I’m doubtless going to incur the wrath of a number of people in today’s post, but I thought I’d respond in some detail to Telly1’s post on the messageboard ostensibly concerning the Wasps’ proposed plans to build training facilities at Broadstreet, as outlined in yesterday’s post.
I do so knowing that this won’t be particularly popular, given both the post’s content and the tone in which is it written, but I do think that the there are points within it that are worthy of discussion, some of which I strongly disagree with and some that I feel are relevant and worthy of debate.
Telly1 has posted several times before this, 35 in fact, and he has managed to upset a fair few posters in the process. I’m not sure why he chooses to write in such an acerbic and caustic tone because in doing so he immediately alienates the vast majority of people who are rightly angered by what the somewhat acrimonious and belligerent style he uses. And he has things to say, things which bring something to the table. But not as they are.
To this end, he is his own worst enemy and the argument is lost for the most part before any discussion takes place. I don’t know Telly1 and as far as I’m aware, I’ve never met him although the chances are he attends Cov games as so many of us do.
This might seem as if I’m taking on the role of an apologist on his behalf…far from it. I just want to try and identify what it is that is irking him so much and then offer some thoughts, my own and almost certainly not representative of the club or even many of the those who will read this post.
My son, rather wittily I thought, described Telly1 as the Nigel Farage of the messageboard and I can see what he means. And whilst I have no affinity to either UKIP or Farage, I do like to read what he has to say – he’s always good value. And the same with Telly – even though he gets my goat, so-to-speak, like Farage there is sometimes an element of truth in what he says.
And what was it he said yesterday?
I’ve included it verbatim just in case you haven’t seem it or to save you having to jump from one site to another if you want to refresh your memory:
Clearly a new order in rugby football for this City and County. Cov has been the minor club since WASPS arrival and it is getting more so by the day. This is not a surprise as the Mute chairman and his yes men(also silent) have stated on more than one occasion that they are happy in this league and in any event could not finance a promotion or life in the Champonship.
It will not be long before Messers Maguire, Rossborough, Kendal et al, will be swanning about their Centurions box on their own as all thers will be watching Wasps and a exciting Broad street side with Wasps yougsters and some star youg Cov kids playing an exciting well coached try scoring style of Rugby football.
Whereas, Cov will be watched by a few scribblers off this board, ie Bennett, Carter,and the like who have my admiration for their loyal support.
Copmpare Cov, no youth policy, no mini rugby, no futere stars, no leadership and a bunch of directors consumed with self interest and puffed out chests blowing hot air in the direction of ALDI and Lidl and the like.
£insolvent to the tune of £800 k and pathetic talk of a plastic pitch that depreciates by £1500 a week, no prospects, no leadership, no youth policy, no idea!
So…how does it bare up to a bit of scrutiny:
Clearly a new order in rugby football for this City and County. Cov has been the minor club since WASPS arrival and it is getting more so by the day – as soon as the word ‘minor’ is used in reference to Coventry RFC on a website set up for the specific use of supporters all of whom will be loyal to the club, even in the hardest of times, then it immediately becomes emotive and therefore in a strange way, personal.
Minor is dismissive and patronising, both towards the club and its supporters. No longer top dog, but not minor…and still with the dog
But in a sense Telly is right – we no longer are the top team in the city, we are playing second fiddle to the ’empire-builders’ on the other side of the city (it is so easy to fall into the trap) and just as they are increasing in size, so are we decreasing…attendances are down and our partnership with ‘Street seems to be cooling. Whether it’s a poor season or the Wasps’ effect is unclear, but gates are noticeably down.
There is a new order. He’s right…just don’t say in a more restrained way!
This is not a surprise as the Mute chairman and his yes men(also silent) have stated on more than one occasion that they are happy in this league and in any event could not finance a promotion or life in the Champonship (sic) – I think Telly is wrong here and I’ll defend Jon Sharp assiduously, even though I have been quick to criticise the poor communication between club and supporters at times this season, especially before Christmas and the timing of the announcement about further improvements to the ground.
There is a difference, as I have learned this season, between the chairman of the club and the club itself. My gripe has mostly been about the lack of information coming from the club, not from Jon Sharp and before anyone says anything, I don’t now believe they are one and the same, although clearly they overlap.
Mute he isn’t -we’ve had e-letters, articles in the Telegraph regarding the development of the ground, responses to individual supporters and so on. We might not have heard what we all have wanted to hear, but we have read what he said, and not always listened or always agreed when we have.
And over the last 4 years or so I think the Board have done a pretty decent at moving the club forward – Telly1 I’m sure would disagree here, but I guess that is what discussions are all about. Having accepted there is a problem in the coaching set up this year, the Board have acted quickly to fix it, something most people, including Scott, agree is the right thing to do even though it seems they’ve gone about it in the wrong way.
