In setting out to write this blog I had one single intention.
Just the one.
My aim was, and still is, to offer anyone kind enough to give up their time to read the posts, my own observations about all things Coventry RFC. A personal viewpoint, as it were.
Maybe at times a wholly incorrect one, but one that is sincere and honest and reflective of my own thoughts and feelings as the season unfolds.
I started it because I thought it might turn out to be a record of an 8 month journey; a journey with promotion as a possible destination. I genuinely believed it might end up that way.
It still could, I suppose…and whilst promotion has all but been conceded by the club, that doesn’t necessarily mean the players have accepted it, and they’re the ones who’ll have the final say. Nor does it mean that the supporters have; not all of them at least.
So maybe it’s just me.
Maybe I’ve just got completely the wrong end of the stick and tried to read far too much into what Scott Morgan was quoted as saying in the Coventry Telegraph immediately after the match last week.
You know, the bit, somewhere half way down the article after the passage where he talks about the need to address the number of penalties we give away…
The paragraph where he says:
I think it probably is the end…I know there will be teams above us playing each other every week and points will be dropped, but I think when we look back today will have been a critical day
In short, the part where Scott suggests the target the club set for the season is unattainable after just 14 games; in essence admitting that the season is all but over.
Okay, I know there are many who will argue that the league isn’t just about promotion and that there are still 16 games to be played. And that is, of course, quite true.
But you can’t have it both ways. Rightly or wrong, the club set out its stall unequivocally at the start of the season – there was going to be a sustained push for promotion, or at least that’s how I understood it.
So, in this one sense at least, our season is already over.
However hard one argues to the contrary about what constitutes success and what there is still left to play for, the bottom line is we’ve failed to even get close to our expectations of what even a half decent season might look like after 14 games.
It might be that we win every game from now until the end of the season and the teams above us lose a significant percentage of theirs and we end up promoted. But the point still remains…we conceded the title on Saturday 5th December, 16 games before the end of the season.
And that is worthy of discussion.
Now I’ve checked daily on the Messageboard, looked at the Twitter accounts where you might expect to see some mention of it, ‘googled’ Coventry RFC to see if I could find further reference to the comments and found nothing. I started to question my own sanity…is this what Scott meant. Had I misinterpreted his words?
Fortunately, having gone back to the original article and reread it, I took in what I hadn’t done on my first reading, namely John Wilkinson’s introduction to Scott’s comments:
The defeat was Coventry’s sixth of the season in thirteen games, and with a gap of 18 points to Richmond, Morgan concedes that it almost certainly takes away any hopes of promotion
So John interpretation is pretty similar to mine, although he inserts the words ‘almost certainly’, but in effect he seems to be suggesting pretty much the same thing.
Now I am not making any critique here of Scott’s comment – that was covered in a previous posting (I think it is probably the end) – other than to say that surprising as it was, the jury’s out as to whether it was as irresponsible a comment to make as I know some have suggested on the blog. Let’s see how the player’s respond to it. I’m not so sure it was.
If we win our next two games before the Christmas break, well who knows…
I’m not surprised that we’ve had no response from the Board, they are consistent at least.
But is Scott’s view shared by them…it’s an important moment in an important season and worthy of a comment from the owners.
But surprised as I was by Scott’s comments, I’ve been even more surprised by the lack of reaction to them elsewhere from the supporters. The messageboard has been quiet of late, but there’s been no real reference to Scott’s remarks other than one comment …which is bizarre really.
With so much optimism at the start of the season, I might have expected something, anything…so maybe it is me and perhaps Scott’s words aren’t a big deal to most supporters and I’ve blown them out of proportion.
But as a someone who is passionate about the club and has a genuine desire to see the club succeed, I do find Scott’s remarks strange and worthy of consideration at least. Fortunately, it has generated interested on this site (for which I’m hugely grateful) and actually my response seems less polarised than some.
It is interesting, though, that whilst there has been no real interest on the board, the numbers of ‘viewers’ (apparently that’s what you should be called) in the last three days on this site has rocketed…perhaps there is concern, but supporters don’t want to make known their views publicly..?
So does expressing my feelings on this blog make me disloyal to the club, or to the players or to the supporters? Or any combination of the three?
