As pre-season begins to pick up pace so do player transfers. Clubs around the country are now chopping and changing their squads in order to have a squad which can achieve their respective aims for the coming season.
This is what all us Coventry fans were hoping would be happening at our club and its not too much to have hoped for but instead we have been left with what is and has been for a very long time, just one big nightmare.
We have all heard arguments from everyone involved in this nightmare and I for one am sick of all of them. It has culminated into the club being moved out of the city and to Northampton for the foreseeable future. Note the foreseeable and not the 3 years stated by Sisu.
This three year plan is never going to be a 3 year plan. First off the football league’s statement already tells us this by using the word ‘initial’ in its statement. Using this word as everyone who picks it out knows means this is an estimation at best and complete nonsense from owners at worst who so far have delivered nothing other than disappointment.
Secondly to complete a brand new stadium in a 3 year period is ambitious to say the least. A construction on that scale is not to be taken lightly and when you include the likes of planning permission, building contracts etc into the equation three years sounds more and more like an unrealistic target.
Thirdly there seems to have been a few rumblings over Sisu’s financial capabilities to build a new stadium. This to me should be the biggest issue of all. The club has been and still is in administration subject to the football league’s approval which I think we all know will be approved on their showing when it came to ground sharing.
Correct me if I am wrong but putting administration simply it is the result of a lack of finances which results in an inability to pay costs, debts etc. I know it is more complicated because of the clubs structure but at the end of the day it is all owned and ran by Sisu related companies.
If they have plans for a new stadium in place then they must have the funds in place to build it. Surely this is something that the football league had on their checklist to approve this so called ‘temporary’ ground share arrangement that we now have with Northampton.
If these funds then are in place surely the football league must question why they did not use these funds to pay the debts they owed to Acl. We of course all know why they didn’t pay as they were trying to bankrupt Acl in order to get the Ricoh on a cut price deal. This was clear when Sisu decided to take legal action over the council’s bailout of Acl.
Personally I still feel that this is their long term plan. There is no doubt Acl and the Ricoh are going to struggle with revenues without the football club. None of us know the ins and outs of the costs involved in this Northampton arrangement but maybe Sisu have wrongfully considered it to be a risk worth taking in order to get a chance at getting their hands on the Ricoh for next to nothing.
Building a new stadium just doesn’t make sense from any angle you look at it. The costs involved are often astronomical with the time frame also being a major issue. Stadiums also are very different to any other building/construction in that they are often the focal point for a community. They are not just a home for a football club they are a place that people get excited to go to. They are a place where dreams are made and dreams are lived, they are a place for entertainment.
We already have this stadium in Coventry and it is called the Ricoh Arena. A new stadium will not challenge this arena in any aspect of the afore mentioned attributes. It will also be considerably smaller in size which will again limit it’s use.
Football will obviously be the biggest income but a stadium needs other revenue and this comes from other things including concerts, shows, hospitality, tours etc. The new stadium again will not challenge the Ricoh on any of these. Any concerts in the Coventry area will go to the Ricoh, any hospitality events for local businesses will go to the Ricoh, anyone wanting to see a stadium in the Coventry area will go to the Ricoh.
To say the future of our club is to have the 2nd best stadium in the city is a depressing thought. We will be the 2nd club in a city who only has one club.
I personally just cannot see the logic involved in this whole sorry saga. Are Sisu seriously going to benefit from all this in the long run, well I for one am 100% sure that they won’t. It seems that they still fail to realise that a football club is not a normal business and there are so many factors which Sisu seemed to have just ignored with obviously the biggest one being us fans.
I for one will not be travelling to Northampton to watch City for two main reasons. The first being I like many others refuse to support Sisu in any way anymore, they have ruined our club and will get no more of my hard earned money. Secondly even if I wanted to go to the games I would not be able to because the extra costs involved in travelling would just be too much for me and I am guessing it is the same for a lot of other city fans out there.
We are now left awaiting the outcome of the creditors meeting which should be the next big nail in the coffin of this club. Either outcome will significantly hinder this football club in one way or another and very little will change for us fans that can be almost guaranteed.