Raymond was on BBC Cov & Warks earlier this evening giving some insight into the reasons for his departure, and his views on how things have gone over the last few days, weeks, months and years.
He was frank, and spoke of culture, the acceptance of mid-table mediocrity and how the only way SISU will get a return on their investment is to get us into the bleeding Premiership (a sentiment that seems to have been lost amongst the commercial and marketing focus of our new-look board). I go on about this sort of stuff quite a bit, so as you can imagine, there was quite a bit of nodding.
Call it simplistic, call it naive, call it what you like – I don’t care really; the only way our club is going to be a viable business is if the team is succeeding. We’ve been more commercially active over the last 3 years than ever – SISU need to re-focus and look to embed a culture where the quality of the footballing product is key to everything. Because they haven’t committed to that since they’ve been here, and that’s why things have gone tits up.
I don’t claim to know much about football finance, but I do know that the only way you’re going to get people in our stadium is by developing a team that people are proud of and can entertain. Not re-evaluating ticket prices or having a Twitter presence. They’re nice-to-have, but not the key.
You could put tickets down to a fiver this weekend (or any game in 2011) and I guarantee we’d still struggle to hit 20,000. Tickets were full price against Leeds earlier in the season, and people turned out. Because they were excited about their team.
Anyway, the purpose of this post is to note down what Ranson said in his interview. It’s not verbatim, so don’t go quoting it. Some notable things in bold.
- Was told by the board that he wouldn’t be needed beyond 9 May, so didn’t want to mislead fans by staying on.
- Agreed the football consultancy role initially, only to look through the documentation and realise the goal-posts were moved. He wasn’t keen.
- Very disappointed to be leaving after the hard work he’s put in.
- Staggered that anyone (current board) could question Gary Hoffman’s ability to add value to Coventry City, given his pedigree in the world of banking. Hoffman was headhunted by the government, don’t you know.
- The lack of an investment strategy was where things went wrong. He’s not going to slag off SISU, who he said had saved the club from “oblivion”.
- They needed to invest in the team early, though. Wanted to develop a young team capable of getting to the Premiership and possibly staying there.
- If he was given up-front investment, and after 3 years they’d not achieved, he’d have held his hands up. That didn’t happen though.
- Rayston didn’t take kindly some of the criticism at the press conference ( I can’t remember what he was referring to), and then noted that there was nothing mentioned about getting behind the team.
- Wins are the most important things at the moment.
- At the start the plan appeared to be working well, having brought in Fox, Dann, Gunnarsson, Westwood.
- He actually resigned when Fox and Dann were sold, but Gary Hoffman and Joe Elliott talked him out of it.
- Said quite an obscure thing about how “He loves the club, but Joe and Gary are ‘in love’ with it”. Subtle difference, apparently. I don’t get it.
- We could have bought a young Andy Carroll for less than £1 million when he was on loan at Preston. There was also an option to buy Jordan Henderson but it wasn’t taken.
- If everything had gone to plan, the team tomorrow should have included Westwood, Crainie, Dann, Turner, Fox, Gunnarson, Clingan, Cork… (Not sure about the last one).
- The only way SISU’ll get a return on their investment is to get to the Premiership and to own the stadium.
- No answer on whether the money that SISU put in came from the sale of the Prozone product. Confidential, ain’t it.
- He’s not actively seeking investors for a takeover, as reported. But, if Gary Hoffman were to approach him, he’d consider.
- The club needs up-front investment, not a piecemeal approach to things. It can’t keep plugging holes, as that’ll just end up with midtable mediocrity.
- There’s been no search for a new manager over the last couple of weeks.
- No regrets over the managers he chose. They had the right pedigree at the time. Coleman bought into the culture and philosophy of developing a new team. No point giving the job to Neil Warnock who is an impact manager.
- Coleman was a victim of circumstances and losing players. They gave him 2 ½ years to get things going (tell us about it), and it didn’t really happen.
- Cited the horrendous runs and how only Peterbrough had conceded more goals than Cov from set-plays. Brought in Aidy for his attention to detail and proven track record.
- The transfer embargo has been in place for several months.
- He had a good relationship with the managers, there was a lot of trust there. Which is why Aidy never blurted the embargo out in interviews.
- His main message, “get behind the team”.
- Says that Andy Thorn has galvanised the players in his brief time in charge. There was some discontent under Boothroyd, but he’s put some smiles back on faces. We’ll see some attractive football, now.
- Clive Eakin asked him if Thorn could be a viable candidate for the next boss. Ray kept it zipped.