As for not being able to ‘finance a promotion’ – the monies spent this season in producing a squad fit for purpose should have been enough. I don’t think anyone was critical of the lack of spending prior to the season. If the team haven’t performed but the coaches have had the players, or at least the opportunity to buy the players, then the Board or the Chairman shouldn’t be held responsible for that, although Jon Sharp accepted blame in the spirit of corporate responsibility.
And even if he hadn’t got the funds, then unless someone came in with additional monies, we are where we are with someone at the helm who I believe has the best interests of the club at heart, even if he sometimes misreads the mood of the supporters – although again that is opinion, not fact. What Telly1 seems to be suggesting is what did for Rugby Lions and several other illustrious clubs, and nearly did for us a while back, too.
It will not be long before Messers Maguire, Rossborough, Kendal et al, will be swanning about their Centurions box on their own as all thers will be watching Wasps – I won’t comment on this because I think it’s unfair of me to do so…this is where Telly1 seems to have a personal axe to grind against the board…I don’t know that but that’s how it comes across. I understand little of the make-up of the Board and certainly even if I did, I wouldn’t be as personal as this. It begins to sound a bit like trolling and there’s no place for that on the messageboard or internet generally.
watching Wasps and an exciting Broad street side with Wasps yougsters and some star youg Cov kids playing an exciting well coached try scoring style of Rugby football – I do think Telly1 is absolutely right to highlight this as a concern. Wasps have already shown an interest in ‘Street as a temporary training ground before probably moving on to the Alan Higgs Centre, so it makes sense that they might be interested in working with ‘Street in the same way that we have, but use them as feeder club, perhaps similar to Glos and Hartpury. I certainly worry about it, as I’m sure the club does. I don’t see anything there that’s controversial. It’s the way it’s written, rather than the content, that is the problem
The club has been working extremely hard through it’s outreach and community programmes (led by Matt P) to engage youngsters and get them interested in a) rugby and b) Coventry RFC.
The next logical step would be to develop mini-rugby through the club itself rather than going into schools. Facilities aren’t there for it at the moment – but it would be unfair to say there’s no youth policy. And then there’s the Henley College…
Whereas, Cov will be watched by a few scribblers off this board, ie Bennett, Carter,and the like who have my admiration for their loyal support – I do think Telly1 genuinely respects supporters who have remained loyal (although he might wonder why we do given his misgivings) and the likes of Cliffie and Mick are as loyal as they come – in the same way, only a little warped perhaps, that Telly1 is. Everyone wants the best for the club.
The implication in what he says though is clear – if we don’t move with the times, if we don’t have success on the field and improvements off it, then crowds will continue to decrease and only the very loyal will remain. I can’t see any real argument with that either – the use of surnames seems rather disrespectful, which I don’t think is meant.
no leadership and a bunch of directors consumed with self interest and puffed out chests blowing hot air in the direction of ALDI and Lidl and the like – back to that axe again as it continues to be sharpened ; it’s rhetoric – provocative, sensationalist and scornful and having heard it so many times, it’s loses its effect. But it’s a point of view and one that should be discussed if there’s evidence to suggest this is the case.
A statement was made in the Telegraph article about future plans to improve the ground – the Board don’t have to say anything more but given that many of us don’t understand the ins and outs of financial planning , then it would be good to have someone from the club explain it to us in person. A deficit of £800000 sounds a lot, but if it ‘s accounted for through other assets (I’m already struggling) then perhaps it’s not as bad as it sounds. I just think something from the Board to reassure us might put most of our minds to rest. I hope this would be something that would be addressed at the Fans’ Forum where there would be opportunity for Telly1 or anyone else with similar doubts to say their piece.
pathetic talk of a plastic pitch that depreciates by £1500 a week – if, and it’s a big if, this were to ever happen, then I don’t believe creditors would lend out the necessary finances without assurances that any artificial surface used would pay for itself and then some. I understood that once a pitch is in use, the relaying of the surface costs about £100,000ish after ten years or so – it’s the initial work to put in the pitch, with all the excavations, preparing of the ground before laying the pitch and the constructing of the exterior fences etc that is the costly part…?
I’m not sure how discussions relating to plastic pitches can be seen as ‘pathetic’ -it needs to be talked about if only to rule it out. But if there are no other facilities available to train on elsewhere, then it seems a potential viable option and one that merits being looked into before making a decision.
So…plenty there that I disagree with, bits also that come across as mocking and irreverent, but also some points which are pertinent and have been discussed previously and will continue to be in the future. It’s important that we all get involved, no matter how contrary our view as it helps us all make more informed decisions.
Unfortunately, because Telly1 comes across as quite indignant and combative, I think posters are wary of responding to his messages on the board because there’s a feeling that if you do, you’re going to get both barrels back (which is what I’m expecting!!!). It’s a shame because there’s a real discussion to be had in much of what he says. Happy though for Telly1 to comment on here, provided it’s not too personal!
What we need is Telly by remote control, fast forwarding over the areas that create some anger or unease and freeze-framing the important bits in between.
And there are certainly a few of those.