Tag Archives: Ricoh Arena

Why and When? Get Coventry City back to Cov

A famous pundit once said that football is a ‘funny old game’, well sometimes it isn’t.

I was contacted recently by fellow Saints fan Jimmy Hayes with some information about the ‘Why and When Campaign’ focused on raising awareness of the plight that fans of Coventry City find themselves in.

The situation is close to my heart for a number of reasons. Firstly because I love my football club, and I know how it feels to be at the point where you don’t know if you will soon even have one, secondly because I now live in the city of Coventry and I work alongside it’s people and those who have supported the club for years. The third reason is a selfish need for nostalgia. Perhaps I am getting old, but in recent years more than ever I have felt grief for the loss of the game I first knew, and the 1987 FA Cup final was very much a part of that.

The people who started the problems at Coventry were once linked with a takeover for Saints. It doesn’t bare thinking about, but for the fans of the Sky Blues it is reality, and now they find their team playing it’s home games in Northampton. The people behind the campaign tell us more:

Andy Scaysbrook (Lifelong Coventry City fan, and award winning photojournalist) ‘I grew up watching Coventry City, from the age of 6, my family were season ticket holders. My Father and my Grandad took me to Highfield Road during the days of the Sky Blue revolution that was led by Jimmy Hill in the 60’s. 

 I started my photographic career working for the club, shooting action pictures for the matchday programme. In my 44 years of being a City fan I have travelled all over the country to support the team. We have been through some terrible times over the years but the situation at the club is now desperate. Through all of this, the fans have stood firm and sought to work to try and find a solution to the horrendous situation we now find ourselves in. 
 
I know many City fans and the desperation they feel is awful. I want to be able to put these feelings into pictures and help raise the profile of our plight, hence the Why & When photography campaign.’

 

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Jimmy Hayes ‘As a Southampton fan, I have seen us take the terrible tumble through the leagues, have seen managers, chairman and owners come and go. I, and thousands of others have felt the horrible uncertainty that comes with it. What has happened to Coventry could have easily happened to us. Football club owners should always have the best interest of the club and the fans at heart. If we, the fans, stand together, perhaps we can stop this happening in in the future.’

 

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The first phase of the campaign is based around seven images with the following message:

“We are the sons and daughters of the City of the Phoenix…

Generations have rallied together to fight side by side for what is right.

The people of our city have stood together, through wars, economic depression and social upheaval. We have survived even when the odds were stacked against us.

Coventry City Football Club has been our port in the storm, a rallying point, a shelter, a reason for hope and a chance to dream…

The spirit of Coventry is an unstoppable force. Born from adversity it has gathered strength through generations of Cov Kids. It’s time to fight again…

Our famous club is under threat and stands on the brink of losing its identity. When loyal fans, generations old and new cannot watch a game in the city they love, the time has come to stand up and be counted…

We STILL have a voice. Stand up and USE it”

#why&when

To see all the images follow this link:- https://www.facebook.com/GreenKnightMedia
The next time you take your seat to watch your team playing in your city, take a second to think about the Coventry City supporters who right now, don’t have the opportunity to do the same.

Chris

Twists of Fate: Why Saints fans should hold sympathy with last day opponents…

October 19th 2007. The board of Southampton Football Club met to discuss the possible takeover by London-based hedge fund SISU. Only directors Leon Crouch and Patrick Trant voted against the takeover. Mr. Crouch and Mr. Trant it would seem can be owed a debt of gratitude.

The takeover fell through and on the 14th December 2007, Ray Ranson and SISU took control of Coventry City Football Club. I remember being quite disappointed. In fact, I can remember being gutted, and Coventry fans I was working with at the time mocking me. After all, these “serious businessmen” with their bucket of cash had rescued their club and not mine!

In the four and a half years since SISU gained control of Coventry though, the attitudes of both myself and my Sky Blue friends have changed somewhat. We all know how Saints have fared since then, but the plight of the midlands club have gone from bad to worse, and now they head to League One and are staring financial meltdown in the face.

Let's hope this isn't the last we see of City.

Broken promises and financial mismanagement from SISU, Ranson and ex-Saints chairman Ken Dulieu (read in detail here:- Save Our City) have brought third tier football to the Ricoh Arena, something we know all too well.

My time growing up as a Saints fan, was one of top flight football, and alongside us, equally as proud and even longer serving were Coventry City. Saints could secure a return to those heights with the right result tomorrow, and if we do, celebrate by all means, but spare a thought for our former Premier League colleagues, their suffering could so easily have been ours.

When they chant “SISU OUT’ tomorrow, let them be heard, in fact, why not join in. Let’s hope the Sky Blues get their saviour like we got ours, and bounce back.

Chris

Thanks to @covmartin for the help.

Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)…

Since Sky television made it’s presence felt in the world of football broadcasting, the traditional Saturday three pm kick off time has become less set in stone. Particularly in the Premier League, but also in the Football League, fans will find their clubs kick off times changed to suit the demand for television viewing.

