Club talk

Your City, Your Club -really?

The club is losing its soul…and it saddens me to say that.

It’s heart no longer beats in time with those of its supporters, but instead beats to the rhythm of the financiers and sponsors. Like some gangrenous appendage, festering away at the extremities of its corporate body, the supporters are left to look after themselves. And as the rot spreads, so the pulse fades until there comes a time when the die-hards do just that. Die hard, with no anaesthetic to deaden the pain.

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Your City, Your Club

Really?

Perhaps that needs reaffirming.

Your Club – when we have no confirmation of the team with less than 6 hours left to kick off?

Your Club – when there’s only been one official tweet from @CoventryRFC since December 23rd, and that was to tell us who the sponsors for the Loughborough game are?

Your Club – when poster after poster on the messageboard over the last few weeks have made some reference to the lack of any news coming from the club?

Your Club – when one supporter leaves the comment on this blog, ‘not so nice when you feel you’re taken for granted, is it?’?

It just seems that there is a total lack of vision with regard to marketing the rugby side of the club. Plenty when it comes to developing the ground – but that’s not about the season ticket holders, or the fans paying on the turnstiles on match day. That’s seem more and more to be about self-aggrandisement.

And the sad thing is, it’s getting worse.

And actually, I do think supporters have a right to expect more. When you hand over your £15 (the same amount that will get you into the Ricoh to see Wasps) on a Saturday or £180 (?) for a season ticket, you’re buying into the experience of being part of Coventry RFC.

If the club wants to be seen as a ‘family’ club, then that experience isn’t just 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon. It’s the build up as well. And there’s been no build up at all for this game, no rallying of the supporters, no team news (other than very briefly in the Coventry Telegraph earlier in the week, but that was more of a general piece), no personalised message from the Chairman or Board to wish everyone a Happy New Year, other than something inserted above a flyer on the website before Christmas with the office opening hours (and it certainly wasn’t a personalised one).

Look at any club in our league and see how they market their games – they ‘talk’ to their supporters through their website and social media regularly to the extent that you feel far more a part of the club. Even Broadstreet, a league below us and with an average gate of probably less than 175, do a far, far better job of informing their supporters than Coventry does.

You feel valued. It does indeed become ‘Your Club’.

But not at Coventry.

Not at the moment.

This has to be our nadir, the time when the club realises it can’t carry on as it is. It will haemorrhage support and no matter the grandeur of the development plans, this club won’t survive without its fan base.

Tomorrow, I’ll concentrate on the rugby and today’s game…the players and coaches  deserve better, certainly from me.  And whatever the result, it will be through no lack of effort on their part.

Whereas communication – what effort does that take…?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories:Club talk

21 replies »

  1. Hi Tim
    All the above comments, along with the chat you and I had at the ground before the game, reflect the club’s stoical and quite remarkable and unfathomable lack of communication and connection with the supporters. Fortunately the team provided some relief to that doom and gloom by producing a much better winning performance on the pitch, which was most welcome.
    I think I’ll send you an email, rather than add to this comment, because I want to explore some options……..
    Cheers, Cliff.

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  2. I hope that someone at the club reads your blog, but I’m not certain anyone know how to use the internet! As mentioned in a previous comment, Phil Maynard has recently been promoted but shows zero ability in terms of promoting and marketing Coventry Rugby. Surely this is his single most important function?

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    • At the ground now…will be interesting to see the size of the crowd today. End of hols…should be reasonable. Agreed that communication has to be greatly improved if Cov are to achieve their ambition of Championship rugby…

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  3. Thanks tim…to be honest twitter is a bit of a mystery to be, but il keep an eye out for the scores via here, as i can see your feed on the right handside. Mark is meant to be texting me the scores, but hes about as reliable as a coventry line out throw!! 😉

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  4. Me two as a new cov fan who lives in Newcastle. trying to get information about cov on the website is so annoying. when dan was playing I was down at bp to watch but since he has been injured I only seen two home games and one at Mowden park.but I still take a lot of interest in what’s going on signings ect. But it does not give any relevant information that your normal supporter would want.hope they have a rethink and bring the website up to a standard of what the supporter’s deserve.

