Often Partisan

Sharing St Andrews

It’s been rumoured in the local news that Coventry City could request a groundshare at St Andrews having moved their staff and effects out of the Ricoh Stadium last week. Coventry, whose owners put a non-trading subsidiary into administration last week are in court tomorrow to contest £1.3mil in unpaid rent to stadium owners, Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL).

It feels a bit weird to be talking on here about another midlands team in blue in financial difficulty, but make no mistake Coventry are in a worse position than us currently. Whilst their landlords have said that the club have left voluntarily, the fact remains that the Sky Blues have told the league that they will complete their fixtures away from the Ricoh this season.

The first thought is that any groundshare would bring in more revenue to Blues; obviously there would be rent to be paid plus no doubt a cut on catering and corporate sales. Whilst Blues appear on the exterior to be on an even keel the thought of extra money coming into the club would surely have Mr Pannu’s mouth watering.

However, whilst there would be extra revenue, there would be extra costs – staff overheads, utilities and stewarding would all need to be sorted out and I suspect that someone would have to foot the bill for additional policing requirements on the additional matchdays. Of course, any businessman with any sense would ensure that any rent paid would cover additional expenses with a bit on top but I do wonder with the threat of administration looming over Coventry City proper if they would be in a position to pay it. It could put Blues in a no-win situation; lose goodwill and good PR by making monetary demands up front or lose further money than is necessary by taking on what could be another bad debt.

From a personal point of view, I’m not a fan of groundshares in this sort of situation. It’s one thing for two teams to share a new purpose-built stadium on an equal tenancy basis, where they get a base of operations each but it’s quite another where one club is the tenant of another. I wouldn’t like to have to go to another club’s ground to see my team at home; it would feel weird to have a season ticket in a ground that wasn’t the sole home of my club. As much as the Coventry City fans hate the Villa I imagine that they’re not overly fond of us either and I doubt that they would appreciate the additional journey up the A45 to watch their club in what would be an “alien” stadium.

Admittedly, Coventry are only currently looking for a short term fix for the three remaining games of their league season but I fear their court case will drag on like one of Carson’s and they will be looking for a home for next season also. It might sound selfish on my part but I don’t want that home to be St Andrews; as much as I feel sorry for their fans I think that there is a lesson to be learned in teams moving into stadiums that they don’t own and haven’t had to invest themselves in.

Coventry’s next home game is on Good Friday so they have less than four days to sort out what they are going to do. No doubt we will find out very shortly if St Andrews will be the home of more than one Blue team.

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59 Responses to “Sharing St Andrews”

  • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

    I think we should help them in any way we can just so long as it don’t cost us.

    I’d like to think someone would help us similarly if we were in the same situation.

    Apart from the filth and Wolves I’m all for helping out other clubs.

    Their fans could do with a bit of support

    • Blueboy 88 says:

      Totally agree , I would also hope they would do the same for us in a similar predicament..

      • sam says:

        It’s nice to be nice!

        • Ali Duncan says:

          My first thought too – if that were Blues I’d want help from another localish club. I’ve no problem with it being for the rest of this season but share Al’s concerns about them stopping for longer

      • Jodie says:

        I am a Coventry fan and season ticket holder and obviously this is a less than ideal scenario for us also, we don’t want to travel outside our city to watch our club (although I live in Solihull so St Andrew’s is actually closer for me!). I would like to think we would help out a club in a similar situation and we would be grateful for any help given to us – although I fear many fans would just boycott the game(s) played elsewhere… If your club agrees to it, we would be grateful but we wouldn’t be happy about it! Our club is in serious trouble, it is a sad state of affairs really – I know things are not great with the Blues either (my fiance is a Bluenose!) and I hate to see it. Football must come together in these harrowing times!

  • dave mann says:

    to be honest almajir for their remaining home games this seson i dont see it
    being a major problem, as long as it doesnt run into next season. our ground
    would seem the obvious solution for coventry, its the closeist one and the
    attendance is very simmilar. what worries me with all the stay away blues
    fans( and i use that term with a heavy heart) coventry pushing for promotion
    might end up getting bigger crowds than us, and that would be enbarasing.KRO.

  • Marky mark says:

    As long as the finances are in order I dont have an issue with it.

    I don’t dislike Coventry, I remember a great game at there gaff in the eighties finished 4_4 I’m sure Andy Kenedy got a couple but my memory not what is was

    • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

      Let me fill in the gaps.

