The Good Business Sense of SISU

Discussion in 'Coventry City General Chat' started by NorthernWisdom, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    So hear me out...

    Moving to Sixfields was, and still is, a good business decision from SISU. They got out of a restrictive lease, and cut costs. Without that move, the club might have been dead by now.

    And this is my problem with engaging with SISU on business terms. All the discussions are about finance, economics. The problem is, it's setting the game of football on business terms that legitimates the likes of SISU existing in the game, in the first place. It may be a romantic notion, and it by no means avoided the shysters, but the old model of local man made good ploughing some of his money back into the community by owning a football club kept the clubs as a community asset, kept them in the social, rather than the financial sphere.

    And surely, by discussing the finance above all else, we end up having to acknowledge something like the opening paragraph. The reason it *wasn't* a good move, is because football is about emotion, people... the social. Engaging with the financial stops certain elements from being accepted... because they're associated with SISU.

    Chief among them is the need for a home of our own. This, absolutely, is needed, but not for financial reasons. It's needed because it offers a physical space for the club to call its own, for it to be associated with, for an identity to focus around.

    And that identity can be stronger than anything else. Indeed, long term, it'd end up better financially too.

    But clubs don't look long-term nowadays, they don't build for years to come, for the people that follow them. The main problem is, neither do we.

    As a social asset, the club absolutely is important to its local council, but the local is straightjacketed by the national, that stops them making cultural, long-term decisions. So, while we're ignoring the owners, we may as well ignore the local authority while they engage on the financial level. They're only worth it once they revert to the social and the cultural.

    But we encourage the financial, too.

    The problem is, we let SISU dictate the rules on things like home. We always have, since they came here - right from the beginning it was all about how they had good business sense. Be careful what you wish for, because the aims of business don't agree with the aims of a club. On a wider level, it's similar to how we let Sky dictate the rules on tradition, too, and how it gets lost... missing the fact that the product is only popular *because* of that tradition, that background, that cultural depth.

    Wouldn't the strongest thing to do, would be to dismiss SISU as the wastes of space they are, and look at what a *club* needs? Those standards would be there, whoever were the owners. And it's not just items in themselves, we need a unique style that people from outside recognise as ours.

    Jimmy Hill had us as pioneers, that's what we should be doing. Rather than following a failed investment fund by arguing with them, we need to ignore them and state what *we* need.

    And while looking to the future, we need depth, too. And to get that depth we need to remember the heroes of the past, and allow them the pride of place. We need to remember not just the cup winners, the Wolves 67 team, but the Clarrie Bourtons, too. That's what makes us distinct.

    But we're at a stage now where we know the finance is knackered, what's the point of showing that up and wasting time on that? Better to ignore the money statements from failed financiers, and strike out as pioneers.

    And to recognise we don't want people to survey each other across polished boardroom tables and discuss spreadsheets, we want people to build a club.
     
  2. rupert_bear

    rupert_bear Well-Known Member

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    It cost us our home ground !
     
  3. Irish Sky Blue

    Irish Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    Don't they need to go first before this can happen? Part of the problem has been that our influence as fans is very limited, protests have a limited effect, some people taking a NOPM stance. Despite everything done and said they are still here. How can we have any influence in the direction of the club?
     
  4. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    The point being, that there are certain standards which are needed regardless of who's in charge, good or bad... and we lose sight of them by getting bogged down in the financial discussion (which we all do).

    It's not about an active protest, more about a way of thinking, of taking posession of what's an essence of a club, and not by letting that essence get worn down and distorted by engaging with financiers over needless financial matters.

    Because that essence'll be needed whoever's in charge... and ultimately very little of the core values have been recognised by a number of years, because it's all been about the immediacy, and chasing the cash - be it Premiership cash, sponsorship cash, rent cash, or pie cash. All of those are all well and good in the short term, but if they're the be-all and end-all, even a seemingly successful result will hurt the club overall.
     
  5. Super Graham Withey

    Super Graham Withey Member

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    If you want to strike out as a pioneer go and buy a season ticket at Coventry United next season. It's what Jimmy Hill would have done in these circumstances.
     
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  6. italiahorse

    italiahorse Well-Known Member

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    When they go it will bring the fans together and we can work with all parties without restriction to do the best for the club.
    Nobody hates the club they just can't work with Sisu and so the club suffers.
     
