Monday 6 January 2014

New Year, New Question

It's a new year, and with a new year comes hope that this one will be different. That resolutions might be kept; that I will better myself as a person; and that I will learn from previous mistakes.

To be honest, I couldn't give a monkey's about all that this year. The one thing I really, really hope for this year is that Coventry City return to the Ricoh Arena.

Does it look likely? Not at all.

After the heads of the two warring parties (Ann Lucas of Coventry City Council and Joy Seppala of Sisu/Otium) involved in this sorry saga refused to cooperate late last year over a possible sale of the stadium or rental agreement which would allow the Sky Blues to return to their rightful home, there has been no activity of note to give fans any optimism that we will be out of Northampton soon.

When the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup was made on Sunday afternoon, I found myself rather thankful that we had been drawn away to face Arsenal at the Emirates; fans would undoubtedly turn up to support the team at one of the best English stadiums, and we would probably be able to take more fans to London than could actually fit into Sixfields.

Waking up this morning though, and thinking over the possible permutations of us being drawn at 'home', I found myself wondering whether facing a big team at Sixfields would have prompted at least a discussion of a return to the Ricoh.

The issue was raised in a way by the Coventry Telegraph Live (@CovTelLive) Twitter page, who asked:

If Coventry had drawn Arsenal (or Chelsea, or Liverpool etc) at home, would Sisu have attempted to engage in discussions to take the club back to the Ricoh for that one match? And could those discussions have paved the way for a return: permanently, or if only until the 'new stadium' we have been promised materialised years down the road?

As depressing as it can be to look down these alternate-reality paths, it is a point worth considering. Taking into account that we are subject for up to (God forbid) five years in Northampton, we could have a few more of these situations arise in the future.

Personally, given the fact that Sisu have previous with cutting off their nose to spite their face, I wouldn't bank on them ever entering rental deal discussions without a sale of the Ricoh included. There are without doubt more qualified people than me who could look at the financial and business side of this and come to a more reasoned conclusion as to why they may or may not have looked at utilising the Ricoh for one big match.

Who knows, in some parallel-universe, Coventry might already be back at the Ricoh and in the play-off places, with Sisu ready to relinquish hold of the club and sell to a more benevolent benefactor.

Or not. Happy New Year, fellow Sky Blues. Let's hope this one gives us more to cheer about than last!

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