Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr It is hard to write a piece about the Sky Blues and their long-standing off-field woes without alienating large swathes of the club’s fanbase. Are you pro-council, anti-club, pro-club anti-council, pro-council anti-SISU pro-club? I could go on, but you get the picture – but in a sense none of this should matter. The entrenched factions, for all their vitriol and name-calling, are in danger of missing the point – that being the current and future success of Coventry City Football Club. They’ll say otherwise of course. They’ll say that they take their entrenched position precisely because they want success and stability for the club – but then how can it be that people who claim to have the same agenda can assume such diverse and often polarised positions on issues so important to its future? In recent times I’ve been labelled a SISU-apologist, a council-apologist, a holocaust-denier – well actually not the last one, but Hitler has made a surprising number of appearances as people trot out lazy analogies in an attempt to justify their position. Reason, pragmatism, humility – they all seem to go out of the window as people increasingly shape their arguments around their entrenched position because they are so tied-in to that particular view that they simply cannot turn back. It’s like the lie that snowballs – the fib that turns into a full-blown deception because you have gone past the point of no return, sometimes so far you even start believing the lie. You see, I don’t have the answers. Ideas, but not answers, and anyone expecting to reach the end of this piece with a roadmap to a glorious future that includes silverware, women in nurses outfits and hover boards – well I’m afraid they should stop reading now. I can only deal with what I know, and what I know for sure is this: Coventry City matters. It matters to me, it matters to my seven year-old who cries when we lose. It matters to my dad, who worries that he’ll never again see the club stand tall and make the right sort of headlines before he dies. It matters to the UPS man who delivers parcels to my office and talks of nothing else but CCFC. It matters to the over-worked low-level employees of the club, who do a thankless job that pays less that what they could earn elsewhere only because to be able to say you work for Coventry City Football Club still means something. It matters. I can take the disagreements and the debates – what would football be without them – I can take all this so long as those who sit on opposite sides of the fence still come together as one at 3pm on a Saturday. That applies to most, but for some their position has become so extreme that they couldn’t think of anything they’d rather do less, and worse still are open in their resentment of those that do. They call it NOPM. I call it bullshit (sorry, but this is an opinion piece). The future does look bleak, and events will play out and we’ll have little control over the outcome. We can lobby, we can make our views and frustration known, but ultimately the power for real change lies in the hands of people we cannot influence – no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we can. In a footballing sense, we’re in new territory here – we’re breaking new ground as a club, but not in a good way. What would Jimmy say you wonder. We do have some control though, because by turning up in numbers we can make a difference, a difference that might just get us over the line in the end of season shake-up. A hopeful position given the current circumstances – but hope is just about all we have left. So this message is this, as long as there is a Coventry City Football Club there is a club to support, and when you put aside everything else, that’s just about all there is, and all there’s ever been. Whatever you think of the owners, or Wasps, or the council – the simple truth is that the only people who matter are us. The club exists for no other reason than to be there for those of us prepared to support it. So that’s what we should do, because the moment we stop, everything else becomes irrelevant. There are those convinced that we’ll soon be nothing but a footnote in footballing history, and there are some who seem to be quite looking forward to it. Don’t let them win. One day I believe we will come through this. SISU will go. And when they do, those of us who stuck around can say this – that when things got bad, when there didn’t appear to be a future, we persisted. We didn’t go quietly into the night, we did what had always done and did it with pride and passion. We mattered.