Times Today - SISU Indictment

Discussion in 'Coventry City General Chat' started by RPHunt, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. RPHunt

    RPHunt New Member

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    Another damning indictment of SISU as part of an article that highlights the failing of the game's administrators.

    Oliver Kay Chief Football Correspondent
    December 14 2013


    Choose football. Choose a club. Choose a vanity purchase. Choose a leveraged buyout. Choose dragging a club into hundreds of millions of pounds of debt, running up huge interest payments every year, just to prop up your own investment.

    Choose being dismissive, contemptuous and silent. Choose being open, desperate to please but hopelessly naive. Choose living the dream and then leaving behind a nightmare. Choose pumping in hundreds of millions of pounds and running the club as a dictatorship. Choose paying an £11 million dividend to one of your own companies. Choose sacking your manager, hiring a friend of a friend, thinking you know best and then showing you know nothing.


    Choose alienating your fanbase by inflating ticket prices. Choose turning a proud old club into an advertising vehicle for a country, a downmarket sports shop or takeaway chicken. Choose selling the stadium’s name, changing the club’s name, changing the kit colours. Choose relocating to Milton Keynes or Northampton. Choose charging for newspaper interviews. Choose official integrated telecommunications partners in Benin, Bahrain and Bangladesh. Choose selling your soul to the highest bidder. Choose English football.


    You get the picture. It is not just about Assem Allam’s attempts to turn Hull City into Hull Tigers or Vincent Tan’s unedifying rebranding of Cardiff City or Mike Ashley’s constant cheapening of Newcastle United or the Glazer family’s leeching of Manchester United or the atrocities inflicted on Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City, Portsmouth, York City and various other clubs in recent times.


    No, the real issue here is the common theme that runs through all this: the unravelling of football’s rich tapestry by businessmen who correctly sense that the English game brings all manner of opportunities for self-aggrandisement and unregulated abuse of proud old institutions while the authorities shake their heads solemnly before shrugging and saying there is nothing they can do about it, guv.


    Increasingly, it feels as if that particular horse has already bolted, that there is no use trying to shut the stable door now when Portsmouth have dropped three divisions or when Manchester United have spent more than £500  million in eight years to prop up the Glazer family’s ownership or when attendances at Blackburn have plummeted in three years under the calamitous ownership of Venky’s or when Coventry are playing to pitiful crowds in Northampton while the purpose-built Ricoh Arena sits empty because of a dispute between a hedge fund and Coventry City Council.


    The authorities have proved spectacularly useless when it has come to stopping the various forms of corporate vandalism that have followed the diversification of club ownership in English football. A similar verdict was reached in 2011 by a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee into football governance, which stated that “the FA, Premier League and Football League have spent too long behind the curve on ownership matters”, allowing “some startlingly poor business practices to occur, and have tolerated an unacceptably low level of transparency”.


    The most troubling thing of all is how weak English football’s authorities are when these issues arise. The classic case came in 2002, when an FA-appointed commission greased the wheels of the bandwagon that took Wimbledon to Milton Keynes, which, it said, “provides a suitable and deserving opportunity where none exists in South London”. The FA received assurances that Wimbledon’s identity would be retained in Milton Keynes — as if that were even possible — but, to nobody’s surprise, the re-franchising was complete when the club was renamed MK Dons in 2004.


    Compared to all this, Tan’s rebranding of Cardiff, wearing red shirts rather than blue, and Allam’s proposed relaunch of Hull as Hull Tigers might seem relatively trivial. A personal view, though, is that both cases show an appalling disregard to their club’s heritage andfor the feelings of supporters and that, for your average football supporter and indeed reporter, these are small but significant conflicts in a wider battle to preserve the soul of English football.


    By far the least significant of the football crimes listed above are Newcastle’s plans, more embryonic than reported, to persuade newspapers to pay for the right to be “media partners”, presumably on the condition that it is accompanied by the type of soft-soap reporting that so many clubs seem to imagine is the media’s duty.


