I’d like to thank Tom Furnival-Adams for contributing what is clearly a well considered and thought-provoking piece. It’s a complex situation we find ourselves in, with many unknowns, and many challenges to our natural persuasions. He outlined his approach and perspective with elegance, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone looking for a semblance of pragmatism in this sorry affair.

Along with publicly thanking Tom, I also wanted to contribute a few additional thoughts from my perspective, not necessarily in response to his piece, but to the discussion it has provoked. I hope I am able to supplement the conversation in some form.

Basically, I’d like to say a few more things about the boycott.


Personally, understanding the value of the boycott continues to be the focus of my attention. It’s been suggested that it’s not working, or that it won’t. But can we really make that assumption? It’s been four games.

The sentiment behind the boycott for most is to not attend until CCFC return to Coventry. I don’t think at this point we can categorically state that boycotting will have no impact on the situation, when it’s simply had no time to bear that influence yet.

The other forms of protest appear to offer little but an inconvenience to most of the parties concerned, but for me, the idea of a boycott affects the decision-makers in the sense that they will surely have to react to it at some point. As a business guided by its desire to make money from this club eventually (those mavericks), there’s no way Sisu can withstand a lengthy boycott without making some adjustments or accommodation to the circumstances. Especially if the proposals for a new stadium in Coventry prove as difficult to solidify as we all expect.

Up until this point, most of their decisions have been made in spite of our opposition – some were enforced, some were down to the way they have chosen to position themselves politically is this dispute with ACL. But either way, they haven’t been made with the views and desires of the fans at heart. Let’s be honest, when you’re staving off litigation left-right-and centre, the views of fans are the least of your concerns.

Even so, I think it’s time we *made* our interests their concern, because being a football supporter should simply be about enjoying watching a football club play. It’s a travesty that we’re being expected to navigate this political, moral and logistical minefield.

The focus from all stakeholders up until this point seems to have been on winning a political and financial battle, over recognising the distress this has caused the vast majority of Coventry City fans.

And this is where boycotting comes in. I feel that by not attending matches at Sixfields, this actually provides us for the first time with a genuine opportunity to influence/enforce some kind of movement or decision. Even if that decision is to simply nudge Sisu’s policy/communication to being less guarded in their stance around re-opening talks withACL, I still will see that as a victory and worth the sacrifice that comes with not being able to watch your team play so fantastically.

As Tom says in his piece, we have to think about what we want to achieve, and from my perspective, changing Sisu’s mindset is what I’m after, because I think if we’re to return to the Coventry, it’s going to be their choice, nobody else’s.

Forcing them to adjust their stance by making them realise this boycott/inability to attend is for the long haul – that is my aim. To my mind, attending the matches doesn’t offer the same advantages in achieving that. If we all gave up on it and made our way back, I worry we’re placing the control and timescales firmly in the hands of these two parties, when I want our voice to be the one which has the power to drive the course of events. It may seem a long shot, but from my position, it’s our best chance of forcing the issue. If those who can make it to Sixfields all do so, then there’s a very real risk of the strength of opposition becoming so diluted, that it evolves into being viewed as one of acceptance by those calling the shots. I’m not sure that’s the position we want to be in.

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6 comments

  1. Agree with this 100%. The most frustrating thing throughout this debacle has been the complete feeling of any ability to influence the situation. Staying away from Sixfields seems to me the only way that individuals can make a real statement regarding the ludicrous situation that the fans have had enforced upon them. Despite the bullish comments regarding a plan to fund the losses the empty seats will be having an impact and if people stay strong which I believe will be the case (not based on any science other that lots of other long term fans spoken to) then we can only hope that dialogue and compromise on all sides will arrive at a sensible solution which means more of us can support the team back in Coventry. Now we just need to find an empty, purpose built stadium that is suitable. Err…hang on…

  2. Totally agree with this. SISU andvtge FL are making noises that the boycott is irrelevant but that’s just a smokescreen. Apart from trying to make the FL feel uncomfortable and trying to force it to admit to its errors, what else can I do? Nether SISU nor the FL has paid any notice to what us fans have been saying. No matter how well the team is doing, I will not be going to any matches at Sixfields and I will not be giving SISU any more of my money. As far as I am concerned I have been forced into this situation and I cannot help but think that if everyone boycotted the games at Northampton it would force SISU’s hand sooner rather than later. In my opinion, those attending games in Northampton are in effect validating and legitimising what SISU has been doing. I’ve said it before, SISU are not be trusted with the future of our club.

  3. I and my family (a total of 4 season ticket holders) quit October 2008 when a feeling of being used in some financial scam dawned on us.The average gate was 20000+ then.I’m still convinced taht Sky Blues were taken over for non-footballing reasons after all the current owners tried to take over Southampton when they were distressed.
    So Sisu out until then not one penny more
    Incidentally my Finnish friend asures me that seppala in Finnish has no anal meanings
    Martin O’C

  4. I will not go to Northampton. Can the Sky match against Sheffield United be televised at the Ricoh, I remember going back some time an away game against Cardiff City being televised on 3 big screens at Highfield Road where there were more people than in Cardiff. If we could do this at the Ricoh it would deffinitly send a message to everybody.

  5. A great article by Tom and good build here. However, as I’ve felt from the start and have posted before, I think the efforts aimed at SISU are doomed because they are based on a false premise: that SISU need the money. They don’t. It’s really quite simple to me. SISU are in the business of making money, specifically buying distressed businesses and finding a way to turn a profit. The only way a profit can be made here is to get a stadium and sell the entire entity. Until they get to that point, they can and will be able to write off losses. Clearly, the easiest solution is to get their hands on the Ricoh and develop that site. As they cannot at the moment they are exploring other options. But they are serious. For all the vitriol thrown at Tim Fisher, he clearly and truthfully stated we would leave the Ricoh. Because we didn’t want to hear it we accused him of lies and brinkmanship. Moving us is clearly a massive risk financially which is even more reason to believe they are here for the long haul. Boycotting the club is meaningless to SISU and they have the FL and FA and the courts on their side. Now, I do agree that the people involved in the various campaigns have a valid and justifiable mission. But if the heart of that mission is to get us back in Cov, then I suggest redirecting the ire back at ACL and the council. Stand for election; boycott events at the Ricoh, protest outside the council house not the Fl HQ make it so clear they are to blame they have no option but to get SISU back to the table. The Trust needs to call SISU and deal with them. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. You’ve got more chance influencing ACL than SISU. Refocus on this and Tom’s sentiments could come to fruition and we can all go home.

  6. Well said Houchen 87, our efforts should be focussed on who we can affect to bring about change, not who we think “is to blame”. It’s ACL and The Council who need pressurising into doing a deal suitable to the Club that will enable it to come back to Coventry. I’m sure Sisu would need no encouragement to listen to genuine offers rather than last minute stunts thrown into the Admin process. Sign the CVA, wipe the slate clean, then get The Club back at The Ricoh on a peppercorn rent + Matchday revenue and ground advertising until Sisu’s new development is built and ready. Versus the current scenario this would be a no-lose outcome other than for NTFC.

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