      It was our first ever Sunday game and we all had to be bussed in from the NEC as the line was down. So off to Pool Meadow we went.

      They got 2 penalties I think and I think we got 1 which Ogrizovic saved,

      Great day as it always was at Highfield Road, i can still see poor Ian Handysides cross to big Mick Harford who netted to keep us up. Cue total madness on the pitch at our end for about 5 minutes

      • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

        Different game obviously

        • Marky mark says:

          Think you’re remembering to games Paul, the weathervwas bad we had loads of snow, Steve Whitton (a great player for us by the way) and Matin Kuhl (not such a great player) got the other goals

          • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

            Yeah the other one was our annual game to stay up I was just giving an example of another great day out in the sun at Highfield Road.

            Another good one was the cup game with Sibbo in his astronaut suit pictured in the mail which he’d robbed out of a shop window that morning. Little did he know that it was one of a kind and there was a manhunt on for it lol.

          • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

            The Sunday game was 4-4 mate

  • Pandiani says:

    I am completely with the two comments above.

    Football fans have long memories, ask any Brighton fan sitting on the fringe of the play-offs in the spanking new ground and they know exactly who helped them in their darkest days and who didn’t. I’ve got absolutely no beef with Cov and think we should help where we can.

    I also remember when they moved to the Ricoh, there were concerns that it would be ready for the start of the season. In a fans poll in the Evening Telegraph, they wanted to come to B9 more than any other rival, so I don’t think they do hate us. Certainly not as much as they hate Villa and where they’re concerned, my enemy’s enemy in my friend!

  • Barry says:

    I’d help them out this season if it’s not going to create a cost for us. After all, they a re in a bigger hole than us currently but you never know what may hit us in the future.

  • solbluedean says:

    I also agree wit the above, provided that Coventry City are covering all of the costs I would not have any objection, certainly not for the remainder of this season. I dont think that I would have been keen of the idea in previous times and circumstances, funny how a down turn in fortune can make your more agreeable to situations and I think we should do what we can to help out.

    I am not sure that Cov fans have any particular issue with Blues, other than their general view on anything from Birmingham, I know they dont like the other mob much and that makes them OK in my book.

    My only question would be can Coventry City actually afford to pay the costs?

  • alan says:

    As a Cov fan I think you are being used in a bit of a game here. WM police have been told the games are at the Ricoh, the groundstaff are still preparing the pitch and the Ricoh owners say the club can play there. Thanks for best wished though. I think we will need it. Actually, if you bluenoses are all in such a good mood, how about sending Marlon King back!

    • almajir says:

      I don’t think Marlon would be much use for you, he’s out until next season…

    • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

      We’re all the same Al and we aint far behind you in the ‘in-the-sh*t stakes’ so if we can offer yous a helping hand I for one am all for it. St Andrews would then get 2 lots of torment evety week instead of the fortnightly dose it currently gets :)

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I worked with a few lads who were looking for a driver so they could enjoy the day out, so I drove 12 Cov lads down to Sheffield for their FA cup Semi in 1987. Great match and great day out. On the flip side, I was hospitalised by the presiding officers at the Cov Blues game in 1977 for no apparent reason, Director of Public Prosecutions couldnt track down the offendors. (Strange that!) Nevertheless they are a smashing local club, with a large working class element and I for one would be delighted to offer short term support to help them out of their crisis.

  • Kaje says:

    It was mentioned on Free Radio in the last few days that there has been no contact between Coventry City and Birmingham City – so I can’t see it happening.

  • skareggae72 says:

    I see Coventry City FC are duty bound to provide free transport to all of there season ticket holders for the rest of the season,so it is likely they will go for a location close to them-with an outside chance of the play-offs still Hinckley & Nuneaton look way too small so there is a chance they could end up at St Andrews,but it would be embarrassing for us if they actually got bigger gates than us for the remainder of the season !

  • dave mann says:

    mick harfords goal at coventry that kept us up was memorable.
    i was there top of, warm sunny day.
    got that goal framed and hanging in my living room……..happy days!

  • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

    Brilliant weren’t it Dave

    Poor old Ian Handysides cross was pinpoint

    Took em 5 minutes to get us all off the pitch.

  • mark says:

    IMO i don’t have any problems with this, maybe their court appearance may give us some idea where things might go…..

