Nothing will ever quell the happiness I feel when Coventry score a goal. Today we scored four of the bleeders and I’m so, so delighted. This response is engrained within me.

But at this point, my thoughts immediately move to the next game, and how a winning Coventry City potentially affects the Keep CCFC in Coventry movement – and obviously the continued boycott of all games in Northampton.

Boycott is our key method of protest; the only genuine way we can prove our disgust at moving away from Coventry. While the focus has turned recently to the discussions around how this is a personal choice more than anything else, for a large proportion of people, the choice isn’t even there for them to make. Northampton is miles away – end of story, and for many who can only go to home games because they’re local – the club winning will not even be a factor. It’s simply not possible for them to make it. It’s a horrible situation for all of us, but it’s the fans who have no choice in the matter that I feel most sorry for.

But what of the people who do have a choice? Who could make it to Northampton if they really wanted to? I guess I count myself as one of those, even though it’d be a bloody bind.

It’s long been said the test of the boycott would come if the unthinkable happened and we actually turned good. Now, this is only two wins – so we shouldn’t get carried away. But at the same time, this is football, and two games is more than enough time for there to be a change in trajectory and an altered fan perception. All of a sudden the talk is of soaring from the depths of the league, when only ten days ago relegation felt a certainty. We’re still working this bunch out, and our feelings will fluctuate with each success as well as setback.

But the big question is still there to be addressed: will people change their minds about Northampton if we start winning? You can guarantee Sisu will be attempting to predict it.

From my perspective as someone who is keen to send as strong a message to Sisu as possible, I was always concerned about how this protest could evolve if the team suddenly turned great. People will easily avoid making an effort if they think they’re not going to miss much, in all walks of life. People are lazy.

But this is very different when there’s something interesting going on. We may be lazy, but we are also nosy. Intrigue is a natural tendency; that’s why you’ll always get people loitering around scenes of destruction.

And the same principle applies for football fans. Well, it’s a little tenous, but as a general rule, you get more fans when you’re doing well (the interesting stuff) than when you’re failing (which is notoriously difficult to motivate yourself for).

The team has gone goal crazy recently, and as a boycotter, I do wonder just how many will scuttle back to Northampton to see what all the fuss is about. This reaction is what Sisu have been banking on all along – which is no secret, they even said as much at the forums: “Oh, you’ll be back if we’re winning” was the tone. 7000 fans was the figure. The smug bastards.

I don’t want to place a dampener on the results – none of this alters my affection towards the lads or what they’ve done – but rather than getting upset about potentially missing a lot of it, after spending a bit of time to assess my feelings, I actually think this offers the perfect opportunity to stress just how headstrong we need to be if this campaign is to prove anything. Like I’ve said – it’s easy enough not to turn up if the team are losing all the time. But deliberately missing out on the interesting stuff, even after all these years of uselessness? There’s your statement, right there.

Look, we all love the club in our own way. Deep down, I bet most of us are loving that the team is showing signs of progression and being able to win games. We love these things.

But for me, the sanctity of our club’s identity remains the most crucial thing in this argument, and I know one thing; as much as it upsets me when I miss out on the good stuff, I’m not going to give in that easily.

And by not turning up at Northampton, even when my every urge has me desperate to watch some football again, I find clarity in just how much power we have in this situation. Sisu are gamblers, it’s the business they’re in – and as part of this move to Northampton, they’re banking on fans giving in once they start to miss it.

Well, this fan’s not for breaking. In fact, if anything, the more we win, the more I’ll want to prove just how headstrong I can be. They’ve dismissed our thoughts and opinions all summer long. It’s truly heartbreaking to miss all these games after so many years devotion, but if this eventually forces a change of tack from the people making these reckless decisions with our club, then it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

KEEP CCFC IN COVENTRY.

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14 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’ll not be going to Sixfields however well we are doing. The better the team is doing, the stronger my resolve. Stick two fingers up to SISU and the Football League!

  2. Exactly, I want the protests to actually count for something. If this move was genuinely enforced (the Ricoh fell apart or something), people would be more understanding. But it’s still there, only an agreement away.

    It’s clear to me now that while ACL have contributed to the animosity and incompetent negotiations, Sisu have consistently proved their contempt for what the fans have told them – they have a plan, and whatever that is, they’re steaming on with it because they think the fans will eventually give in. People will do what they want, but there’s no way I can support that. Relocating a team because you’re incapable of maintaining a civil business relationship should never be an acceptable reason

  3. I live so far away from Coventry that I can only watch games on the (sadly) few occaisions I am in the UK. So I will always be vulnerable to an accusation that I am “sitting on the fence”. But I do fully understand the sentiments of the writer of this quite profound article – and I sympathise with his/her arguments.