    Again, this is symptomatic of a wider issue. It is not about media relations, even if Newcastle are a sad case in that department, having banned their three local newspapers for sympathising with those protesting against the Mike Ashley regime. No, what grates most here is that this daft initiative has come from a club that did not request a penny from Ashley’s company when, for 11 embarrassing months, St James’ Park, the club’s home since 1892, was rebranded as Sports Direct Arena before Wonga.com restored a little of the class for which they are so well known.


    Manchester United’s pursuit of logistics partners, noodle partners and official snack partners — “with a history of success and not compromising on quality, Mister Potato shares our commitment to excellence” and no, I’m not joking — makes financial sense. One cannot help recalling, though, that so much of the money that club makes goes into sustaining the Glazer regime or that the club’s otherwise impeccable tributes on the 50th anniversary of the Munich tragedy were besmirched, horribly, by an AIG logo on the huge mural outside Old Trafford.


    It is typical, every bit of it, of a culture that knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. Allam seemed one of those owners that appreciated the wider value of a club, having invested so much in Hull and then propelling them forward, but his disdain for the supporters’ view over his Hull Tigers proposal is appalling. “We’re City till we die,” they chant. “They can die as they want,” he said, having earlier stated that “No one on earth is allowed to question how I do my business.”


    Allam claims that he rejects “Hull City” because “City is also associated with Leicester, Bristol, Manchester and many other clubs. City is a lousy identity.”


    Only a cynic would suggest that Allam’s real issue with “Hull City” stems from his longstanding grievances with Hull City Council, who own the KC Stadium and have rejected the club’s attempts to buy the freehold. This is what we are dealing with here: the type of owners who feel a club’s heritage is reasonable collateral in a dispute with a local council. A change in name, in Hull’s case, might be reversible, but SISU, the hedge fund that owns Coventry, seem not to care about the damage being done by their senseless decision to relocate to Northampton out of spite towards Coventry City Council, who own the Ricoh Arena.


    Nobody at Coventry/SISU seems to worry about the long-term issues arising from the fact that a Sky Bet League One club, facing a battle to attract young supporters, has, out of bloody-mindedness, ended up playing its home matches in front of crowds of less than 2,000 and a 40-minute drive away in Northampton.


    The Football League tried but failed to intervene over Coventry. The FA, in the year that marked their 150th anniversary, have shown themselves to be powerless when such issues have arisen. The self-styled governing body of English football has long washed its hands of such matters.


    The weakness of the authorities is one of the great regrets of English football in the 21st century. Frustration tends to be focused on the antiquated structure of the FA, with its bloated Council, made up almost entirely of grey-haired men. They are too conservative, we frequently hear. Well, for once, the FA Council has an opportunity to justify its existence. The next step, after Hull submitted its request to change its name , is for the FA Council to decide whether to to ratify the change as per FA rule A3 (l).


    We often hear the English football is too conservative. In recent years it has been nothing like conservative enough where it has come to containing the whims of owners who, bit by bit, are picking apart the rich tapestry of what they have bought into. The “Hull Tigers” debate might seem relatively trivial compared to some of what has been allowed to go unchecked in recent years, but, if the authorities have any intention of fighting the good fight at last, that club will be City till they die.
     
  2. Jack Griffin

    Jack Griffin Active Member

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    OMG you'll get sued mate! LOL..
     
  3. ecky

    ecky Well-Known Member

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    GREAT FIND!

    Wait for the SISU Lawyers try to have this removed?

    The truth will come out...
     
  4. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    As the Times charge a subscription, more likely to be them asking ;)

    Anyway, worth(?) repeating what I put elsewhere, I'd rather the regulatory bodies were challenged than our owners tbh;until that's fixed, where's the way out?

    And you'd probably get some unity from dispirate sources if so, too... where we might actually be able to muster up a decent sized demonstration as a result!
     
