To conclude what’s been a fascinating week of guest posts, I hand you over to the capable brain of Jim Lee. You know, the guy who had the audacity to promote his Twitter handle before giving Tim Fisher a right going over at one of the Summer forums.
Like many, Jim’s finding this season a real struggle. The football is great, and in ordinary circumstances the side would have the supporters bouncing with pride and enthusiasm.
But as we know only too well, these aren’t normal circumstances. We’re not robots – we all cope and react to situations differently, and being able to forget the hoopla is proving difficult.
By Jim Lee
A Brief History of Time
Back in July, when I found out I’d scored a guest spot on Sky Blues Blog, I was somewhat relieved my piece wasn’t due until September. At the time, there was nothing but anger jangling about in my head. A frustrating administration saga had me fixated on the Twitter feed of superstar journo Les Reid, while we all tried to battle against the club being torn from our city.
Sure, there would have been plenty to write about. But it would have been interspersed with foul language, and with the grave danger that my keyboard wouldn’t have made it through the ordeal intact.
But it was fine. Late September was the date. “Excellent!” I thought, “There will have been loads of football played by September. I’ll have loads to talk about, far removed from all this nonsense!”
And by golly, I was right, because there is so much we could rejoice over right now. I could talk about how we’re already clear of the relegation zone, in spite of the points deduction. I could talk about the free-flowing will-we-ever-stop-scoring brand of attacking football that we’re currently tearing the opposition to shreds with. I could talk about the contribution and dramatic rise of the Coventry-born superhuman superstars in the squad (P.S. I love you, Callum Wilson).
I could even put together a jovial piece on waistcoats (or ‘sleeveless cardigans’), and Neil would probably gleefully publish it.
But there’s a problem. Everything isn’t ok. Every achievement, or every little green sapling of positivity, is followed by the same caveat:
We’re clear of the relegation zone… we’re playing incredible football… the kids are a revelation…
…but it’s not happening in Coventry. And I can’t escape that.
While I love seeing us play the way we’re playing, and while I revel in success the same as I always would, everything is still punctuated by the same feeling. The same I wish I was there, the same I wish this was happening here, the same I wish they’d bloody sort themselves out.
And if the knowledge that it could happen for the rest of this (potentially brilliant) season wasn’t bad enough, how’s this for a thought: it could be like this for years.
Just writing that… eugh.
Short-term pain, long-term gain?
Here’s something some people won’t like. I can see, to a degree, where the club’s owners are coming from. We’ve heard endless preaching from our pal Tim on Financial Fair Play, and why CCFC need revenues from the stadium to survive. So you know what? Go ahead and build a new stadium (assuming that is the intention here). It’s not ideal to have that multi-million-pound beast of a facility sat empty whilst we watch football in the New York Stadium II (or, ahem, Highfield II); but the logic adds up. Knock yourself out, Tim.
The bit I can’t for the life of me get around is why it can’t be arranged for us to play in Coventry in the meantime. You know, in that big stadium that was designed just for us? Come on, you lot. You’re clever people (allegedly); surely it makes sense to find a compromise to sort that out?
Eakin out a solution
Like heck do I want to sit around on my arse every second Saturday for the next five years. Shut away in my bedroom on one of my two days off, listening to Clive and friends on the radio (no offence, lads). That isn’t why I got into football, and it isn’t how I want to continue with it.
And, of course, plenty just won’t continue with it. They’ll discover that, actually, there are things to do on a Saturday other than shelling out four quid each to jump on a bus to the outskirts of the city. There will be a whole host of folk, young and old, who will just never come back.
A short term deal needs to happen now, as much as all the parties seem blind to it.
Even though pitiful numbers of people are paying to watch at Sixfields, and even though the Ricoh is sat there twiddling its giant stadium thumbs, none of those in charge seem all that fussed about it. At least not as fussed as you’d expect.
I think it’s about time things were made a touch more uncomfortable, don’t you reckon?
A call to arms
A concerted spell of pressure is needed, on both ACL and Sisu/Otium, to plop their bottoms across a table from one another and have a chat. The refusal to go to games and the occasional gathering here-and-there are all well and good (and I am favourable to such action), but there needs to be something more.
I’m not the man with all the answers, unfortunately. Perhaps we should all badger the FA, flooding them with letters, until they turn up the heat on everyone? Perhaps we should launch a mass assault on the council, until they pick up the phone to Joy, rather than just sending her letters via the newspaper? Perhaps there’s a completely original idea that will get the lot of them on side? Let’s brainstorm. Then let’s act.
It may be conventional wisdom amongst supporters that the parties need to talk, but it’s not seeped in yet where it matters. Some of these egos are seriously stubborn membranes, resistant to the mitosis of protest. This noise needs to be louder, and it needs to be relentless. There are loads of us, literally thousands, that want this sorted. If we can mobilise as a collective, and with defined purpose, then we might start to make a little headway.
Then maybe, just maybe, my next blog can be about football.
You can follow Jim on Twitter @_threeofclubs