club finally returned to the Ricoh Arena in March 2021. The club finished in 16th and 12th place in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons respectively.

With a 5th place finish secured this season (2022/23), and after their semi-final win against Middlesbrough, Coventry City are now one step away from a return to the Premier League with Luton Town standing in their way at Wembley.

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