    What astounds me is the total lack of logic in the on-going situation. A bright young manager, a bright young team which includes a rising number of talented local players, 9 goals in the last 2 games. Truly the phoenix is arising again. More games with similar results would lead to potentially 15-20.000+ crowds in Coventry – perhaps even sell-out crowds for local derbies (Peterborough, Wolves …).

    So why Northampton? Maximum capacity 7.000, I believe. The Ricoh is there! Of course for my nostalgic generation, a stadium incomparable to the hallowed turf of Highfield Road, but still a very lovely stadium.

    What is the income related logic of playing games in Northampton compared to playing the home games at the the Ricoh? There isn’t one. The 3 most important assets of any business are these : turnover, turnover and turnover.

    Someone please bang some heads together – heads on both sides of the fence on which I am necessarily sitting. I am a Coventry kid who loves my “Sky Blues”. But I am also an (albeit involuntary) investor in SISU through my pension fund – happily in (very profitable) Scandinavian alternative energy solutions rather than football clubs.

    PUSB.

    Pete – ex Green Lane, now Funen in Denmark – the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, he of the famous fairy tales (I have to believe!!!!).

  4. I really can’t imagine that anyone who had truly committed to not setting their foot in Sixfields would relent and backtrack on the back of a few promising results. So who will go to follow a successful team and fulfil the Fisher prediction? for starters there’s the 1000 “can’t miss a game” or “don’t care that much where they play” types who have showed up already. After that, funnily enough the Sisu Masterplan for a 7000 attendance is to draw from the “casual” (not that way) 20,000 who showed up for the JPT Final who hadn’t been around all year otherwise. In other words, Sisu to exploit one of our most common commodities, the peripheral low commitment fan attracted only by success or glamour. Get a few injuries, a poorer run of results, and I’m uncertain how many of those you’ll get on a wet & cold Wednesday in November…

    PUSB

    1. I agree Trampy – the majority of people who are opposed to Sixfields seem pretty firm in their mindset. I do just sense a concern (paranoia maybe) that others around them won’t be as strongminded though.

      Having said all that, it’s only been one game – we’re worrying about this issue, but it’s all guesswork. We need a few weeks to figure out just how valid that concern is. And as you say, the chances of the fair-weather fans turning up on the dark and wintry nights after a couple of defeats in a row – well that feels slim.

  5. Fisher has made his most recent media statement last week speaking to Shane on the breakfast show on CWR.
    Having listened to this a couple of times now, anyone who follows the Sky Blues should be under no illusion that the SISU battle plan is in place, is working very nicely and will not be under any immediate threat from anyone including the highest authority i.e the Government.

    Fisher states:-
    1. We will re-grow the business and we will continue against the wall of liquidation (and he’s me stupidly thinking we were a football club that belongs to the community).
    2.They have the proof of funds and will fund cash flows. (we are the financial big boys and we can keep going forever, we have very long pockets and no one tells us what we can or cannot do)
    3..Blame is boring (he’s finished talking with ACL)
    4.Be mature about it (just accept what is happening and start supporting again like nothing has happened).
    5. There is no plan B, we have re-capitalised the business, have the golden share and are moving towards the financial fair play status (see point number two)

    Their plan is
    1.Carry out the obligation to the football league to complete the fixtures (we are at Northampton for this season regardless)
    2. Push on with the stadium build (hoodwink a council into thinking it’s a good idea and it will bring growth to the area, couldn’t care less about our customers and ACL can rot in hell )
    3.Manage commercial risk for at least the next three years (wear down the Cov fans and maybe in seven years time when the stadium is built they will be willing to watch anywhere on the doorstep)

    My plan is
    I will not go to Sixfields (ever – apart from an away draw in the cups).
    I will support my team at away matches, funds and time permitting.
    I will keep the faith in everything Sky Blue.
    I will not fund any commercial venture that will go to SISU.
    Continue to support any protests and to help my team return to Coventry City.
    To support my family and my Sky Blues friends with all of the above.

    I will not give in, and if we are still winning and moving up the table then fantastic.
    Support the players in whatever way you feel is right, there is no right or wrong on this, it is down to your own beliefs.
    I have been a fan for 46 years, I missed the FA cup because of work commitments, but it hasn’t stopped me from being a loyal fan and enjoying the moment just because I wasn’t there.
    Some people have to go come what may, whatever is thrown at them they move on, that is their choice.
    Let us all stick together, the Sky Blue Army is strong, and we have to remain as one that is the only hope we have.

