Going to take a little break from blogging about Cricket tonight to have a moan about something else close to my heart, Coventry City football club.
Last night’s 2-1 defeat away at Blackpool was the second time this season that the team I support has managed to lose an away game after leading 1-0 going into the final 3-4 minutes, the other game was against Crystal Palace early on in the season.
When you are leading a game going into the last 5 minutes, the worst case scenario you can imagine is drawing the game, so to end up losing it must be a real kick in the teeth.
I believe last night’s defeat could be far more significant though, we already looked doomed to go down to Division 1 for next season, but what happened last night could just about have sealed our relegation.
If the team had hung on for all 3 points we would have been off the bottom, we would have had an away win to go with the recent 3 home victories, all of a sudden we could have looked back at our recent results and taken heart from them and maybe believed that we had a good chance of staying up.
That’s why I think this defeat could be so significant. How does a young inexperienced team come back from that again?
To most Coventry City fans these days what goes on on the pitch is almost secondary to what is happening off it. There is the constant fear of administration, even liquidation has been mentioned in some quarters, as the clubs owners SISU continue to cut costs down to the bone.
I can totally understand cutting costs as to keep losing money is unsustainable, but SISU’s current position at the club is also unsustainable.
There is no way in the current climate that the club can become profitable, to do that SISU would need to own the ground. There is no way that is going to happen, as the grounds owners – the City council and the Alan Edward Higgs Charity – will not even entertain the thought of selling an asset of the whole of the City of Coventry to a group of faceless venture capitalists.
In reality, I believe that it is checkmate against SISU at the moment, they would appear to have no where to go, so why they are hanging in there I don’t know. There is a group of would be investors fronted by City fan Gary Hoffman, who has contacts in the world of finance after spending 30 years in the business which at one time seen him as chairman of Barclaycard.
I am in no doubt that Hoffman has the finances, he also is rumoured to already have a deal struck with the council to buy half of the Ricoh arena, paramount if the club is to be run as a profitable going concern.
So at the moment, all I can see that SISU are doing is holding out for a better deal. But the club is worthless, they have no home, a threadbare playing squad and are heading for relegation. Hoffman is also a businessman and is all too aware that the club has no value, so it would appear that a game of Poker is currently taking place – while the team slides toward Division 1.
If a deal is to be struck in the next couple of weeks, we could have a chance as I would presume that manager Andy Thorn would be given the funds to go out and strengthen his squad with loan signings – hopefully much needed experienced ones.
But as it stands we have our squad if willing kids, who are currently giving their all. This coming Saturday sees Coventry at home to Ipswich, this could really be the defining game of the season. If we can show character and bounce back, we have a chance. If Tuesday’s result really has knocked the stuffing out of us and we lose again, I think we are all but condemned to Division 1.