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    • It seems that the biggest single moan from supporters is the lack of communication, even at a time when the team’s results are so disappointing. The club will need to respond or else otherwise it will not only fail to attract new supporters, it will also lose some of it’s present support…and probably fail to attract players of the calibre of Dan too

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  5. Good blog, and of a supporter of over 30 years, im feeling more disenfranchised from the club than ever. Im currently out of the country and have been checking websites for the team news, and not a thing, which quite frankly is awful. Despite it being new year and im sure people deserve a rest, however the reality is with social media there is an expectation of using it to communicate with us the supporters, and the club is letting itself down badly at the moment. 3 hours to kick off an not a think on any of the media or social media outlets! Maybe matt should be given the responsibility of putting stuff on social media, hes quite good at that!!! 😉

    Nigel

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    • Thanks, Nigel…Matt would certainly say what he thought, that’s for sure. When b people like Mark and yourself begin to question what’s happening a express a feeling of alienation, then there’s a real problem.
      Which there is…
      If the club aren’t updating, you can keep track of the scores on the homepage here, or on @Cowshedtim.
      Happy new year, Nigel and thanks for popping across

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  6. Hi there, I’d written something on the rugby network forum (under “Saturday’s game”) this morning – before I read this, it is kind of on the same wavelength, although not as well written as yours. As I’ve said on the forum many times I only started coming down to the BPA with wifey last December, and if I’m at times frustrated with how the club operates God knows how it must be for the die hard lifelong Cov fans like you who’ve seen and lived it all.

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    • Hi Warren, great to see you on here! The more that are of one voice, the louder the message. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve supported the team for, once the club gets under your skin, there’s no escape!
      Here’s hoping there’s something to shout about this afternoon…I’m convinced we going to win big…but I’m like that every week.

      Thanks so much for the comment…and a happy new year to you and yours…

      Tim

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  7. Had a bit of a sleepless night last night. Lot’s of thoughts. Eventually turned to Cov, mainly about the 1st half of the season. Decided my support was a bit apathetic . Decided to change, so here goes.

    ‘ Dear Cov players , I think I let you down last year, I got too wrapped up on the pitch , I didn’t give you my whole support. From now until the rest of the season, I promise to shout encouragement to you, still respecting our referee’s and the opposition, but I will encourage you from minute 1 to the final whistle. You deserve my support, once a Cov supporter, always a Cov supporter, through thick and thin. It might have been a bit of a struggle recently but together we will get through it. Come on Cov.’

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    • Brilliant…I do feel desperately sorry for the players who are being tarnished by the club’s silence, at least that’s the way it comes across.
      I am totally with you, Paul….I might have lost a little in the club, but not in the players who represent it. I believe we’ll see a big performance today, one that the supporters can shout about, if the not the club itself.

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  8. Sadly Mick , as Mary Hopkins once so memorably sang, ” Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end…..”. Well, they have. This is the 21st century and our club are stuck in the glory years. No vision, no desire to inform, the let’s keep it to ourselves approach is holding sway. As I said on here the other day, ” same as it ever was”.

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    • A really disappointing start to what everyone hopes will be a much more encouraging second half to the season. Jon Sharp talks about ‘moving on’ from the recent abysmal results but if that is to happen, the club need to take the supporters with them, rather than do what they are presently doing and leave them behind….

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  9. Tim with great sadness I do have to agree with you.. I have never been one to “rock the boat” But yesterday I looked too many times on the official and message board site for the team selection. I do praise Tom Little who posted a comment that “as soon as i get it I will put it on here” If Tom is not been given the information that speaks volumes. Each passing season OUR club does not improve have WE/CLUB moved with the digital age ? But this has happened for many years I was at training one Thursday night when the then club secretary said “do not give out the team to the CET” because an player who had appeared on a tv show was not available for the Saturday game. He would have knocked a few hundred off the gate was the reason. But that is another those where the days moment.

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    • You’ll have to tell me who it was later! no criticism of Tom Little is either implied or intended. I must make that clear. He can only deliver to us what’s delivered to him…but it does all seem a bit of a shambles at the moment and I do feel we’re being sold short…maybe I’d just like to hear a response from the club to explain the problems…..

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    • Mick, as a fellow Carter and long-time supporter I’m also saddened by the direction the club is currently heading, with the corporate side seeming the main priority.

      I remember with great nostalgia (and photos I can’t show the kids) the supporters club trips from back in the 80s/90s when we invariably lost but had a great day supporting our club! Visiting Pontypool in dinner suits seemed a good idea at the time… You have always been a patient ever-present and to see you make these comments is rare indeed.

      Gradually I feel that the sense of being valued as a supporter has been eroded and seems to currently be at its lowest point. I’m frustrated more than cross because I genuinely think the likes of Jon Sharp have the club’s best interests at heart, but seem oblivious to the importance of promoting the match day experience.

      This current committee are mere custodians of the Coventry legacy and should remember the importance of loyal supporters past, present and future.

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  10. Spot on. The club need to look at marketing now more than ever, they seem to have lost interest in attracting or keeping their usual support let alone those so far disconnected fans of rugby that might be going in the direction of the Ricoh. There just seems to be an acceptance that the gates this season are an average of 400 down on last season… that’s a lot! It will be eating into their (our) budget on the pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep – there are those who have been loyal up until recently but who, as you so rightly describe it, are now disconnected.

      It would worry me, certainly, were I one of the Board…

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