There were very few positives to be taken from what was one of Coventry City’s darkest seasons in football.
There was however a number of young players who came into the squad who performed admirably and one player in particular who really shone was Oliver Norwood.
Norwood arrived on loan from Manchester United in the January transfer window and went on to make 18 appearances for Coventry, scoring two goals from central midfield. It was clear from the start that he had come from a club like Manchester United because of the way he played and conducted himself on the pitch.
His awareness to read the game and his hunger to get on the ball and influence the game was great to see. It was also clear that he had an eye for a pass, very much like Paul Scholes does for United, as we witnessed on numerous occasions him ping the ball from the centre of the park to the wide men with consummate ease.
He clearly has a love for the game and despite only being on loan at Coventry, he was always one of the most committed players on the pitch. The moment that we were relegated will live with me forever and the one image that stood out for me on that fateful day was that of Oliver Norwood sitting in the middle of the pitch looking totally gutted and dejected.
There were players on that day that did not look particularly affected by the relegation but his reaction showed that he cared. For a young lad who knows that he is unlikely to be at Coventry for the following season to show that sort of emotion shows everyone what a brilliant and honest lad he is.
His talent and commitment is clear for everyone to see and clearly Manchester United still rate him highly as they offered him a new contract. Norwood has however chosen to turn this contract offer down to instead go in search of guaranteed first team football. The Championship seems like his most likely destination and I’m sure that there is going to be plenty of clubs interested in signing him.
Coventry, despite being relegated to League One will be one of them clubs who has an interest in him and there is no question that Andy Thorn would love to have him back. Coventry City’s development director Steve Waggot confirmed that the club had tabled an offer but that it was some way off what United were looking for. He also reiterated that the club will not give in and will keep trying in an attempt to get Norwood back at Coventry.
Whilst on the face of it this seems like positive news for Coventry fans, it is far more likely to be another ploy from SISU to try to make the fans happy. First off we clearly don’t have the funds to pay the fee that United are looking for based on the current financial state of the club. Secondly whilst Norwood publicly stated that he really enjoyed his time at Coventry it is going to be very unlikely that he will be willing to play in League One when there will be offers from other clubs in higher divisions, despite a spell at Scunthorpe last season.
Thirdly and probably most importantly is we still have this transfer embargo in place. So therefore even if the miracle did happen and we could afford the fee and convince Norwood to come and play in League One, the embargo would prevent us from signing him. The embargo needs to be lifted and needs to be lifted soon if we are to have any hopes of a successful season.
The Ricoh deal is still a long way off and with relation to the accounts, SISU now need to give up on trying to include the revenue that would be generated from part ownership of the Ricoh. Whatever the accounts are right now we just need to file them to the football league so we are able to at least add some players to the squad before the start of the new season.
The longer this transfer embargo stays though the more I am thinking that SISU are hiding something. My worry is that the financial situation may actually be even worse than we realise and filing the accounts will make this official and then administration or even liquidation will be on the cards. These are worrying times for the club and it looks like it is going to be another unhappy summer for skyblue fans.