You’ve got to give it to them, the Trust are pulling out all the stops for this Saturday’s rally. You’ve no doubt seen the video above by now; it’s a jolly good effort at a battle cry, although I did break my vigil of anger and defiance for a few seconds to laugh at the devilishly dippy image of Tim Fisher.
I’m the first to admit that I’ve criticised the Trust for their approach this summer, the quality of their communication, and the fact that I believe they could do with recruiting for some additional skills. But that’s not the point of this post. Credit where it’s due – I think this rally on Saturday is their best idea to date. Surely we’ve all got to get behind it, and at least give it a ruddy good go?
Regardless of the slight differences we may all have about the situation, this event gives a very visible opportunity for all City fans to show active solidarity towards the cause. Let’s face it; we’re all livid about being forced from the Ricoh, so it’s imperative we seize the platform Saturday provides to enforce that message.
To me, this rally feels very different to the protests that have come before it. No more half-hearted gatherings down at the Ricoh after work, or makeshift get-togethers at empty London offices. This is properly planned, taking place in the heart and soul of the club’s community.
Yes, I know these events are pretty embarrassing. I know they will be riddled with the naffest chanting possible and contrived levels of applause. But for one day – and I’m talking mainly to the “cool” fans (a group which I would love to class myself) – I think you need to ignore your natural instincts and get involved.
Of course, many individuals revel in hoopla nowadays, so Saturday will fall right within a lot of people’s comfort zone. But it’s not really that group I think we need to petition to turn up. It’s the moody buggers like me that need persuading. The guys out there distancing themselves from Coventry life and questioning people’s spelling on Twitter.
Apathy is understandably rife. Yet while many of us are keen to lend our voices to online debates, and sign petitions that take 30 seconds to complete – making the trip into Coventry to raise a scene, especially when we could be watching the Cricket, feels like a big ask.
It may be difficult to summon up the motivation to turn up, but I really do think this is the one event we need the fans to come through on.
It’s time to make some noise. Make some noise during the busiest part of the day; a Saturday lunchtime in our very own City centre. This event has to involve the entire community – not just the hardcore – and harness the natural tendency of humans to follow the crowd. There are going to be lots of people in town with no real interest in Coventry City – but nosiness is infectious, and many of these people are going to want to have a look. Let there be no snobbery on that front. The more the bleeding merrier.
That’s my main point, really. The success of this rally – the most significant message it can send – will be in the numbers in generates, not necessarily the rhetoric. The viewpoint is clear enough already; it’s all about the visual impact now. The impact of thousands of people coming together in the City Centre to support a cause.
And yes, call me crazy, but I do mean thousands. A hundred or so simply isn’t going to cut it. Sisu have been banking on the weakness and feable-mindedness of fans throughout this entire battle. They’ve maintained this “they”ll be back” attitude, I believe in part because the shambles of the last attempted protest/boycott.
Remember the game against Southampton in the FA Cup? You could tell nobody really wanted to miss out on the football, resulting in a full-game protest being reduced to a luke warm “OK, you can go in after 5 minutes” non-event.
I’m not saying people can’t go the matches in Northampton if they really want to – what I am saying is that Sisu are relying on this mindset being the case. They know it’s what people do – football is interesting and people simply don’t want to miss out.
Saturday is the chance to show them – and ACL, the Football League and anyone else who’ll take notice – just how strong the opposition is to the needless, senseless and reckless destruction of such a valuable community asset.
We desperately need people to turn up, in whatever form they can. You may not fancy the march, but even if you just want to loiter around Broadgate, pretending not to be involved – that will still be of use. The time for bickering amongst ourselves has gone. We have one shot here to at least show the scale of our anger towards the situation. We have to take it.
Hilariously, I will be literally washing my hair on Saturday morning (pre-haircut), but will rush over to the City centre afterwards to show my support. Not in a vocal way, mind – that’s not really my cup of tea. I won’t even be getting involved in any songs, because no doubt they’ll include cheeky words and rogue syllables. I’ll probably just turn up, become part of what I hope is a big crowd, and engage with events from afar.
That’s all you need to do too. Just show your face. It’s all about the coverage this event gets; images of shedloads of Coventry City fans, united by a single message for those who are allowing the fundamental basis of our football club to be destroyed:
Keep Coventry City in Coventry.