The Coventry City funfair has a new ride. As the team’s hair-raising drop towards League One accelerates we now have the Chairman’s Merry-go-round to add to the perennial attractions, the Manager’s Revolving Door and the Sky Blues Roller Coaster.
As The Daily Telegraph revealed this week, Chairman Ray Ranson is set to leave the football club. The stories seem to indicate that he is going to resign because his power has dwindled but who knows what the truth is about goings-on at the Ricoh Arena?
Since the owners SISU and Ranson arrived in December 2007 like knights on a white charger to save the club at the eleventh hour from the jaws of administration information regarding the club has been strictly limited.
The new owners saved the club, sure, but from day one the owners have alienated the old shareholders, the supporters and the media. That was their legal right, but no one knows what is going on at the club. Details of Sisu’s £20 million-plus investment were thin on the ground at the start and little has changed in the intervening three-and-a-half years.
A condescending stance to shareholders was evident from day one and a similar approach was taken with the Supporters Consultative Group who, while not a powerful group did offer excellent feedback from the club’s customers.
Because of the secrecy surrounding the owners and the absence of plans and accounts no one outside the club has ever really understood what Sisu’s strategy was, or what the plans are now. Fans on the board, Gary Hoffman and Joe Elliott have been sidelined and new unknown men have arrived. The only true City fan left is John Clarke, promoted to vice-chairman this week, the man who holds the record for the shortest tenure as chairman (nine days in 1993). The way things are going this week he might soon hold the record for the shortest reign as vice-chairman.
At least with Ranson departing the club will save the club some money as I understand he was the first paid chairman since the infamous Bryan Richardson. Mike McGinnity and Geoffrey Robinson, Ranson’s predecessors, certainly had their faults including sharing with Ranson an inability to recruit a decent manager, but at least they did the job for nothing.
As well at the crisis off the pitch, Cardiff City are hoping to bring in striker Marlon King in the summer.
Bluebirds’ boss Dave Jones contacted King’s current club Coventry City before the loan window shut to enquire about the front-man’s availability. His agent, Tony Finnigan, confirmed Cardiff had been in touch with Coventry.
Jones was looking for options to bolster his attacking options after striker Michael Chopra was ruled out for the rest of the season with injury recently, and it is most likely he will try again in the summer.
However, Coventry will fight to hold onto 30-year-old King, who is currently their top-scorer and has five goals in his last seven games. His current deal at the west Midlands’ club is up this summer.
His agent, Tony Finnigan, confirmed Cardiff had been in touch with Coventry.
“There has been dialogue between Cardiff and Coventry, that is true,” Finnigan confirmed.
“If the two clubs reach agreement, then talks may happen, but that is not up to us and Marlon is more than happy at Coventry.
“Marlon has been playing really well and since signing for Coventry has proven what a top striker he is.
“He is out of contract in the summer that is no secret, but neither has been his desire to open talks over a new deal.”