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.
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.
Thanks to @covmartin for the help.