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Coventry City - A club in crisis

Saturday 27th May 2017
Once upon a time, Coventry City was a Premier League regular, featuring in the top flight for 34 years. However, times have changed, with the club due to play football in the fourth tier next season.

The Sky Blues have had a slow and painful shift in fortunes over the years. Spending eight seasons in the Championship, the club were eventually relegated to League One in 2012. They enjoyed some success in League One, only just missing out on the playoff places last season, ending up in a respectable 8th place, their highest league placing since the 2005/06 season (Coventry has failed to reach higher than 7th  since 1988/89). Many were expecting more of the same this season, so how can it all go so wrong for the historic club?

Their misfortunes perhaps started around the time the club suffered relegation to League One, the full details of the financial mess can be read in the excellent book - Coventry City: A Club Without a Home. It wasn't long after this that the club was placed under administration while being forced out of their famous home, the Ricoh Arena. Clearly, this angered many supporters which eventually led to a petition being signed to force owners, SISU, out of the club. Despite reaching 20,000 signatures, this didn't sway the controversial owners. Recently, a consortium, with a multi-millionaire at the front of the bid, are attempting to take over at the club. This is certainly in the best interests of all fans at the club, as they look to push SISU out and get the club back on the straight and narrow. The good news for fans is that despite their offer being turned down, they've vowed that they're not going to away.

Times have been tough for Coventry City they look to be getting tougher. They're currently in the process of trying to find a solution to the relocation of their academy, hopefully joining forces with a local school in a bid to keep their youth system alive. Coventry's financial status have been in ruins for the past few years, with the club having to release some of their best players in order to keep the books in the black. One signing which they should have aimed to keep hold of was Marcus Tudgay. Despite a disappointing season, he would've done a job in League Two, bringing a wealth of striking experience with him.

Recently, the club has had some of the best players in the football league. Callum Wilson and Leon Clarke once were partners for the Sky Blues not so long ago, a frightening prospect for any defence to face. They scored enough goals between them to generate interest from Premier League and Championship clubs, today Wilson plays with top-flight side, Bournemouth. Fans must be wondering how different it would be if they could have kept hold of their best players.

Recruitment will be key for Coventry City over the summer. Granted, they may not have the financial power they once had. However, their squad is lacking any sort of real quality, which must be addressed. With the threat of being booted out of the Football League as large as ever for the club next season, Mark Robins must work with the board to strengthen his side. League Two is all about experience, coupled with a young enough squad to rotate through all the games played, particularly with the re-run of the EFL trophy that the club will be defending next season.

No matter who you support, it's always sad to watch a side who has such a rich history, plummet down the leagues under financial pressure. Surely the owners must realise that relegations are doing the club no favours, and real investment is required to provide success to their loyal fans.
Jack Drury
19 years of age. Sport and Exercise Science Student at Loughborough University. Peterborough United.

Total articles: 76

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