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  7. eastwoodsdustman

    eastwoodsdustman Well-Known Member

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    You're right about them. From a business perspective they're doing what everyone would want (especially the FA) in running us at break even, breaking the onerous rent agreement etc etc. The issue is that in doing so they've alienated a massive amount of support and goodwill that the club and they really do need.
    The only real answer is for them to go so that the team have 28000 paying supporters behind them every week again:woot: or for the supporters to bite the bullet and start turning up irrespective of the owners.
     
  8. Alan Dugdales Moustache

    Alan Dugdales Moustache Well-Known Member

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    ..and no one will turn up irrespective of the owners (SISU). What rational person would ? If Joy announced they'd sell up if we were relegated from the football league the majority of supporters would take that - it's just another relegation after all . But why would they sell ?
     
  9. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    We're in danger of SISU winning on this thread too... the talk is becoming about them.
     
  10. SkyBlueUkeman

    SkyBlueUkeman Member

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    Mad idea. Probably very, very stupid... but.

    How hard would it be for the fans to build a stadium? Like, how Pompey fans bought the club, Coventry Fans could finance a stadium, in the city somewhere. Then if Sisu re interested in playing there, we sell the stadium to them. Then we have our money back as investors, and they have a product to sell on to someone else.

    Yep. Nuts. Sorry.
     
  11. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    Mental, but I kind of like it ;)

    Anyway, goes well until you say sell the stadium to SISU because it's about their investment.

    Fuck the investment, a stadium's about a place to hang our sky blue hats, and be known around the globe!

    We shouldn't just go flat-pack either. Let's have one stand in the shape of a TR7 wedge front end, as a nod to our heritage. Sure, it'd cost more, but everyone'd remember our ground, and our club!
     
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  12. Irish Sky Blue

    Irish Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    Certainly agree with stadium design. You used to be able to tell individual grounds by the shape of their stands and other features. Highfield Road for a time had matching stand roofs, those distinctive curves that made up the Sky Blue and Main Stands. I think the Ricoh is a good stadium but it is still an identikit of lots of others. Only the seats and the words picked out in them are different. It would be good to have a distinctive Coventry City ground again. Sorry to go off the point.
     
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  13. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but that *is* the point you see, you're right on it.

    We talk about revenue, pie money etc... and in doing that we miss what a stadium actually *is*.
     
  14. SkyBlueUkeman

    SkyBlueUkeman Member

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    Two words: SAFE STANDING. I mean its not totally out of the realms of possibility. Its just getting the funding for a gamble that big.If the club do decide that they don't want to play at a stadium built for them, then there is no reason why that can't be the point when we say "Fuck it, lets go it alone". Its basically brinksmanship, but the fans have the control in this instance and not the club.
     
  15. Irish Sky Blue

    Irish Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    I believe that Dortman still have a massive terrace where fans can stand. It is understandable why the Taylor report called for all seater stadiums to be introduced but I feel it was an over reaction. For example, would a purpose built standing terrace be less safe than thousands of fans standing in areas designed for people to be seated?
    If it is safe in Germany can it not be safe here?
    One of the things I find saddest about the experience at the Ricoh is that it is virtually a two sided stadium, particularly when away support is sparse. I know Waggott used the excuse of packing people together to improve atmosphere. To be fair, this has helped. However, being cynical about anything Sisu do, I am sure the reason that the Telegraph/Higgs stand was closed was simply to save money. I would much rather see the higher rows closed off (even though that is where I sit) and only have the lower ones open but have fans all around the ground, and particularly behind both goals. In effect, fans as they enter the stadium bowl would only be able to go across or down to reach their seats. I know that the stand opposite the Telegraph/Higgs (does it even have a name?) was closed due to trouble after a game. However it should not be beyond the wit of the stadium safety body to allow fans there and still maintain order. Again, once Sisu are gone I hope that this would happen assuming we are still at the Ricoh.
     
