Coventry City are facing some bizarre financial irregularities and this weekend moved all staff and stock out of the Ricoh Arena. So what does there future look like? The game at Portsmouth this Saturday may have been an unhelpful indicator.
Once again we find ourselves looking at an English institution of a football team like Coventry City in dire financial straits. What is clear is there is certainly trouble afoot; other than that everything else is as clear as the mud coloured kit Cov were famous for wearing in the late 70’s.
Now it seems the club have hit serious financial issues with varying parties speaking differently on the severity of these issues. They owe the owners of the Ricoh Arena, their home ground, vast sums in regards to unpaid rent and therefore see their future home games being thrown into doubt; with stadiums such as Walsall’s Bescot, Brimingham’s St Andrews and Villa Park all being mentioned as potential temporary homes.
However the name Triton Showers Community Arena, the 4,500 capacity home of Nuneaton Borough, is also lingering like the VW Beetle in those special episodes of Top Gear.
Needless to say the multi-structural arrangement of the clubs finances is causing plenty of confusion over who exactly has gone into administration. However the idea of The Sky Blues not getting a 10 point deduction in the coming weeks seems unlikely; leaving play-off hopes essentially dead in the water.
This weekend they travelled to Fratton Park and may have got a view of what the future may hold for them if the situation does not change; and fast.
Ten years ago next weekend Portsmouth went within three points of securing promotion to the Premier League; this year they are fighting off relegation to the bottom tier of the football league.
While Coventry may have got used to their impressive Ricoh Arena home the future could see them playing at somewhere like the rickety, if not charming, Fratton Park.
Looking at the Pompey side would also not help. A ramshackle collection of free agents and youth teamers laced with a sprinkling of loan players this Pompey side is a long way off the likes of Kevin Prince-Boateng, Lassana Diarra and Jermain Defoe.
But between the lines Coventry can see some good in their Saturday opponents. First of all this scratch team of random talents did win 2-0. That form of team spirit that can only be formed under serious duress may guide Pompey to unlikely safety.
Then there are the fans. The good times were enjoyable but throughout the bad they have stuck by their intrepid team through thick and thin as everything from the bills for transfers and what they owed the local ice-cream man has been sapped out the club.
Through it all they have remained resilient and perhaps whatever happens to Coventry City at least their fans will be able to say ‘we were there’ when the sun starts to rise on their hardships once again.
image: © Ben Sutherland