Personally, I don’t think it does and I hope others don’t see it that way. I’ve stressed several times that no player ever gives less than 100% on the pitch and I know that will continue to be the case, although I worry whether the players will be deflated by last weekend’s comments.
We have some fantastic players at Cov who at the moment just aren’t able to produce the standard of rugby of which we know they are capable. I would never, ever intentionally criticise the players for a lack of effort.
And whilst I think Scott has been naïve in saying what he said after the Darlington game, I have certainly expressed my loyalty to him. And just to reiterate it – for me, Scott’s the man to lead the team forward both this season and beyond.
It wouldn’t surprise me if changes in the structure of the club are made but I do believe Scott should stay in his role as Head Coach. He’s had two excellent season and a disappointing 2 months. In my view, he stays…
I don’t know who Rob C is, at least I don’t think I do, not by name at least, but if I met him I’d shake him by his hand and congratulate him on a fine post on the messageboard under the thread ‘Match Promotion’.
In it, Rob questions the lack of publicity that has surrounded Coventry’s final home game of the year against old rivals Blackheath.
It’s an important game in its own right, with Blackheath 3rd in the table and on a roll, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for the team to test themselves against one of the league’s in-form sides.
And as Rob points out, neither Coventry City or Wasps are at the Ricoh, so there are literally 000’s of potential customers out there, many of whom will be at a loss for something to do on a Saturday afternoon.
So what has the club done to encourage all these sports fans, many of whom I sure would be willing to part with their £15 if only they could be persuaded to come to the Butts?
Put a preview of the game on the website yesterday and there’ll be something in the Telegraph tomorrow.
I’m really sorry to labour this, but it’s little more than window dressing really (and Mick, I like the idea of the printable posters!).
Tom’s press release is fine, but it’s just that…a press release, not an advert encouraging new people into the ground. Tom’s job isn’t really marketing and what he does is always spot on as it targets a specific audience.
The article in the Telegraph will give team details and a couple of quotes from Phil Maynard I expect, but again it’s aimed at the diehards …those who’ll be coming in anyway, or the armchair supporters who’ll stay at home and listen to Radio 5.
As someone in the ‘diehard’ category, it is always my first port of call when it comes live onto the CT website.
But here’s the problem. A lot of potential visitors to the Butts either live outside of Coventry (as I do) and therefore don’t have access to the Telegraph, or don’t regularly go on to the official website, and if they do, probably don’t stay on it for too long.
So what could be done?
(Off the top of my head here, so apologies that it hasn’t been properly thought out):
- you offer every Wasps or Cov City supporter a £5 discount on a ticket for Saturday game against Blackheath, provided they bring with them a season ticket or ticket stub from any Wasps or Cov City game. Get one over on them before they get another one over on us. We used this before, so why not again;
- you promote the game on local radio and through JW in the Telegraph (to include discounts etc and post match entertainment) but starting immediately after the Henley game and it’s repeated in every article relating to Cov up to tomorrow (too late now, I know);
- you have a pop up page when you enter the official website that takes up most of the screen and has to be cancelled before you can access the main website. Included in it are all the relevant details with offers, competition details, photos and so on. It’s bright and eye-catching;
- you put details on Cov’s FB page and Twitter account. Daily from the Sunday after the Darlington game;
- Use Twitter sites like Covhour and Cov Try Line
- you send flyers with the discount details to any schools that are being supported by Coventry as part of the Community Project;
- you make more of the excellent entertainment that’s on offer after the game, perhaps including a link to a YouTube clip of the band;
- You offer a decent prize to the best designed Xmas card with a Cov theme to encourage children;
- You have a meet the player photo opp. for the kiddies after the game.
In short, you pull out all the stops…I’m not particularly imaginative in this area, the marketing people/person should have far better ideas and far better resources at their disposal.
I know this is going to come across as me being negative again but I’m not setting out to be…I love this club and hate to see us presently struggling to attract only 60 % of our best gates last season. And would the above be hugely time-consuming? Probably not.
I do think think there are other ways of marketing a game than are presently being use by Cov, ways that are more imaginative and more fun and don’t involve a lot of costs in terms of manpower or expenditure.
Perhaps we will get a bumper crowd without the above…
…in which case, just think of the crowd we would have attracted had we done so.