  5. wingy

    wingy Well-Known Member

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    This Is where the battle lies and where we should take it ,the Gov't say they have the bottle and 2 yrs have elapsed since its report . Lets see them act!!
     
  6. Tonylinc

    Tonylinc Well-Known Member

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    A brave man indeed
     
  7. Tonylinc

    Tonylinc Well-Known Member

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    Look out for your post RP on Monday. There may well be a letter from Shitzu's Solicitors.
     
  8. rondog1973

    rondog1973 Active Member

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    Something, someday has to give in English football.

    I believe, as fans, it is within our power to influence change.

    NOPM.
     
  9. RPHunt

    RPHunt New Member

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    I love this bit:

    "Nobody at Coventry/SISU seems to worry about the long-term issues arising from the fact that a Sky Bet League One club, facing a battle to attract young supporters, has, out of bloody-mindedness, ended up playing its home matches in front of crowds of less than 2,000 and a 40-minute drive away in Northampton. "

    Just a pity that, again, it has to come from a commentator in a national newspaper rather than someone closer to the city.
     
  10. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    We have to get away with the insular parochialism though, and start working with other fans.

    We've got plenty in common with the hardcore Man Utd bunch after all, plenty of them not happy... plenty of other clubs not happy, join us all together and we might, just, have a voice.

    Nobody's going to listen to us on our own.
     
  11. play_in_skyblue_stripes

    play_in_skyblue_stripes Member

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    The Times, just about the most respected newspaper in the world, FACT.
    SISU your game is up, go and leave us alone.
    The ever dwindling band who condone their actions by attending games take note.
    Who is right these journalists ,The Times,Guardian , and more importantly 98% of Coventry supporters or the SISU Owners who have driven us down to the lowest point in my lifetime ?
     
  12. Houdi

    Houdi Active Member

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    At this rate SISU will soon be able to start selling season tickets for the High Court. They would probably sell far more, than they do for Sixfields, as well.
     
  13. ecky

    ecky Well-Known Member

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    has this been posted on hull citys chat forum i wonder? "united we stand, divided we fall"
     
  14. RPHunt

    RPHunt New Member

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    Have you ever heard of the McLibel case? It cost McDonalds £10m and a lot of embarrassment.

    For another UK company to go down that road would be idiotic - oh yes, I see what you mean.
     
  15. wingy

    wingy Well-Known Member

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    Supporters Direct may be the way Give them a voice.

    I still think disenfranchised CCFC fans could pay a visit to London ,nominate an AFC Wimbledon game and pay them back some of the dosh we

    gave to Winkleman ,they would no doubt support our Visit to the FA on the Same day . A perfect alignment would be If Supporters direct could

    handle Logisitics where fans with a Grievance could take In a game In the Capitol ,in support of a lower /aggrieved club while gathering @ the FA

    prior .
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  16. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    See, I'd be at something like that, like a shot.

    Added bonus it's slightly out of the ordinary so captures some attention.

    And starts a ball rolling...
     
  17. rondog1973

    rondog1973 Active Member

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    Why I liked your first post.
     
  18. bigfatronssba

    bigfatronssba Active Member

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    Sisu, The Glaziers, Mike Ashby, The Venkys and Dr Allam will be joining forces after this.

    Love to see the lot of them get their arses kicked.
     
  19. Spionkop

    Spionkop Active Member

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    Well done Oliver Kay.
     
  20. Johnnythespider

    Johnnythespider Well-Known Member

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    To be honest it's hard to know what the league could have done other than not sanction the move and kick us out of the league. Now this is where I get controversial, I would have preferred this to the shit we are enduring now, it more than likely would have killed ccfc, but we would already be rebuilding the future ccfc and sisu would be a memory. I can't see the club ever being back within this city, and it will therefore fragment the fan base into those those that don't mind if it's in Warwickshire, Northampton or some other conurbation within an hours drive and those that like me will not support any team that calls itself Coventry City but plays outside the boundaries of said city. So what options do the league have "if" sisu do not meet the requirements of the league's temporary relocation guidelines, lets say sisu play the same cards as in the summer I.E sanction us or put the club out of business, what would we have the league do then.
     
