The first weekend of the new football league season is always full of drama and optimism but for Coventry fans the optimism was missing completely and football once again took a back seat to the clubs off the field issues.
Friday was defining day in the clubs immediate future with the CVA being rejected by ACL as expected. This forced Coventry City Ltd to head towards liquidation and forced the football league into a decision.
The football league’s overriding principle is to ensure that all football league teams are able to fulfil their league fixtures to ensure their survival in the football league. This is the principle they had to take with the start of the football league season only 24 hours away.
So their decision to award Coventry City Holdings the ‘golden share’ and to punish the club with a 10 point deduction is a decision they had to take in the circumstances. A lot of people including myself have slated the football league for this but I do understand why they had to come to the decision they have.
It is in the end unfortunate timing with the start of the new season. In actual fact we may actually have to lay some of the blame for this at the feet of ACL for continually delaying the CVA meeting. The club and the administrator could also be blamed over the considerable amount of time it took for the process of administration to be completed.
Do I believe the outcome from the football league would have been different well if I’m being honest no I don’t. I think it is a happy coincidence for the football league and an excuse which allows them to justify the decision they have made.
Trying to look at the whole situation objectively and to me Sisu have got exactly what they wanted at the start of this whole process. They have the all-important ‘golden share’ and have had to pay pretty much nothing to get their hands on it. It also leaves the Ricoh empty and without any real tenant. This is undoubtedly going to have a huge impact on ACL’s ability to keep the stadium running as a business without the money from the football club.
The ultimate aim has and always will be for Sisu to get their hands on the Ricoh Arena. They are trying to force ACL into a corner and into a position where they have to sell the Ricoh at a fraction of its actual value. It’s an end game which I’m not sure they will ever achieve. I don’t believe that the people on the fringes of the club would ever allow Sisu to get their hands on the Ricoh no matter what situation ACL ends up in.
One thing that is for sure is Sisu have got an extremely tight grip on our club and it is going to take some serious money or revelation to prise them away.
Getting anyone to ever pay the money for the club that Sisu are rumoured to be looking for is just an impossibility. With the club having very little assets and being stuck in the lower leagues no one in their right mind would pay that kind of money for a club like ours.
A revelation from investigations into Sisu’s running of the club since their takeover is much more likely. The assets such as players contracts etc as shown by the recently leaked documents lay within Limited as others had previously stated when Sisu took control of the club. Investigations into the transfer and the legality of the transfer of these assets to holdings is what is needed. Do I think we will have any joy going down this route, truthfully I don’t as like always I’m sure Sisu have their tracks covered in order to protect themselves.
Forgetting all these issues though and we have a young squad who have had to start the new season knowing that a relegation scrap is now inevitable with the recent 10 point deduction.
The season began with an away trip to Crawley and none of us really knew what to expect from the side. The first half was not an enjoyable experience and left us fearing the worst for the season ahead. However half time came with the skyblues two down and something changed. The players came out and gave it everything and got themselves back on level terms with goals from Wilson and Moussa.
It was a great fightback with signs of what this squad could be capable of. However the inevitable happened and Crawley retook the lead as Coventry’s inexperienced back four became even less experienced with … a right back coming on for Willis the clubs only ‘useable’ centre half.
A 3-2 loss was hard to take for both us fans and the players but there were positives to take and this young squad had shown some real promise.
Up next was a capital one cup tie against Leyton Orient. It was clear from the off that Pressley had reinvigorated his players who passed the ball with freedom and vigour. Bakers well taken goal gave City a deserved lead but it lasted for just a couple of minutes as defensive frailties came to the fore again. Things got worse from here with City falling behind and then Baker seeing red which was the first of many questionable refereeing decisions.
Pressley re organised and City rallied and got themselves level through Moussa’s second goal of the season making it two in two for him. Then a penalty to the skyblues with Clarke 7 yards from goal he was man handled to the ground and yet despite being the last defender the referee failed to take the chance to level the teams up and make it 10 v 10. After a prolonged delay for some obvious faking from the Orient player Clarke stepped up with regular penalty taker Baker having been sent off and was denied by a relatively good save from the Orient keeper.
Coventry’s bad luck seemed destined to hit again and after some more real fight from the Skyblue players the inevitable happened as Lisbie who already had one gave Orient the lead with a well taken header. It was heartbreak again and there were some forlorn looking city players heading off the pitch at the end of the game.
Pressley has somehow got to pick these players up again and try to get them to perform in front of what could be as little as 300 city fans at the weekend in Northampton.
One thing that may help with this is the new signing of Mathieu Manset. Despite the embargo the football league has granted permission for the club to sign him and others on a one in one out basis with the afore mentioned being possible because of the earlier departure of Cody McDonald.
An extra striker was definitely needed but we have looked good attacking wise in the first two games it has been defensively where we have and will continue to struggle until reinforcements are brought in.