Today we finally learned that Coventry City FC will not be playing at the Ricoh Arena next season. Instead, our football team will be ground-sharing at St Andrews, the home of Birmingham City FC.
Every supporter will have their own thoughts, emotions and decisions to make regarding this turn of events. One thing I expect that most will agree on is that this is a very dark day in the troubled history of the Sky Blues.
Each supporter has the right to choose whether to follow the club to St Andrews, or to attend away fixtures only, or not to go at all. The right of the individual to make their own decision should be respected, even if it is not a decision with which I, you or others agree. I am sure that members of the Jimmy Hill Way will arrive at differing decisions, though I doubt that many of us will be making trips to Brum.
On a personal note, I will not be watching “home fixtures” in Birmingham, for the same reasons that I never stepped foot inside Sixfields during the first period of exile. For me, it’s not Coventry City if the team is not playing in the City of Coventry. The difference with this time around is I doubt that I will attend away games or protest outside St Andrews, as I did on the Hill at Northampton.
Sisu’s appalling record of stewardship of CCFC, since December 2007, has finally destroyed my love and affection for the club. Wherever people think the blame lies or should be apportioned for this latest disaster, for homelessness to strike City twice in 6 years during the ownership of Joy Seppala and “leadership” of Tim Fisher is inexcusable and unforgivable. In my opinion, both episodes were entirely avoidable.
Dave Boddy may be excused by some supporters and it may be argued that the club Chief Executive has done his best in difficult circumstances. It may be considered unfortunate that this is not the first time that a club under his management has gone into exile, as he presided over a similar calamity when he was Chairman at Worcester City. That is not a record to be proud of.
Therefore, after more than 40 years of watching and following the Sky Blues, I am choosing to walk away from the grief and emotional turmoil that it has entailed, particularly during the Sisu era. I have some great memories of fantastic games, particularly at Highfield Road in the top tier of English football, great players and managers, smashing goals and those special days at Wembley in 1987, 2017 and 2018. To all who contributed to those wonderful experiences, I am truly grateful, especially to my fellow supporters and friends with whom I shared so many happy days.
Sadly, under current ownership, directorship and off-field management, the unhappy times are far outnumbering the good moments. When you are no longer enjoying something, particularly a leisure activity, it’s time to stop.
I hope that new owners, people who truly love Coventry City, who value the supporters and the whole Sky Blues Community, will eventually take control at CCFC. When that day arrives, I may be able to renew my ties to our football club.
Until then, my fellow Sky Blues …. Goodbye and Thanks for the Memories.
The Jimmy Hill Way Campaign