WORCESTER City’s trip to Coventry United on Wednesday will be played behind closed doors.

Despite fans being allowed into most non-league matches below National North and South level, the elite status of three of the teams playing from United’s Butts Park Arena base has meant the gates have remained closed.

Coventry RFC own the stadium and lease it to United for men’s and women’s football, the latter being classed as elite due to their FA Women’s Championship status.

The city’s rugby league team Coventry Bears also plays from there.

Other clubs in the Midland Football League Premier Division can welcome up to 300 fans – 30 per cent of the minimum capacity for the level – but United has been left out on a limb.

“It is classed as an elite stadium so we have been told we are not allowed to have fans in,” said Red and Greens chairman Marcus Green.

“It was meant to be okay from October 1 as part of the government’s strategy but then that got pushed out.

“We are stuck in an awkward situation because there are three teams classed as elite and then there’s our men’s side.”

Worcester Raiders has had no such problems playing from Sixways at the same time as Premiership rugby taking place but Green explained that inconsistency would be down to how the requirements are interpreted between stadium operators and their local authorities.

“We brought that up with the powers that be,” added green.

“I am not sure how they have got around it but because Coventry Rugby own the stadium, they have had their safety certificate temporarily suspended so we cannot allow supporters in.

“Butts Park Arena is still working with the local authority to allow fans in but until something changes there is nothing we can do as a club.

“It has been hard, it makes creating revenue like getting blood out of a stone but we have our live streaming up and running now so at least fans get to watch games.”