The 1987 FA Cup winners, who spent an unbroken 34 years in the top flight from 1967 until 2001, are due to kick off the new season on Saturday in League One, the third tier of English soccer, against Crawley Town.
Their immediate future is clouded in uncertainty, however, after Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), the owners of their home ground the Ricoh Arena, rejected proposals which would have brought the club out of administration.
"It is with great regret that a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), which would have brought CCFC Ltd out of administration and would have recovered a substantial sum of money for its creditors, has been rejected by ACL," the club said in a statement on their website (www.ccfc.co.uk).
"It means CCFC Ltd is likely to be put into liquidation which is expected to result in a points penalty for the club going into the new season."
The club were planning to hold urgent meetings with the Football League later on Friday.
Coventry had been in administration since March, costing them a 10-points penalty deduction last season, but with CCFC Limited going into liquidation, they are likely to face at least a 15-point penalty from the Football League.
Coventry had decided to play their home matches for the next three seasons at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium, around 36 miles (55kms) south-east of the city, due to an increasingly bitter row between he club's owners and ACL.
Only 215 Coventry fans have bought season tickets for the new season.