It’s been a peculiar week. The statements, arguments and blogs (this is one) attempting to justify viewpoints/rationalise the situation. The involvement of high-profile supporter groups breeding new discussion. The feuding sides then displaying the first signs of sanity in months.

And yet, I continue to be wary about how further forward we are.

Don’t get me wrong, job one is clearly attempting to rectify what is fundamentally a broken relationship between Sisu and the Council. The news that Joy will meet Ann surely has to be welcomed, IF your aim is to get City back to the Ricoh as quickly as possible that is. If you’d rather Sisu slung their hook above anything else, then it’s probably not as welcome to you.

But differences in perspective, opinion, reason, rationale and interpretation throughout this entire saga requires another blog post entirely. And I will write one eventually. Understanding why right and wrong can never really cut it is something which tasks me on a daily basis. This situation isn’t maths, science or anything else which can be qualified through water-tight patterns. Dig beneath the complexity of administration, politics, PR brashness, judicial reviews, NOPM and Sisu sympathisers, and much of the disputes among fans boil down to how things are making people feel. Nothing more than that.

In short, I believe we each view this situation slightly differently because we each hold personal, and often indefinable values which drive us along in life. Supporting the club means different things to each of us. It’s the way it is. None of you give a monkeys about the specifics behind me being unable to watch the matches with my Dad and mate Stu anymore, but that matters to me more than anything else.

Obviously this will regularly lead to views which feel so far removed from our own interpretations. I do get that. Of course we can all find these annoying and unfathomable because all we really know is how to reason based on our own morals and ethics. That’s human nature for you I guess. From the evolution of a human race which now recognises “you can’t go eating other people nowadays”, to the nuances of certain behaviours being acceptable in different countries – we believe and reason against these rules, often taking these as a given.

But we should all remember, it is quite possible, however absurd, to reason for and against anything. And it’s that notion which grips me. Because in the end, maybe culture is arbitrary. We may crave patterns in our search for understanding, but maybe life is a contradiction in itself? Maybe, just maybe, we’re never going to agree on some of these things, because the rationale behind each argument only fits for the individual that believes in it.

Anyway, I digress massively. Sorry if that kind of self-indulgent brain dumping isn’t for you.

The point of all this being (before I rudely interrupted myself with that glimpse into my whirring physche): it feels as though step one has been achieved and they’re going to talk. That’s great for many, possibly the majority. But maybe not for some.

Step two on the other hand is where the real resolutions lie, and equally, resides the fear that if we’re not careful, we will fall immediately back into an impasse between the two parties.

Let’s forget for a moment that they seem to hate eachother. That alone is going to drive and influence their thoughts, regardless of the substance behind what is being said. What we have here are two sides which have been worlds apart in their views on the Ricoh over last 12 months, so much so that they’ve allowed a football club to be relocated from its City rather than force themselves to compromise. That’s a pretty bad starting point for any negotiation.

I can’t help but be cynical of the suggestion that anything too different has happened or been said over the last week or two – but we do at least have a hint of improvement in the relationship. The pressure to compromise is now the challenge for these two, as is resisting what I can only imagine is an overwhelming urge towards antagonistic rhetoric.

As far as our position in all of this, I’m becoming increasingly wary of the moral high-ground in this argument becoming somewhat hijacked by those who claim total balance, when in reality that balance is actually a flipped and fairly dedicated focus towards aiming grief to the Council, and the council alone.

The idea that we should be pressurising both sides appears to have evolved into something which a large proportion of us can accept. But for that to engage the masses and breed some semblance of solidarity, both surely has to mean both. I’m interested to hear what the plan of action is to maintain equal pressure on Sisu.

At its core, when you dig around the differences of opinion and approaches, the challenge of forcing both sides to adjust their stance is what remains. Stubbornness from either party achieves very little now.

So continuing the campaign to badger the council into letting down they defences remains a crucial part of this, but I feel that can only be successful in conjunction with equivalent pressure on Sisu – otherwise known as the boycott – so they remain fully aware that their willingness to reside in Northampton for 3 years is unacceptable.

At least, that’s how I’m feeling. Feel free to utilise your brains differently.


  1. I agree in principle that the pressure needs to be applied to both sides, because both are equally responsible for this mess and both need to take responsibility for sorting it out.

    The trouble is I’m struggling to figure out what real pressure can be brought to bear on Sisu. Boycotting the home games is a noble gesture by those who can bear to do it but it won’t seriously dent the coffers of owners who are backed by a super-rich hedge fund. They have one objective – to gain ownership of the Ricoh & surrounding land – and they have a gameplan for achieving it, and the Council have played into their hands at pretty much every stage of this farce.

    You’ll gather that I don’t trust them and I want Sisu out, but getting the team back to the Ricoh is THE number one priority for me. If putting more pressure on the Council achieves that, and even if it means that Sisu get their way (and then bugger off) that works for me.

  2. Personally i would just like us to be back at the RICOH for now, so me and my family can watch where we should be

  3. It’s all about make me an offer, no what do you think it’s worth scenario.
    What is it worth to SISU/AVRO/OTIUM, my research on the internet gives an average cost of a 12 K capacity stadium build @ around a rough figure of 20 million this is looking at comparasions of different new grounds such as Morecambe, Colchester, Bright on, Keepmoat etc.
    He land surrounding it say two – five million depending on location and size.
    Average time from planning to build can vary between 32 weeks for the RIverside to 14 years for Brighton to nine years for Greenhouse Meadow in Shrewsbury.
    FIsher’s estimate at three years seems a long way off to me as improved roads to stadium access will involve i’m sure at some stage agreement from CCC or the highways agency which is not going to be easy.
    Add the financial loss at Six fields @say five years brings a rough estimate of 12-15 million.
    overall you are looking at say an out lay of 36 million pounds using my rough figures, this makes Les Reid’s give it to them for 7 million, look a little on the side of under valuation.