  21. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    They probably could have done nothing then, but it's the structure that's meant clubs are now businesses, with the attendant consequences.

    Something that various events have taken place because football fans are parochial, so we start changing it so home teams keep the gate, the premiership's formed, and owners load debt against a club in the form of investment because we as fans want our team to win.

    But somewhere we have to remember it's about the competition as much as the winning, and the sport. The only way to get that moving is to start somewhere. Ultimately the league probably did do the only thing they could do with us... but we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place.
     
  22. wingy

    wingy Well-Known Member

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    Take the Decision they should have in the summer.
     
  23. SkyblueBazza

    SkyblueBazza Well-Known Member

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    Real fans, really making a point!
     
  24. SkyblueBazza

    SkyblueBazza Well-Known Member

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    Of course the longer it goes on...& the fewer fans that attend could increase the likelihood of never returning to anywhere near the City...no fans there care enough argument as in. Therefore, nobody genuinely upset or put out bar a few - so might as well go to say - Belfast & set up there but play in the English league just like Cardiff & Swansea do. The league will sanction that too no doubt...they've set the precedent with MK & a court battle would result if they tried to block it.
     
  25. wingy

    wingy Well-Known Member

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    Yep even Hamman tried to swing It for Dublin,while wrong would have been prefferable.
     
  26. GaryPendrysEyes

    GaryPendrysEyes Well-Known Member

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    Another good article, that mounts the pressure on the FA and Sisu. As someone from Supporters Direct said, sometimes those outside the situation can see more clearly than those in it.. Take note Les Reid. Sisu have taken the club hostage out of its home to get some collateral they have decided they want for their purposes as a hedge fund.

    The FA needs its arse kicking but no doubt they will just be obsessing about the England and the World Cup for the next 6 months.
    In the end it's organised fans groups that can make a difference, sadly many just want to take the piss out of organisations like the Trust.
     
  27. bigfatronssba

    bigfatronssba Active Member

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    No need to go that far.

    Two biggest cities in England without a league team are currently Wakefield (population 325k) and Coventry (316k).

    Now, seen as the daft cow (otherwise known as our owner) has stated she wont work with Coventry Council, somewhere like Wakefield might seem an attractive proposition for them.
     
  28. stupot07

    stupot07 Well-Known Member

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    The city of Wakefield isn't a city, it's local government district comprising a collection of towns. Wakefield itself only has 76k.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - so please excuse any spelling or grammar errors :)
     
  29. bigfatronssba

    bigfatronssba Active Member

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    and?

    Stoke on Trent isnt a city, it is a collection of towns.

    Stoke Town has a population of about 6k yet it supports a Premier football team.
     
  30. stupot07

    stupot07 Well-Known Member

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    Because it implies that it's a nice easy area to drop a football club and wham bam ready made catchment area like MK.

    But wakefield a collection of towns who have a population not dissimilar to Coventry but expands over an area x3.5 the size of Coventry (or x4 MK).

    Stoke on trent conurbation is a similar compact area of a similar size of Coventry. Far more connectivity than wakefield.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  31. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    A bit like building a stadium in Rugby or Leamington, in fact...
     
  32. bigfatronssba

    bigfatronssba Active Member

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    Well I wasn't saying that they are definitely moving there.

    Just pointing out there are population centres that are currently unserved, and the owners of clubs seem to be able to move them wherever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  33. stupot07

    stupot07 Well-Known Member

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    For sure, we need to be in Coventry or the very worst within 1-2 miles of the city boundary,
     
  34. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    Indeed.

    My point was more to label 'Wakefield' by virtue of some arbitrary governmental line drawing is a little unfair on Wakefield.
     
  35. DaleM

    DaleM New Member

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    Just got chance to read this. Great article
     

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