  16. dongonzalos

    dongonzalos Well-Known Member

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    The rental agreement was not the main reason for the move to Northampton. It was to continue to devalue ACL to force a sale at a reduced price or ideally put ACL out of business (IMO)
    Unfortunately the council also treated ACL like a business and felt they couldn't allow this to happen so they found another buyer.
    So for SISU the move to Northampton as a business was an absolute shocker. That has now left the hedge fund with one hedge legal action. Which has already failed at first stage.
    If SISU had managed to buy ACL due to the Northampton move then you could have said it was good business.
    They were already getting better rent offers prior to moving.
    So the collateral damage of the amount of fans the move caused us to lose. Which has impacted on the budget. Which has helped amongst other factors to get us relegated.

    Sorry it has been really bad business.
     
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  17. Hobo

    Hobo Well-Known Member

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    Leicester fucking over the builders who built their stadium was also good business. The problem is good business is more often than not, not ethical and not in the customers interest.
     
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  18. torchomatic

    torchomatic Well-Known Member

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    Support a team called United? Nah, couldn't do that.
     
  19. Esoterica

    Esoterica Well-Known Member

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    Is it fuck what he would have done. You really think JH would have advocated turning his back on his beloved Sky Blues at their lowest point for decades and gone to support a different team? Stop abusing a dead club legend's name to try and add weight to your own agenda.
     
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  20. olderskyblue

    olderskyblue Well-Known Member

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    of course none of us know what JH would have done, including you. Let's not forget he turned his back on the club he loved when he couldn't get what he wanted from the chairman at the time, and entered the world of TV....
     
  21. Irish Sky Blue

    Irish Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    Not quite true if you read what JH had to say about the situation. He had asked for a ten year contract, a request which Robbins rejected. JH has stated that he was hoping that they would come back to him with a compromise deal but when this never happened, he left. The fact he stayed on for several weeks after the announcement was made that he was to leave until Noel Cantwell was appointed gave the board ample opportunity to come up with an offer. You wonder what we might have achieved as a club if only the board had had the courage to meet him half way.
     
  22. olderskyblue

    olderskyblue Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't take away from the fact he left over it, and you might say it was at the most critical time. Our first season in the top division? The point being, none of us know what JH would have done under the current circumstances.

    Who knows, he was such an innovator, maybe getting the fans to build a ground might have been his way forward.
     
  23. Irish Sky Blue

    Irish Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    That's true, but you can't help thinking what might have been with just a bit of discussion.
     
  24. shmmeee

    shmmeee Well-Known Member

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    The wisdom of breaking the lease will come into focus after next season.
    At the moment it looks like as much business sense as a window cleaner selling his ladder to make ends meet.
     
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  25. Skyblueweeman

    Skyblueweeman Well-Known Member

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    I like your thoughts NW but I'm not sure it's clear how you're proposing we re-build our identity or become pioneers?

    Regardless of specific actions, it needs a collective approach. At the minute, we're very much fragmented across the fan base. There needs to be a concerted effort at unity before we can progress anything.
     
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  26. oldskyblue58

    oldskyblue58 CCFC Finance Director

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    Surely the optimum position is the right mix of finance with what you put forward.

    I totally accept that a club must have its roots firmly in the community & heritage. That the argument has skewed too much towards finance, even more skewed though towards people being firmly stuck in the past pointing fingers of blame and rewriting history irrespective of community or finance or future, it seems to me.

    The ideals are fine but in order to compete or simply have a future you have to marry community, heritage etc to the finances. Balance the argument not skew it one way or another. Reality is you can not talk about a space of its own to call home without looking at finance as part of the solution. Equally a strong financially viable club is properly, firmly and deeply rooted in its community, proud of its heritage and vibrant about its future.

    We can talk about all of this certainly but as it stands we cannot control any of it. That might well be seen as letting SISU control things but from where we are now how do we change it. People - owners directors managers other decision makers in the city, fans need to want to listen, not much evidence of that. But an alternative should also be considered - how do we take it forward?

    As for breaking the lease then it was a gamble based on the premise that there were no alternatives, and that the ACL shareholders were not able to find a way out. It was planned long before it happened, and whilst it broke the lease it also broke much more. The biggest damage done was two fold, it broke or put at risk the vital link with many fans (the essence of community & heritage) and allowed an alternative at the Ricoh. Clever move at the time but in relatively quick hindsight not so
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  27. Sky Blue Harry H

    Sky Blue Harry H Well-Known Member

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    I think the large majority is ready to unify behind the/a cause - but other than supporting the team, fans are waiting to see what the cause is. At least it has to come to a head in the near future!?
     