    But after all is said and done you have to look at what a business is worth, I am just trying to look at this from the owners side of things and it is really an option to spend 36 million for a 12 K stadium when they could pick up a beautiful second hand classic at 32.5 capacity plus land for about the same price?

  4. Firstly, let me make it crystal clear what my opinions of Sisu are.They are an unscrupulous, opportunistic, untruthful & underhand bunch of (mostly) faceless characters, who (IMHO) are not fit and proper people to own a football club. I could rant on for longer, but this seems to put my opinion into a nutshell! Next, I would dearly love to see my team back, playing at the Ricoh asap,as I think most Sky Blues fans would, but not under Sisu ownership .
    It would seem also, that Coventry City Council & ACL (judging from recent history) have an opinion of Sisu that mirrors my own! Why then, does CCC seem willing to talk to Sisu regarding the prospective return of Sisu and (possible) purchase of the Ricoh Arena? I think it’s highly unlikely that Sisu have had a radical change of ethics in the way that they do business!
    The owner(s) of a football club should, by definition, have the best interests of the club & it’s supporters at heart, and always take heed of those supporters’ opinions (though not always having to act opon those opinions) Time and time again Sisu have shown, with an arrogance bordering on contempt what they think of the supporters of Coventry City, and repeatedly they have shown that their judgement on football (and financial) matters leaves an awful lot to be desired!
    I am honestly baffled therefore by this recent turn of events, it seems to me that Sisu need the Ricoh more than The Ricoh need Sisu! I can only hope that CCC are showing themselves to be fair, neutral & openhanded in sales negotiations with all parties, before selling the Ricoh to PH the 3rd, who, with Garry Hoffman & Joe Elliot running the club, will take us forward to where the club belongs! PUSB

  5. Although SISU are a hedge fund surely there are still some fundamental business rules that they must abide by. They claim that they have sunk millions into the club already and the current Sixfields set-up must be another further incredible drain on their financial resources. I’m sure that the prospect of another three to five years of pumping money into the club and the potentially long process of building a new stadium cannot be attractive to them. No matter how much money we think they’ve got, it will come to the point where the fund is no longer willing to ‘invest’ money in the club if there is no realistic prospect of getting a return on their investment. In my opinion, the boycott, no doubt along with other factors, has had an effect on SISU’s thinking.

    1. I agree with this. Boycott serves two purposes – impacts the financial viability of the move (it restricts the money they get while they’re there – it’s an impact), while crucially ensuring the owners remain aware of the opposition and difficulties in getting there for many. Turning up in droves vastly diminishes that argument, and essentially reduces the pressure on Sisu to return us asap.

  6. As someone who watches from afar, I have been a Cov supporter 20+ years – my dad since the 1960’s. The mess that has been created of the club is horrific. Personally, I am pleased that CCC has opened up itself to negotiations with SISU if for no other reason than to show they are not sticking their fingers in their ears and doing nothing to try and get the fans what they want; Coventry City back in Coventry. I suspect (hope) that the council will stick to it’s guns and not let this vampiric hedge fund grab land on the cheap (let’s face it, that’s the only reason they invested in the club). I hope the Council offer them years rent free. Offer them 50/50 splits of all match day revenues. Offer them gold crowns! I bet they can offer allll these things and SISU (Otium) will plain refuse because ALL they want is land, land, land. Keep up the protest- they won’t suffer losing so much money for much longer as it makes absolutely no business sense.

    1. I keep hearing this argument that all that SISU want is the land, but I feel it doesn’t really add up. If the land were so valuable, why haven’t the current owners developed it? If it’s so valuable, why does it seem that the council and ACL are keen (some might say desperate) to get a big sports club to use the stadium? Why hasn’t someone come in (such as the American tycoon) and just bought up the stadium so they can develop the land? It seems that what is valuable is stadium + professional football club + land. I feel that it has become clear that without the club at the Ricoh, the rest isn’t as valuable as some think. Furthermore, it’s clear that any prospective owner, even one fronted by that dynamic Coventry duo of Elliot and Hoffman, won’t be interested in anything else but the whole package. Personally, what makes me anti-SISU is there incompetence not the fact that they are a hedge fund; whoever runs the club in the future, they will be backed by outside financial interests. What angers me about SISU is that from day one (by signing a rental agreement that was unjust) right up to the present (their total misreading of how fans would react to the move to Northampton), they have shown themselves to be incredibly poor administrators of the club.

  7. I think this is a well reasoned article and shows an understanding of how polarised the situation has become. I, for one, feel like the opening scene in the movie ‘Death Wish’. A man has to witness his wife being raped then killed along with his child. This is what SISU have done to CCFC. The question is: do you forgive them and welcome them back with open arms to get City back at the Ricoh? I personally believe that Charles Bronson had a better idea.

  8. Some very honest and balanced ramblifying (SBB’s words)!

    It seems to be that yes, of course the Sky Blues need to be back at the Ricoh, but more than that the Ricoh needs to be turned into our home, our fortress. Unmistakeably City.

    Sure, my name’s on one of the bricks, the decor inside is sky blue and the Jimmy Hill statue is there; but none of my dozen-odd visits there (live abroad etc etc) since it opened have made me feel at home. Is it just me?

    Better attendances and an ever-better team are clearly crucial to get that virtuous circle going, but as and when we return I think our bosses have to seize the opportunity to atone for recent sins and give the Ricoh to the fans.

    Free parking? Landscaped surrounds? A water feature? Cheap tickets? Real ale in the concourse and the best food in the land?

    Pity we’re not going to the JPT area finals again this year, eh?

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