The Sky Blue Trust Board, like the majority of Coventry City supporters, has become extremely alarmed at the plight of our Club, in its lowest league position for over 50 years and with dwindling attendances at home games. We needed to see what the Club’s owners and management are doing to address this dire situation.
To that end, we wrote to the Club’s Chairman, Tim Fisher, on 25 November 2014 asking him to tell us, by 31 December 2014, what strategy the Club are following to turn-around its fortunes over the next few years and to state clearly the Board’s ambitions for the Club.
On 2 January 2015 the Club published a statement - “Coventry City - the Way Forward” - setting-out a five point plan. We welcome the fact that the statement says the Club intend to build “trust with the supporters” and appreciate the need for financial sustainability that it reasserts. It also refers to steps to build a relationship with Wasps as owners of the Ricoh Arena in order to see “whether there is an opportunity for the club to further generate revenues beyond match day”.
However, the “Way Forward” continues to place excessive emphasis on the need for the Club to own its own stadium, which we believe at this time is an unaffordable aim, which would add significantly to the burden of debt borne by the Club. In our view, the time, energy and finance being devoted to the “new stadium” should instead be spent on investing in the playing squad and in a longer-term, mutually beneficial partnership with Wasps.
Further, we are deeply disappointed that the ”Way Forward” contains no indication at all of the owners’ ambitions for the Club. It says that they want “to field a competitive team” but says nothing about where they plan or expect to take that team in the League hierarchy. It is now 48 years since the Club was last promoted to a higher league, and has never secured a play-off position in its history, but the “Way Forward” does not even mention promotion as an aim. This lack of ambition is clearly undermining the prospects of the team in League One as high quality players leave to further their careers and are not adequately replaced. The pitifully low morale of supporters appears to be mirrored by the performances of the first team squad.
Faced with the current, desperate, situation at our club, and reflecting the passionate desire of supporters for demonstrable progress and improvement in the way that the Club is being run, the Trust Board now wishes to establish your views, as Trust members, on the approach we should take towards CCFC as an organisation in the immediate future,
We intend to continue to try to work with the Club where possible, via direct contact and participation in the Supporters Consultative Group and to challenge the Club to demonstrate, with evidence, how they are making progress with their five point plan in “The Way Forward.” We see this as an essential part of the Trust’s role.
However, we believe this is not sufficient in the current circumstances. We are therefore consulting members on the following two options for the Trust’s new approach to bringing about real and lasting change at our Club:
Should we express our deep dissatisfaction with the way the Club is being run by asking the owners to dismiss the current Board of Directors and replace it with people committed to an ambitious future for the Sky Blues and with the skills and experience to achieve that?
Should we reflect the huge disenchantment with the attitude of the owners of the Club, under whose seven year stewardship the Club has reached its lowest ebb, by asking SISU to seek new owners for the Club who would purchase SISU’s interest?
Members can vote by following the instructions in the email sent to them.