COVENTRY CITY – The rise and fall of an English football club
On Monday 8th July, 2013, the Football League ‘reluctantly approved’ an application which allows Coventry City to play their ‘home’ games at Sixfields Stadium, home of Northampton Town, ‘for an initial period of three seasons’.
Over the past fortnight, I’ve heard of so many people, numbers, and excuses behind this farce. I’ve heard the names of different companies who are working for both sides. But the people who are being forgotten are the ones who are feeling it most, the fans.
Whatever happens between supporters, be it the laughs, the arguments, the hours of mocking each others failures, we all have one thing in common, we support our football club. Now I’m no Coventry City fan, I am in-fact a supporter of their biggest rivals, but the sympathy, felt by all football fans in the country, is there.
Everybody should be able to turn up at their local ground at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and support their team. That privilege has been taken away by people who have no idea what they’re doing to the average supporter.
The money-men have killed football as we know it, and these financial fair play rules have been brought in ten years too late for the likes of Coventry, with 130 years of history set to be taken out of the City boundary.
So what next for the Sky Blues? Do they suffer the 34 mile commute for a home game? Or do they create a new Club within the City? Poppy Houston is a lifelong Coventry City fan, and is in no doubt where her priorities lie: “I won’t be going to Sixfields, I don’t think many will, but I’ll be travelling away”
There have been fears that Northampton won’t be able to accommodate the Sky Blues, as the average attendance at the Ricoh Arena surpasses the total capacity at Sixfields. “I think our ‘home’ gate will suffer, but we’ll have a larger away following.” Poppy says, “Wherever we play, there will still be ‘SISU out’ songs and banners, it’s been pretty standard for a few years now”.
In recent years, more fans have been setting up their own football clubs in reaction to what’s happening ‘upstairs’.
FC United’s fan-base consists of Manchester United supporters who have become disillusioned with the Glazer era. They enjoy non-league days out, beer on the terraces, and fair prices. Many of these clubs adopt a very ‘against modern football’ mind-set, could we be seeing the same in Coventry?
Coventry United was set up in protest, and are whole-heartedly against the board at City, but they insist they’re not giving up on their beloved Sky Blues as a spokesman says: “It is unfair to offer Coventry United as a breakaway club.
“Even if a new club changed its club name and kit colours it would never be Coventry City, or have its history.” This opinion is shared by the fans, with one saying: “I’m not going to support a new club just because it’s convenient. They can try all they like, but they’ll never be Coventry City Football Club”
After everything that has been happening in the boardroom at the Ricoh Arena, it’s easy to forget that they still have football to play. The new season kicks off in four weeks, and the fans insist they’ll be with them all the way, despite the never-ending obstacles.
“The mess upstairs shouldn’t stop people from supporting the badge on the front of the shirt, we need to get behind the boys”
The club are still technically in administration and under a transfer embargo, so manager Steven Pressley will inevitably have to turn to youth for the coming season.
It’s a sad state of affairs for any football club when anything other than what’s happening on the pitch takes centre stage. I’m sure Coventry fans will be out in force for their first pre-season game at Nuneaton on Saturday, and I hope they make themselves heard.
I hope the people, the companies, and the landlords involved resolve this situation as soon as possible, and the Club is restored to its rightful place, within the city of Coventry.
What do you think of the current situation at Coventry City? Are you a fan of the club? Comment below and get involved!