Why Coventry City Supporters Deserve To Walk Down Wembley Way

Every football supporter dreams of watching their team walk out at Wembley in a cup final. 30 years ago, my team, Coventry City, famously achieved that feat as they triumphed over Tottenham Hotspur to lift the FA Cup.

Fast forward to the present day and we have booked a trip to that famous stadium again, this time in the Checkatrade Trophy final. As far as competitions go, it has to be the most disregarded within football. The addition of ‘B’ teams certainly riled many and attendances all over the country highlighted that frustration.

So, ‘why aren’t Coventry City fans boycotting Wembley then?’ I hear you ask. We deserve this day after all torture we’ve been through, that’s why. Our club is heading for the fourth tier, we don’t hold many assets and nobody even knows where we will be playing our football if we are still around in a year or so.

Due to demand, our allocation has been increased to just shy of 46,000 and should we sell all of them, it will be a club record for a game at the new Wembley stadium (bar Tottenham’s Champions League games, of course). A minority of opposition fans are giving us some stick for electing to attend, but if they were in our position I’m sure they would snap them up too. 

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There are plenty of clubs being put through the wringer; Leyton Orient, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool to name just a few. At Coventry, we honestly have NOTHING to look forward to. The future is incredibly bleak on and off the field, leading me and many others to fear for our very existence.

Now twenty years of age, I have never seen the good times the Sky Blues have had. The Jimmy Hill days, the FA Cup success, the decades of top flight football – I haven’t experienced any of that. For people my age, all we know is disappointment and failure, but I feel sorry for the older generation. They’ve had to watch Coventry crumble into something almost unrecognisable.

Formerly London-based rugby club, Wasps, now have control of the Ricoh Arena and we are mere tenants in our own City. Our current deal expires at the end of next season, and with SISU not on talking terms with the relevant parties, we could be homeless again sooner than we know it…

Back in 2013, similar rent disputes led to our owners taking Coventry City football club to ground-share at Sixfields Stadium, the home of Northampton Town, which is 35 miles away. During that time, the club died in the eyes of many, but if a similar thing happened this time around it would be doubly as catastrophic.

As every football fan knows, your club is much more than just a sideshow, it’s a massive part of your life. To have it being torn apart right in front of your eyes is soul destroying. We as fans seem powerless, the governing bodies are failing to act and I can’t see things improving at all – the club’s mess is now beyond repair.

We have tried to vent our frustrations in many ways including a march through the City, pitch invasions and boycotts. Nothing seems to have an impact and we are still treated with minimal respect despite being the lifeblood of this club. Every party that has contributed to the disgraceful decimation of CCFC deserves to hang their head in shame. 

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Our fan base are all fighting to keep the Sky Blues alive, but the divide between supporters is huge due to a lack of transparency from our owners regarding their plans. You have to take everything said with a pinch of salt as the majority is smoke and mirrors. I just wish those who can influence what happens to CCFC could remember what it means to the people of Coventry.

It’s difficult to see why anybody would invest in the club now as it is on life support, but we are aiming to use Wembley as an advertisement to prospective new owners. The potential we have is huge and hopefully the sea of City fans can help people realise that.

I and many others are not particularly bothered if we beat Oxford and lift the trophy – we just want to enjoy the day out. Following this club around the country is a chore in all honesty, but we can only pray that our spiral towards the abyss halts before it’s too late.

We are now in a pivotal stage and the actions across the next year or two will shape the destiny of our club. If things continue in the way they are currently, non-league football looks likely, as does the prospect of liquidation. It’s horrible to say that about the club you have ingrained in your heart, but it is realism unfortunately.

All we can do now is prepare for life in League Two, but before we pack our bags for the trips to Exeter and Carlisle, let’s savour April 2nd. Of course, it’s ironic that we’ve reached a final in our worst ever season, but our supporters deserve at least one day of release from the nightmare we call Coventry City.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Well said. Let the rest of the football fans in our proud nation see a fitting finale to the giant that was Coventry City, and let’s hope our supporters behave with dignity whatever the outcome.

  2. PAUL BURTON says:

    I totally agree with you sentiments and I hope you all enjoy the day at Wembley. My protest is, the club put all its efforts into getting to this pointless cup final at the cost of its league position. The FA Cup game v Cambridge no such fight as the owner knew they had no chance of going further. The extra games and injuries, imo, contributed to our dismal form in the league. So I cannot go to Wembley as a relegated team and reward the owners by attending. Enjoy

  3. Andy Brown says:

    Great article from some one so young,we should go to Wembley and make the biggest peaceful protest against our owners and the football league who have allowed the demise of our club Charlton ,Blackpool and the Orient without a word or a motion of census to these owners who have no idea on how to run a football club or have any understanding on what our clubs meant to the fans
    We will enjoy the day, protest peacefully and show the football world what great club CCFC is.

  4. Excellent article Matty. You’ve expressed how we all feel very well.

  5. peter sharp says:

    Well written Matty. I am amazed that someone so young as you can write so lucidly and sensibly. I may be some 50 years older than you, but I enjoy your articles – keep it up. Have a good day out at Wembley – goodness knows you deserve it. Good luck!

    1. M_Roper says:

      Thanks a lot Peter!

  6. Rob Taylor says:

    Very well said as ever Matty!

    1. M_Roper says:

      Thanks a lot Rob.

  7. Phillip Gardner says:

    Nobody could have written that better Matty you’ve summed up the feelings of all Sky Blues supporters everywhere young and old lam old enough to have seen the good times but there should be a law against what these people are doing to our much loved club wish we could do a Portsmouth and save our club ourselves

    1. M_Roper says:

      Thanks Phillip. Hopefully we can rise again one day.

  8. Giles Hudson says:

    Enjoy the day on Sunday and shout up for those Blue boys won’t you Matty!
    I respect your choice to go as much as I hope you respect mine for staying away.
    Third or fourth generation Cov fan by birth, I was a season holder for many many years and got my own kids and grand kids into going to watch their team.
    I stopped my season ticket when Cov went to Northampton, as I was absolutely sick of what Sisu had done to my beloved club and I just reached a point of no return in my head.
    Ray Ranson asked for three years to get them back to the Prem, simply asking for no interference in how the team was run.
    He was given the assurance but not the backing. Fox and Dawn were soon sold as their monetary value soared after shrewd buying. We apparently also maybe missed the chance to buy Henderson and even Carroll too before he hit NUFC’s first team for less than two million total.
    I miss going to the games, but I won’t be back there while Sisu are in charge.
    I’ll go to the odd away game to see them play but not put money in Sisu’s pocket.
    I hope to resurrect my season ticket one day, but it won’t be while Sisu are in charge.
    I hope you and everyone that goes on Sunday has an amazing day and the boys do us proud as the boys did for me in ’87.
    Sky Blues till I die…

    1. M_Roper says:

      I understand your decision and respect it entirely. Everybody has their own mind about what is the right thing to do, but we are all Coventry City supporters and that’s the main thing.

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