  • Dave Sherlock says:

    From a logistics point of view it would have to be a Birmingham based ground share WM police charges will be the same as they would have been the same if they were still at there place because it’s the same force area and the stewards from there own stadium would simple have to do the job at stans… I’m all for helping them out I’m sure it’ll only benefit us in the long run… While the government and the tax payer help put poor little West Ham

  • Tony says:

    Stans is for Birmingham City only , you say just there remaining home games but it could drag on Im against it

  • Bluemat says:

    I dont think cov are in the bad situation that its being made out to be. Sisu who own them made around 200 million i think last year? They are also in talks with several local councils on building a new ground. I think this is more of a stance with ASL or ACL whoever they are and the guys that hold the revenue streams of the Ricoh. I maybe wrong but this is just how i have read it. As for playing at St andrews, no thanks, its our ground, our pitch end of. KRO!

  • Ted says:

    Coventry City are good neighbours and a great club. It would be an honour to help them in such desperate times. KRO

  • dave mann says:

    ian handysides may no longer be with us, but he will always be remembered
    for that game and has you said that cross.
    pitch invasion followed by heavy drinking……………happy days!
    ps. ive no problem with coventry, but my younger brother, who
    believe it or not is a scum fan( blacksheep of the family who i no longer talk to)
    got battered there. what a shame!!!!!!!!. KRO.

    • Marky mark says:

      Good old Ian Handysides, remember when he scored at the villa in a 2-0 win Rees got the other one, funny enough we got relegated that season as well, crammed like sardines that day.

      • Iggy says:

        I too was in the Witton End that day in August 1987 and the bend on Tony Rees’s winner was unforgettable. Sang all the way back to Acocks Green.

        Back on topic. Coventry are in trouble and we should help them. End of..

  • Tony says:

    Quite right Bluemat keep it for us

  • Tony says:

    Think a pitch invasion would be the only way Paul would get onto a soccer pitch.

  • Jodie says:

    Thank you (vast majority of you) for the very positive and kind comments – it’s very heartening :)

  • Tony says:

    EEDRRRRRR Skare would I ever lol

  • tonyd says:

    Looks like the majority of fans would wish us to help Cov out. I have a
    vested interest, as my great grandfather was the first captain of Coventry City. That’s as far is it goes though. I am all royal blue,. Those thinking of giving up their season tickets, think again.I have had to (I’m working in Asia now,) and can vouch for how much you’d miss it..

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Cov moving to St. Andrews may well be a rumour but if true, and it’s only for a few games and if the business case favours Blues them why not? Average Cov home attendance is around 11,000 which is pretty good for league 1 and good for the St Andrews pie sales. We could even open the club shop so they could get the chance to buy proper blue shirts that don’t look like they’ve faded in the wash.
    Also another load of fans signing SOTV can only be a good thing!

  • Alan Watton says:

    Simpathy for Coventry yes but they unfortunately do not pay their bills. Cant see the logic of taking on a club who are as broke as we are

  • Paulo says:

    I think that offering a helping hand to another club (apart from the vile) is a good thing and although Coventry are a midlands club, and yes some history does exist between us, if it was done with enough foresight then it might be possible for them. It’s a terrible situation to be in, to watch your club hit the walls and not be able to do anything about it. As fans, the Coventry lot have been dealing with a lot over a period of time, and maybe this was going to happen anyway ..as the Ricoh is a separate entity from CCFC, so due diligence in financial control was simply a gamble that the owners took.
    I can’t see the Cov fans liking it very much, but those who would come here (or anywhere) will probably come with open(ish) mind anyway.
    As for ground-sharing, well, London Irish (RFC) share with Reading in the Madjeski, on a very close schedule, and it works. On a smaller level, our very own Birmingham City Ladies ground-share with Stratford Town at their DCS, as that is the nearest ground to that standard available.
    The bigger concern though, is where are Coventry going to play next season? It’s ok doing something short term like sharing a ground with a couple of weeks notice, to play about 5 or 6 matches ..but it isn’t fair on their fans if they don’t know where their club is going to play in the future. They should have invested in that old ground years ago. The Ricoh is going to suffer just as much, unless it hosts concerts at stupid prices every other weekend.

  • RichardM says:

    Personally I’d be glad to help them out for the rest of this season – and in all honesty I would have no issue with them ground sharing next season either – especially if it comes at no financial risk to Blues and helps our own cost base / revenues.

    It’s understood it’s only on a short-term basis until they’ve got their act sorted, I think it’s the right thing to do.

    “There but for the grace of god go I” – who knows when we might need to ask them for a return favour?

