01/02: Preview: Coventry City
by Ben Nunn of The Sky Blue Superplex
What happened last season?
*GULP* (Drains glass, refills, drains again, and screws the top back on the bottle with trembling hands...) We're bringing back painful memories here.
Coventry had been in the top flight for 34 years. We had never ever been relegated from it. Our entire reputation was built on our resilience, our instincts for survival. We were the little guys battling against the odds, proving the pundits wrong time and again.
Now that era is over. CCFC have finally been relegated. The last club never to go down has been sunk. History has been changed forever in a way that will impact football far beyond the four stands of Highfield Road.
I think you get the picture.
What's going to happen next season?
Who knows? We've never been relegated into this division before, so there's no historical precedent. Last time we were down here, in 1967, we were storming to promotion, so maybe we can do the same again. Maybe we'll spend 34 years fighting off relegation in this division? The simple answer is that most Cov fans don't have a clue what to expect from this season.
The bookies have us joint second-favourites (along with Watford!) to go up, and we've retained the strength of our squad thus far, but this could mean nothing. Over the course of the season we didn't deserve to be relegated last time, but luck played a large part. Even if we're the best team in the division that's no guarantee of success.
Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
Pubs in the immediate vicinity are not friendly, don't like away colours, and you wouldn't want to visit them anyway. Best tip for away fans is the White Friars on Gosford Street, the road from the City Centre to the ground. This is welcoming to all supporters, and unusually for the area has an excellent range of real ales. The Sky Blue Tavern opposite the ground does
have an 'away' bar, but it's nothing to write home about and there has been 'trouble' in here in the past.
What's the nearest railway station?
Coventry BR is the nearest and it is a fairly lengthy and complicated walk from there to the ground. Directions can be found on the Sky Blue Superplex
Where is the best place to park?
There's a couple of multi-stories on the East End of the City Centre which are within walking distance. Nearer the ground there is very limited street parking and a couple of school car parks, but you'll need to snap up the spaces two to three hours before kickoff.
Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)
"No comments really, we won't be around long enough in the lower divisions."
"Brian Richardson and Gordon Strachan are inept arseholes who have raped our club of its resources. Labour needs to reintroduce hanging and ITV or BBC should argue on the rights to view a live hanging broadcast. The premier hanging should be Brian and Gordon followed by Rodney Marsh, John Greggory and Doug Ellis."
"Why do we have to sell as we've got a good enough team to win straight promotion and all the extra revenue which we will lose if we carry on selling like we are. The fan base is there - just 36 years of doing f*ck all gets boring."
"We will be back, sometime after Richarse has gone!"
"Cov City are going to go down unless we get rid of that greedy Richardson and the naive 'tactics aren't important' Strachan. Everyone loves him... why???"
"Aubergines? Does anyone like aubergines???"