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  28. Seamus1

    Seamus1 Active Member

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    I quite like what a number of fans of Wycombe Wanderers did, the '5000 Club' I think they were called. They invested their own money in to purchasing certain (good) players. I guess though due to third party ownership they had to give the money to the club with some kind of caveat.

    I wonder if something could be done whereby fans spend their hard earned money on season tickets/matchday tickets and that goes in to an account separate from CCFC/SISU. This money is then given to CCFC with a strict caveat that it is spent ONLY on CCFC and we must see a paper trail of that money being spent to the benefit of the club...be that academy costs, rent, player budget etc.

    I have no problem with the principle of SISU insisting that CCFC be self-financing and not wishing to pump any of their own money in to get us in to more debt, it's the way they go about things that riles me.
     
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  29. ceetee

    ceetee Well-Known Member

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    Why Coventry United when there are other Coventry clubs that have a heritage in the city?
     
  30. Sky Blue Pete

    Sky Blue Pete Well-Known Member

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    I agree the argument is now you've had your chance and failed on every footballing measure. Please leave and let someone else have a go
     
  31. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    I'm not even sure we should be arguing with SISU full-stop, more asserting what a club (our club) *should* be.
     
  32. Sky Blue Pete

    Sky Blue Pete Well-Known Member

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    You're right that's what I mean. Ok you've spent this or that and you've done it for this or that reason. Irrespective you've spectacularly failed please let someone else have a go. With that you could even say thank you for attempting to run the course during a difficult time but it's time to move on. Surely you see that Sisu / fisher
     
  33. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    That's the point though. Arguing with SISU will always create disunity as we'll all different on what's right or wrong.

    There are certain core principals separate to the financial we can all agree on, though. How to get there would create argument, but the basic principals, not.

    And better to assert them, surely?

    And that follows on to the below...

    We can all agree that:

    A club needs a home;

    A club needs to be at one with its community;

    A club needs an identity;

    A club needs foundations;

    A club needs to be more than a busines.

    And so on.

    Why even argue about what SISU have done wrong, and what they should do? Why not just point out this is what a club should be?

    (And if RFC wants to sit there content that SISU have delievered them all then fine!)

    Those basic principles won't change, whoever the owner is.
     
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  34. Captain Dart

    Captain Dart Well-Known Member

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    Cooking on gas NW! Hey Lets move the elephant from the Sports Centre, tell you what that is both surreal and a better suggestion than Ms Garlick ever came up with.
     
  35. olderskyblue

    olderskyblue Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice to just discuss the team/result/next match without knowing, or caring, about whats going on in the boardroom. Like the "old" days I guess, but that does rely on the board running it more like a club, rather than a business. It's a nice thought NW, but who out there would acquire a club like ours to do that?

    Some thoughts just to do with the match day experience

    As mentioned earlier, a safe standing area would be a good idea, bring back more of an atmosphere, and appease those that like to stand anyway, (and keep them from standing up in front of me.. ;)). I also liked the idea of a supporters bar. The concourse isn't the best place to have a drink and even though the Casino isn't bad, it isn't the same.

    by all accounts (nick), the kids are looked after before the game pretty well, but more could be done surely? To be a proper club, it needs to bring in the "community" more, with things going on regularly, and more access to the players for the kids. A pub alongside the ground would be good, but very unlikely near the Ricoh as I doubt their is much of a demand other than match days (for whoever is playing there...)
    I had my wedding reception at the Mercers (non match day), and it was quite a draw in its day for non match day disco's etc.

    I don't know what they do for schools, or kids teams (and impossible now I guess) but CRFC used to organise "tours" for kids, sandwiches & pop provided, a quick meet with players, and then watch the game. They even did it for kids football teams, so no bias shown...

    To try to get back what I thought was great at Highfield Road, the cameraderie on the walk from town, they could organise buses from different parts of town just for people attending the game (is that already a thing? did that used to happen?) I'm sure the bus ride in would be more fun than driving in by car, and could add to the F&B's if there was a CCFC bar at the ground.

    Dreamland at the moment of course
     

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