Ahead of an urgent public meeting tonight, the Sky Blue Trust say supporters are the club’s only hope of survival as the ownership crisis deepens.
Fans from various supporter groups and beyond will be meeting in Coventry tonight to discuss the disastrous situation at the club and decide on a path forward.
The very fabric of the club itself is in danger – with the club owners failing to agree a new deal to stay at the Ricoh Arena on top of facing the loss of its academy and training ground.
Hedge-fund owners SISU remain deeply unpopular, and a petition launched by the Coventry Telegraph urging them to sell up has now passed 15,000 signatures (the paper has since been banned from the club).
Moz Baker from the Sky Blue Trust said: “The current owners took over the club in 2007, saving us from going into administration.
“People thought they were going to be our knights in shining armour – we were a reasonable Championship side.
“But since then the communication has been awful.”
Coventry City spent the 2013-14 season at Sixfields Stadium in Northampton after the owners had a public falling-out with the stadium owners. Despite returning to the Ricoh Arena they have failed to agree a new deal with ground owners, Wasps RFC – the current short term deal expires at the end of next season.
“We’ve been hoping somebody, ideally a Coventry City fan, has the money to come in and buy this special, once thriving football club,” Moz told us.
“It’s looking unlikely a genuine buyer can be found. There’s a real prospect of relegation and that ‘golden share’ going down.”
With no viable buyers in sight and the club’s future in serious danger, it could be left to supporters to pick up the pieces.
“It may come to that,” Moz said. “If the club does survive it’s going to be because of the supporters.
“There’s real momentum gathering now. Tonight there will be a meeting of all supporters’ groups that have sprung up in the recent weeks and months.
“We’ll be looking to agree on united action, we don’t want supporters to be doing disparate things.
“We want to make sure we’re all working together.”
While the Sky Blues’ fans decide on the direction of their campaign the Trust is asking fans of other clubs to show solidarity.
“Unfortunately this could happen to any club,” Moz said. “We’re urging fans of other clubs to support us in whatever ways they can. Sign the petition!”
Joint statement from Coventry supporters following Monday’s meeting:
On Monday evening a meeting was held bringing together representatives from Coventry City supporters groups as well as individual supporters all with one common view. That Coventry City Football Club is in a massive state of decline and that the time has come for current owners SISU to put the club up for sale.
The near capacity gathering demonstrated huge respect for each other’s views and a unified determination to save our club.
All who attended were given the opportunity to contribute ideas and proposals to help formulate a plan to help convince SISU that putting the club up for sale is the right thing to do and the only possible way this club will ever move forward again.
After more than 2 hours of lively and often emotional debate what became clear was the level of anger and dismay demonstrated by those in attendance.
However, what emerged was a rational, innovative and varied action plan that has both the potential to persuade SISU to sell up but also to further raise awareness of our clubs plight and to market its potential for any prospective buyer.
The plan is not just a couple of short term events but a whole raft of carefully crafted activities which will take place over a medium to long term period so as to keep up the momentum.
The plan has been dubbed “The Jimmy Hill Way” with our campaign hashtag “Fighting the Jimmy Hill Way” with the additional strap line … You know what Jimmy would have done. What will you do to save our club?
Future communications will come under this cover to recognise the great man’s contribution to our football club and our determination to prevent unfit owners from destroying his legacy.
We will not be publishing the full plan at this point in order to maintain the level of surprise and intrigue however we can confirm that the first phase of the plan will begin in October with a couple of activities that we hope all Coventry City supporters will support.
One of which is a proposed march ahead of the Rochdale match at the Ricoh on October 22nd. This will be followed by a boycott of the game with those not attending urged to assemble by the Jimmy Hill statue whilst the game takes place.
Further details will follow shortly but we would like to make clear that there will be no animosity shown to anybody who does attend the game. We are all Coventry City fans and we must all make our own decisions on the best course of action to take.
One final thing to add for now. This campaign totally distances itself from some of the rumoured extreme actions that are allegedly being considered by certain parties. We do not condone violence or the threat of violence in any way and reiterate that all of our actions will be both peaceful and legal.
Our way will be the Jimmy Hill Way. Determined, inspired and Ultimately successful.
We urge all Coventry City supporters to join our campaign and save our football club.
Thanks to CovPix for the image used in this blog. Reproduced here under CC license.