  6. Dave, fantastic. I’m with you, and I think a lot of people are the same.

    What I can’t quite get my head around in all of this is that for Sisu’s plan to work, to enable them to build this new stadium and for this club to make them money in the long run – everything has to go right. Funds, planning permission, a successful team, forgiveness from the fans. They’re a big business, but they can’t seriously believe this is going to work out if they continue on their current trajectory.

    This leads me to believe that they won’t actually be able to see this through, and presumably (hopefully) they know this and it’s just one almighty bluff. All I can hope for is that when the point comes for them to change their approach, the alternative is something we as fans can finally be pleased with. Of course new owners would be the ideal, but I guess our only option at the moment is to do as you say – stick to our guns and hope it forces the issue eventually.

  7. Good article. Let me start by saying that I am a CCFC supporter who now lives in Canada; therefore I have no real business asking CCFC supporters to go to Sixfields or not to go. My personal opinion is that going to Sixfields is indirectly supporting Fisher and his SISU; that i would ask all true Sky Blues not to do.

    The SUSU people are greedy, the sooner they realize that CCFC fans are united with NOPM they will leave. The best way to make them realize this by not giving them any of your hard earned cash.

  8. I am afraid I will be going on sunday because it is what I like to do, supporting the lads win, lose or draw.

    there are only so many weekends’ in a life time and I am spending this weekend cheering on the sky blues.

    no principles, possibly…..but in part justified cos the boat we are in is down to a plethora of reasons not all down to sisu……

  9. @alfie
    Although I agree with you about the “plethora of reasons not all down to sisu” the reality now is that SISU is preventing the club from moving forward and our only way out is to get rid of them. The longer that SISU remains in control then the further the club will decline. I’ve been a supporter for more than 50 years and it hurts like hell not to be cheering on the lads but in my opinion it’s the only thing that I can do to in order to rid our club of SISU. I’ll be supporting my team at away matches but I’ll not be going to Sixfields as that would be helping them to retain control and run our club into the ground. Be under no illusions, if it suits its SISU, there’s a good chance that the club never returns to Coventry.

  10. sorry, chris I have a different picture of the situation…

    sisu supported the various managers’ last season and brought in a number of decent players that made us competitive until the council induced 10 point deduction.

    i cannot agree that the long term strategy of sisu is to move the club from the city of coventry.

    not supporting the players wearing the sky blue is counter productive whatever your view ……. but that is just my view!

    I am looking forward to the game on sunday and I am hoping for three points and more goals. if we get them I will start to dream of the play-offs rather than just survival. enjoy your afternoon of avoiding the mighty sky blues, I am sure you will feel rather smug, especially if we lose to a 90th minute pne winner.

  11. @alfie
    You not only have a different view but also, I suggest, a very blinkered and rather naive one.

    Up until last season I was willing to give SISU the benefit of the doubt but as the situation unfolded it became more apparent how much damage they were inflicting on the club. In your opinion it was the council’s fault for Administration and the 10 points deduction. The reality is that by withholding payment of the rent (however ridiculously high it was, SISU had entered into a legal contract) and subsequently reneging on a deal agreed orally, SISU painted ACL into a corner whereby they had little choice but to file for Administration. SISU’s aim throughout has been to gain control of the Ricoh and their withholding of the rent was a blatant to attempt to force ACL into Administration in order to obtain the stadium on the cheap. Perhaps you ought to consider the views of the judge who dealt with the recent action taken by SISU against ACL.

    Unlike you, I’m no longer willing to countenance SISU having control of the club I have supported for pretty much my whole life. While not being at ‘home’ games is obviously not helpful for team, in my opinion it is in the longer term best interests of the club. I can assure you that my decision regarding Sixfields has not been taken lightly.

    I have to say that I take issue with what you have written in your final paragraph and it probably provides some indication of your blinkered perspective. Do you really think that I would take any pleasure in seeing the club that I’ve supported for 50+ years lose? How on earth could I be smug about any defeat? Perhaps you chose to ignore my statement about not attending hurting me like hell. Of course I’ll not be enjoying missing games but unlike you I’m prepared to make that sacrifice. I’ve had a season ticket for the last 17 years and I have a round trip of 140 miles to get to the Ricoh so please do not question my dedication to the club.

    If you wish to continue providing support for an owner that, through its actions has demonstrated clearly that has no regard for the club’s supporters and is only interested in making money, then so be it as that’s your choice. However please do not imply that because I have made a decision not to attend games at Sixfields that I do not care about the club. In my opinion those of us who are making this sacrifice and taking this stand against SISU actually care more for the club than you.

    Perhaps you ought to stop and think for a while about why the vast majority of supporters hold such a different view to you regarding what is happening at our club. You also ought to consider the likely outcome for the club and supporters should SISU remain in control. Only through SISU’s removal can we think of moving forward.

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