Coventry City have accepted a 10-point deduction from the Football League after parent company Coventry City Ltd agreed to go into liquidation following the rejection of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) by the owners of the Ricoh Arena.
Arena Coventry Limited's decision to turn down a proposal that would have meant the club return to the Ricoh Arena on a greatly reduced rent with a 10-year lease has left supporters fearing that this could be the beginning of the end.
With the prospect of a 70-mile round trip to Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium for home games this season, 215 season tickets have been sold before today's opener at Crawley Town.
"It's a deplorable situation but this has been coming," said Jonathan Strange, who resigned as chairman of the London Supporters Club after other members voted to boycott home games this season.
"The failure of the club and the council to sort this out has been shameful – to be in this position where we are now going to be penalised is incredible. I have no optimism about the immediate future."
Over 30,000 Sky Blues fans were at the first leg of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern area final against Crewe Alexandra in February. Hedge fund Sisu have invested £45m since taking control of the club in 2008 but many supporters now feel betrayed by their decision to abandon the Ricoh.
ACL have urged the administrators to come back with another proposed CVA and Strange added: "We need to have an independent organisation running the stadium with the skills to promote it as the top-class venue it is.
"The time has come for people to see beyond the end of their noses. We have to think that even with a points deduction we are able to survive but the transfer embargo will make it very difficult."