  • DoctorD says:

    Maybe the clubs should merge? Ha ha — note, I am NOT being serious.

  • prewarblue says:

    While I would agree to the idea of helping Coventry out,,,,,,anybody given any thought to what it would do to the St Andrews pitch ?,,,,,,there have been complaints regarding the state of the pitch now,,,with the ball bobbling about,,,,,just think of the missed goals recently,,,,,,the pitch certainly cant stand up to being played on every week,,,,,,so much as I would like to say ok to a temp ground share,,,,,our needs are greater for a decent pitch sorry Cov

  • Jodie says:

    prewarblue – I would understand your concerns completely if you were fighting relegation or going for the play offs but you are probably going to finish mid-table so a few more games on your pitch isn’t going to ruin your season… I think Walsall (the other team we’re rumoured to be moving to) would have a more legitimate grievance with us playing on their pitch as they’re in the play off race… It certainly isn’t a long term arrangement (surely not!), it’s only 3 games.
    If I am totally honest I can’t see it happening – not with only 3 days left until the game! The football league rules says that if this happens the club has to provide transport to and from the alternative ground – not sure where they will get hold of so many coaches from in time… It’s fairly harrowing not knowing where we will be but I am grateful to the vast majority of you who would be happy to help another club out :)

    • prewarblue says:

      Its not that I do not have sympathy with your problem Jodie,,,,,,but we still have problems ourselves,,,we are not safe from relegation,,,,,and like your selves ,,,,there is still hanging over our heads the possible threat of administration,,,,,,unlike yourselves we are not 10 points clear of the relegation places,,,,,,you can afford to lose 10 points and still not be sent down,,,,,we cant !,,,,,if we did not have these problems I would be happy to have your team sharing St Andrews for as long as was needed,,,,,,,we need to minimise the risks to ourselves by ensuring we have the best pitch available for all our remaining games.

      I thank you for responding to my comment,,,,,any other comments I wont be bothering with

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Sorry I wouldn’t like to see Coventry at St Andrews. I remember some very unsavoury scenes versus the sky blues in the past. While I have some sympathy for their situation they only have themselves to blame. As for the comment of cov pushing for promotion. No chance after they get docked points.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    The pitch can easily take two games a week as do loads of other pitches.

    Take no notice Jode

  • Tom says:

    Aslong as we don’t start playing home games at there place, can’t believe we are actually helping them

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Till the end of the season. Help Coventry out.
    What goes around, comes around.

  • mark says:

    Correct Paul, she shouldn’t worry about next season either. Plenty space at our ground. Some fans moaning about sharing dont go down, or are withdrawing their st.

  • Texas Pete says:

    We should let em have it. I do wonder about how the turf will stand up to it even though the season is past the worst (ha ha!). It was really bad last year. Has the condition improved?

  • AndyP says:

    Perhaps dingles should lend a hand,after all they’ll be in same division soon.

  • sutton apex says:

    with winter snow, rain etc still here the pitch would suffer – so i say no, they can use rushdens old ground sitting there doing nothing and get their finances sorted out is tp priority. i have said many times finally when a club gets liquidated football might wake up !!

    • prewarblue says:

      There have been many clubs liquidated Sutton,,,,,”Bradford Park Avenue and Newport County” are just two that spring to mind,,,,,”Football” still hasnt woken up,,,nor ever will as long as “Money” and the “Old Brigade” at the F.A are in charge,,,,,the grass roots clubs are not wanted,,,,its just the big boys that have their interests looked after,,,,all the rest can go to the wall

  • Roy Smith says:

    Prewarblue hits the nail right on the head. The FA would be happy if 80 league clubs folded and they could concentrate on their precious Premiership boys. They have spent the last 20 years making sure the rich get richer and the poor get uncompetitive. How I regret the loss of the days when the likes of Wimbledon, as much as I hated them as a club, could climb from non league to the top division and win things.
    I was also there on the day we stayed up with the Mick Harford goal. More joy in that than ManUre fans get from yet another shoe in Premiership win.
    As for Cov,give them a hand, but for the grace of God it could have been us.

  • Mark says:

    Im all for helping Coventry out. They have suffered terrible financial circumstances.
    It could be whats in store for us, who knows?
    Rivalry is one thing, but imagine if that local rivalry was gone because one team didnt exist anymore. Football should stick together in these hard times because if helping Cov now means more ding dong derbies in the future with our sky blue friends them Im all for it. KRO

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