Representatives of the Sky Blue Trust recently attended the Stadium Forum group organised by Sandra Garlick. Two days earlier Sandra had asked to meet with the Sky Blue Trust Board ahead of its monthly scheduled meeting and we were happy to oblige.
At both meetings we listened carefully to the information presented, so as to be properly informed on reported developments whilst registering our concerns and those of many of our members at the club’s proposed course of action.
We have indicated that we are happy to assist the club in whatever way we can to better improve the Ricoh experience and will look to take this forward with our members.
However, we would like to reiterate our previously stated view that the club is placing excessive emphasis on the need to build a new stadium, which we believe is an unaffordable aim. We call again for the time, energy and finance being devoted to new stadium plans to be invested in the playing squad and in seeking a long-term mutually beneficial partnership with Wasps.
Although we welcome the update given by Tim Fisher at the Stadium Forum these concerns firmly remain.
We are also seeking clarification from Rugby Council about Mr Fisher’s claim that there had been discussions between the Council and Coventry City Football club officials or others acting on its behalf, with regard to plans to build a new stadium on the three sites mentioned in the minutes of the meeting. Rugby’s responses to a series of FOI requests made on behalf of the Trust make no reference to such discussions.
On 24 December 2013, in response to our first round of FOI requests, Rugby Council wrote to us as follows: "Rugby Borough Council can confirm that approximately three months ago the Leader of the Council and Executive Director met with representatives from Coventry City Football Club to discuss the club’s proposals to develop a Category 2 Academy training facility within the borough. The representatives of Coventry City Football Club were informed that the proposals were unacceptable to the council and there has been no communication with the club since that meeting.” In reply to each of the three subsequent rounds of FOI requests, Rugby have stated that there have been no discussions, meetings or correspondence about the matter.
This clearly conflicts with the update given by Tim Fisher at the meeting. It is therefore important that we are able to clear this matter up as soon as possible.
The supporters of Coventry City are enduring a torrid time and have been for far too long now. They deserve, at the very least, to know the accurate position of what's going on.Write comment (0 Comments)
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.Write comment (0 Comments)
The Board of the Sky Blue Trust will shortly be meeting to discuss the recent responses to the Freedom of Information ( FOI) requests it has made to local authorities with regard to plans for a new stadium being built by Coventry City FC and also our request from the club as to what its proposed strategy is to move the club forward.
Although we never actually received a reply to this particular request we are assuming that the club's 5 point plan recently published upon its website was intended as a response.
The board will take time to consider this information before deciding upon its next steps.
The Board would add that it is fully aware that feelings amongst supporters are running high at the moment and that a new group has recently been formed with a view to staging a protest during the forthcoming match versus Swindon Town.
The Board regrets that the state of the relationship between the club, the owner and the supporters has become so strained that it has led to this action but wishes to confirm that it is not involved in this protest and does not know the identity of those that are.
We fully understand the frustrations of supporters, including many members of the Trust, that will be given expression in the protest. So long as any such action is law abiding, we respect the right of any supporter to choose whether to join the protest or not and as with Sixfields attendance calls upon CCFC Directors and Staff together with fellow supporters to show similar respect.Write comment (0 Comments)
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