Home Sport Coventry City Another One Bites The Dust – Anderson Exits A Club On The Brink

Another One Bites The Dust – Anderson Exits A Club On The Brink

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Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson, Coventry City Chief Executive and self-proclaimed “award-winning social scientist and football analytics pioneer” has today left the club after less than a year in the role.

The news will be of little surprise to many, and rumours of his imminent departure were rife amongst the hardy souls who witnessed Saturday’s insipid performance against Oldham Athletic.

His days were clearly numbered, and despite the generous parting words and best wishes from Tim Fisher, he has been on borrowed time. The question is, did he jump or was he pushed?

In the official statement from CCFC, Tim Fisher said;

“We would like to put on record our thanks to Chris for his hard work and diligence since coming to the club.

“Going forward, the club will continue to be actively managed by the club’s Board of Directors, with Technical, Operations, and Commercial Director roles all reporting to the Board.”

Club board member and Technical Director Mark Venus added: “We wish Chris all the best.

“I know how hard he has worked for the football club, always keeping the best interests of the club and supporters in mind.”

Nice sentiments, but no mention of the ‘achievements’ Chris Anderson himself was so keen to highlight is his parting statement:

“I came to CCFC to help with the ongoing process of laying the right foundations for the football club on the commercial and football sides. Solid progress has been made on both counts, and I would like to thank everyone associated with the club – and especially the club’s supporters and my fellow Board directors and colleagues for all their support.  I wish them and the club all the success in the future.”

This will come as something of a surprise to the Sky Blue faithful. Chris Anderson was appointed on 6th November last year. Just two weeks later the Sky Blues recorded a 4-1 victory over Gillingham to go top of the League One table, a game played in front of 15,604 spectators. Today, Chris Anderson leaves the club two days after it fell to the foot of the table following a torrid afternoon against Oldham Athletic, played out in front of only 8,813 increasingly frustrated and despairing supporters.

It is difficult to reconcile the claims of ‘solid progress’ against this very harsh reality. This huge backward step on the pitch has been mirrored off it. During his time at the club, we have seen the breakdown in negotiations with Wasps, the possible loss of the club’s Academy, falling attendances and the complete loss of faith of the fans, some of whom had perhaps suspended their anger through much of last season in the vain hope things might finally be starting to turn around. We appear to have reached ground-zero, or have we? Every time we try to convince ourselves things can’t get any worse, they do exactly that.

How much of the blame can be levelled at Chris Anderson is difficult to say. He is clearly a capable and successful individual. He is also a pretty decent and affable chap, at least that seems to be the default view of those who have spent time in his company. I have met him twice, briefly, and I found him to be likeable, approachable and dare I say quite charming. All this is largely irrelevant and says nothing of his suitability for the job he was being paid (handsomely I suspect) to do.

He gave the impression of being out of his depth pretty much from the outset. If he was not suited to the role of running a football club, then he was certainly ill-suited to the role of running the basket case that is Coventry City Football Club. He isn’t alone in that; many who have held positions of power within the club since the arrival of SISU – Ranson, Dulieu, Brody, Waggott, Fisher himself – have all managed to somehow depart with the club in a worse state than when they took it on. It is a poisoned chalice, some may say an impossible job.

They’ll appoint a new man, they’ll be promises of this and that, phrases like ‘fresh start’ will be trotted out with a new batch of empty promises. The conveyor belt will continue, somebody will be foolish enough to jump on, but if recent history is anything to go by, they’ll be rolling battered and bruised off the other side pretty soon.

Change, real change, will not come on the back of a new appointment to the board, it will only come with a change of ownership. Today, the Sky Blue Trust issued a statement calling clearly and unequivocally for the resignation of Tim Fisher and for the club to be put up for sale. There is no longer an alternative; the failings of SISU can no longer be excused because of the actions of the council, Higgs and Wasps (regardless of how culpable these organisations are for the club’s current predicament – and there is culpability); because this blame game is getting the club nowhere.

We have reached the point of no return. The situation cannot be salvaged – the resentment is so deep-rooted there can be no salvation. It’s time to go, it’s time to cut and run before there’s nothing to cut and run from.

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