In the Football League they have an allocated slot of twenty past five on a Saturday afternoon, so Sky Sports can instantly hook the viewers of the ever popular Soccer Saturday straight into another ninety minutes of action.

Saints took part in one of the most entertaining of these fixtures on this weekend a year ago, Nigel Adkins’ men travelled to London Road to take on Peterborough United and played out a 4-4 draw in front of the cameras. Richard Chaplow, Rickie Lambert (2) and Dean Hammond giving Saints 0-2 and 2-4 leads before a second Posh equaliser deep into injury time.

Richard Chaplow celebrates his opener at London Road.

As fate would have it Saints head to a St. Andrews tonight (weather permitting) for the Sky evening fixture in what looks to be a difficult game against a Birmingham side in devastating form.

So how do Saints fare in these games? Better than you might think.

We have a notion that we are poor in front of the Sky camera’s, but our record in the Saturday 17:20 fixtures is pretty reasonable. Losing just two of their eight games since entering the Football League in 2005 (both coming in the ill fated 2008/09 Championship relegation season), what Saints do seem to guarantee at this kick off time is goals. Of those eight fixtures there has been an average of 3.25 goals in the game!

Saints in fact, opened their time in the Football League in one of these fixtures, a goalless stalemate with Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. Mary’s on the 6th August 2005.

They didn’t feature again until the 27th October 2007, where goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips, Jason Euell and Stern John saw Saints beat Burnley at Turf Moor by three goals to two.

What followed was a disastrous season in Saints history and it coincided with the two 17:20 defeats. A crushing 1-4 loss at the Ricoh Arena was soon followed by a 0-1 home reverse by Bristol City. Not overly surprising in a season that saw Saints record just ten league wins.

Last years goalfest in Cambridgeshire was next and then in the following month Saints took to the St. Mary’s pitch for an evening kick off again for a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, Rickie Lambert and Jose Fonte securing the points.

Saints opened this season as they had their first in the Championship, at home in front of the cameras for the evening kick off. Dean Hammond, Adam Lallana and David Connolly netted to give Saints the best possible start, convincingly beating Leeds United 3-1.

Saints not shy for Sky on opening day.

Saints were less convincing at the Madejski Stadium in October, Steve de Ridder rescuing a point with a late leveller against Reading.

Southampton Saturday 17:20 kick off record:-

Played – 8

Won – 3

Drawn – 3

Lost – 2

Goals For – 14

Goals Against – 14

Incidentally today’s opponents Birmingham City’s record in these fixtures is P 5 W 1 D 2 L 2 GF 5 GA 5.

What do these statistics prove? Well not a lot really, other than in terms of form they don’t make a hell of a lot of difference!

With West Ham playing in the other television spot, kicking off at half past twelve against arch rivals Millwall, Saints will get started at St. Andrews knowing what they have to do. Let’s hope they give the performance of the weekend! COYR!

Chris

A Saint Amongst Them: Coventry City

Saints head to the Ricoh Arena tomorrow to face struggling Coventry City.

The midlands side find themselves in the relegation zone, and Saints will be looking to avenge the last time they travelled to the Ricoh which resulted in a 4-1 defeat in October 2008. Ex-Saint Leon Best was the chief tormenter that day and netted the third Sky Blues goal, getting on the end of current Saint Danny Fox’s cross.

Hoping to be fit to face his old club this time round will be Best’s former Saints teammate Martin Cranie, although having suffered a rib injury against Barnsley at the start of October he hasn’t featured for the Sky Blues in the last five games.

Cranie. A young Saint.

Martin Cranie

Cranie never set the world alight in his brief spell in the first team at St. Mary’s, but he could be considered an unfortunate victim of circumstance.

The Somerset youngster joined the Saints Academy in 2003, and was part of the successful youth team that reached the 2005 FA Youth Cup Final but it couldn’t have been a worse time to get your chance with the first team…

Cranie had already had a disastrous start to his first team life at St. Mary’s, putting through his own net in a 4-0 defeat at Chelsea in 2004, but worse experiences were to come for the defender in the 2004/05 season. Having initially been loaned to Bournemouth the youngster was given a chance at Saints under new boss Harry Redknapp, but as Redknapp’s side meandered hopelessly towards Premier League relegation Cranie looked lightweight and out of his depth.

It may be harsh to judge the likes of Cranie, Best and Dexter Blackstock on that terrible season, young players very much thrown in at the worst possible time.

Things didn’t get much better for Cranie, as Saints started life in the Championship, Cranie was used sparingly in 2005/06 and then in the 2006/07 season he spent two spells on loan at hometown club Yeovil.

On the expiry of his contract in the summer of 2007, the eyebrows of most Saints fans were raised when he was signed by former boss Redknapp for Premier League Portsmouth.

Cranie never quite made the grade with the blue few either, and spent most of his time at Fratton Park on loan with Championship side QPR, and then in League One with Charlton Athletic before settling at the Ricoh in 2009 and becoming a regular in the Coventry side.

Cranie. Now shooting for Saints.

Chris