Tag: Coventry City

The Hedge Fund & The Football Club: A Year-Round Pantomime

Every once in a while, we receive an anonymous email or two here at the 200% underground bunker. Usually it’s a gramatically incompetent stream of abuse from an über-fan because we’ve been mean about his – and let’s face it, it’s only going to come from a “him”, isn’t it? – football club, the little diddums, but this afternoon we received one from somebody looking to vent their spleen on the subject of Coventry City. So, here’s “Tallulah Oppenheimer” (if you’re going to give someone a nom de plume, do it in style, I reckon) with their take on all things Sky Blue of late. Hedge funds in football – now there’s an interesting notion. What’s extraordinary is that there are plenty of people in the football authorities themselves – Football League, Premier League in particular – who see no problem, or rather, wouldn’t want to ‘discriminate’ against the possibility that they might prove to be good owners. Funny line that: it’s somehow a matter of equality that a hedge fund should have the right to own a club. You can imagine the ‘missing’ chapter of Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ focusing on the rights of the downtrodden masses of City of London investment funds to own Rochdale if they so choose – ‘“All are created equal, black, white or banker’, I said addressing a rally of pension...

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No Speedy Resolution To The Ricoh Arena Dispute

After a brief wobble over the course of last week, Coventry City got back to form on Saturday afternoon with a three-one win in Milton Keynes in a match watched by an astonishing seven thousand travelling supporters. The love, for now, is still there, even if this may not be quite as readily apparent from the attendances that the club has been managing at its home away from home in Northampton, where less than two thousand people turned out last Tuesday night’s three-nil home loss at the hands of Rotherham United. This evening, however, any prospect of the club returning from its self-imposed exile thirty-five miles from home seem further away than ever following an accumulation of recent events. At the end of last week, the club’s owners won their appeal against the dismissal of their application for a judicial review of the financial arrangements made at the start of this year involving stadium owners ACL and Coventry City Council. Whether this was much of a victory for the club’s owners comes down, as so much else in this story does, to which side of the divide upon which you stand. On the one hand, this was not necessarily expected result for the club’s solicitors to achieve, especially when we consider how emphatic the original judge had been in dismissing this claim. On the other, however, this is hardly...

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FA Cup First Round Week: Coventry City & Wimbledon – A Tale Of Two Cup Winners

In the second of our series ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup First Round matches, we take a look at two of the bigger names in the draw, who are playing each other on Friday night. Please, if you wish to reproduce this article elsewhere, link to it rather than copying and pasting it. Thanks.  In the FA Cup First Round on Friday night, two clubs with something of a pedigree in this competition will meet when Wimbledon play Coventry City at Kingsmeadow. In the late 1980s, these two clubs provided a little light relief from what would go on to become a little over a quarter of a century’s tedium for the supporters of all but a gilded few. In the years between 1981 and 2007, only a thoroughly predictable six clubs – Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea – would otherwise be fortunate enough to see their teams lift the trophy at Wembley or Cardiff, and these are two clubs which now also have something else in common which has become increasingly common in recent years, the loss of a ground and an exile away from home forced upon them by their owners. During the 1986/87 FA Cup, Coventry City crept to the FA Cup Final as if by stealth. The stand out result of their run to Wembley, when viewed from the twenty-first...

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Divided They Fall: The Great Coventry City Schism

It has been another busy few days for Coventry City Football Club, which has ended with questions again being asked in parliament about the administration process that has proved to be such a big part of where the club is now, a bizarre protest outside the City Council headquarters which involved just forty people and a statement from the council clarifying exactly why they are largely unable to comment upon the club’s continuing exile thirty-five miles away in Northampton. And at the end of busy few days, the feeling that we are left with is that, amongst the support at the very least, only division remains, and these are scars that may take many years to heal. Meanwhile crowds at Sixfields, which are perhaps the only true, measurable barometer of how the people of this city feel about their football club at the moment, remain pitifully low. It’s difficult not to look at Coventry City Football Club and pick up the distinct whiff of decay in the air. First up came the emergence of a new pressure group, called Get Cov Back To The Ricoh. This particular group claimed to be non-partisan in taking sides between the owners of the football club and the owners of the stadium, but their initial questions seemed very much to be slanted towards making ACL, the stadium owners, and Coventry City Council, part-owners...

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Jimmy Hill: Union Man, Visionary, Sky Blue Thinker – Part One

This Sunday, the cameras of Sky Sports will be at Sixfields, for the League One match between Coventry City and Sheffield United. A debate is currently going on amongst the supporters of the club over what would be the best way to protest this. The “Not One Penny More” movement has a difficult decision to make. Do they break their own boycott for one match to protest inside the stadium, where the television cameras will broadcast their rage to the nation? Or do they protest outside on the hill that overlooks the ground and run the risk of the cameras missing it altogether? Since the club first moved thirty-five miles from home to play in a different town, Coventry supporters have taken to calling this hill “Jimmy’s Hill”, after the man who not only redefined Coventry City Football Club, but who may also stake a claim for being the most important individual in the entire history of English football. Jimmy Hill’s career as a player ended in 1961 at the age of thirty-three, having started his career with Brentford before moving to Fulham, where he spent nine years from 1952 on. At the time that Hill’s playing career was coming to an end, the role of the professional footballer was very different to that which players enjoy in the twenty-first century. A maximum wage had first been introduced by...

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