Finally, a place to call home?

As I took a sip out of my League One Champions mug on Tuesday morning, my phone lit up to tell me that Coventry City’s official Twitter account had, well, tweeted something. My initial thought was ‘another signing, bloody hell’, but then I looked a little closer…

A few more mouthfuls of tea went down as I read it back to myself a few times, trying to fathom how on Earth the club had pulled this one out of the bag. The Sky Blues have been known as the club without a home for quite a while now, and despite having an air of caution when digesting such news given the history of the stadium saga, it was enough to get me excited about the future of our football club.

I won’t go into too much detail about the Ricoh Arena and the politics behind it because the complexities of that situation would provide enough copy to produce a rather lengthy novel. However, one thing is certain – it has never really felt like home. Now Wasps are there as well and with relationships less than amicable, maybe a fresh start somewhere else is the best option to continue developing on the progress that has been made over the last few years.

Of course, getting to the point where any potential new stadium is ready to open takes time, and the figures being reported suggest it would take approximately five years to reach that stage. What would happen in the meantime remains a mystery, but my guess is that our owners would have to seek a short-term agreement with Wasps to allow us to play in Coventry at some point during those years. Turning out at St. Andrew’s surely wouldn’t be sustainable for too much longer, would it?

Anyway, back to the most recent twist in the story. Although it has been met with scepticism by some due to false promises that have been given in the past, the fact that Warwick University are involved would suggest there is added weight to it this time around. There is reason to be optimistic at the moment and it seems like things are moving in the right direction, but everyone connected with CCFC will just have to wait and see what happens next.

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Our immediate attention needs to be focused on where our Championship campaign will be hosted in the 2020/21, but looking further forward, how amazing would it be to have full control over our own destiny. For years we’ve generated little income from matchdays and next to nothing on non-matchdays, so it would be a very welcome boost to receive all of what the stadium generates. Particularly if we want to establish ourselves in the second tier and then seek further success, it’s vital that we can compete financially with our competitors.

If everything did work out for the best, the thing I would look forward to the most is just fully concentrating on the football and watching our team in our own city. Our exile to Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium put a huge strain on our fan base and there was a clear divide. The return to the Ricoh was then marred by the announcement that Wasps would be arriving from London to nest, and while last season’s jaunt to Birmingham may have been accepted more by fans, it still isn’t Coventry.

The day we return and we can call the city our permanent home will be a fantastic one, and I can’t wait for the club to claim back its identity. Mark Robins and the players have reignited the flame and this Phoenix is rising again, so let’s hope this upward trajectory continues.



1 thought on “Finally, a place to call home?

  1. Great to hear from you again, Matty. I too have positive vibes about this new initiative. In my view the whole Ricoh saga has been a catastrophy. While Highfield Road was for many of us older fans our true home, it was not sustainable. Inner City location, poor infrastructure and fast becoming outdated. But the Ricoh was never “ours”. There were too many interested parties involved – too many decision makers and far to much political influence from outside the football club. For me the ultimate decision to sell it to a non-Coventry based RU club was a political “kick in the whats’its and clearly demonstrated Coventry Councils’ disdainful lack of loyalty to traditional Coventry sports clubs (CCFC and CRUFC).
    Unpopular though the decision was – SISU did right to walk away – CCFC need to be masters of its own destiny..
    SISU made mistakes – yes! But what on earth is going on around us now? Two promotions in 3 years, a Wembley trophy to boot and now a place in the Championship with a squad of players and a management team of whom we all can be proud.
    I pray that this initiative will come to fruition.
    Coventry has a long tradition of regenerating itself. From medieval times the City has been famous for being able to adjust and to adapt – from silks to clocks and watches, from bicycles to motor cars, from internal combustion to jet engines from electronics to high tech computer technology.
    The City and County of Warwickshire (in my mind still ‘Our’ county!) has become an educational centre of excellence. Students come from all over the world – a “UNI Metropilis” . With this comes research, development, and investment in environmentally friendly solutions for modern society.
    If our football club can buy into this future, then its own future will be secure.
    SISU are experts in environmentally friendly investment. Some of my pension funds are placed in SISU schemes – these are profitable.
    A new stadium – primarily to be built for our Premiership-bound Sky Blues – can be a beacon of excellence for the Coventry/Warwickshire community. Properly designed and developed by the research facilities of the Universities and local businesses, it could provide enough ‘green’ energy for 30.000 homes. It could be a centre of re-cycling of waste – and packed with student accommodation and leisure facilities – all of which give income. An income far above that from the sale of pies and beer on matchdays. An income that will secure the future of our beloved Sky Blues – not least because we would not have to sell 2-3 of our best players every year!

    Omwards and upwards – The Phoenix will rise again!


    Liked by 1 person

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