It started with a kiss
Never thought it would come to this
‘It Started With A Kiss’ – Hot Chocolate
The season started so well – it never occurred to me back then that it would end this way.
The blog ends to day and I’d hoped to end it on a high. I’d hoped the final post would coincide with a Cov win and I’d finish off with the opportunity to concentrate on some of the many positives that have come out of the last few games.
But instead, the game will not feature in this post at all.
Instead, this last entry is about how disappointed I am, how frustrated I feel, about the complete absence of any information coming from the club either in the build up to, or during or after today’s game. It’s put a downer on the end of the season for me and suggests that far from Coventry listening to the concerns of its supporters, we are no further forward than we were 9 months ago.
There are those reading this who won’t take kindly to what I have to say, but it’s their choice to be here. They have come on to the blog knowing that these are my views and my views only and I haven’t shared them on the Messageboard or forced them upon anyone.
And before anyone comes back with an argument that the lack of signal from Threshfield prevented any opportunity to use social media to update supporters with scores from the game…
…this isn’t about just a lack of updates from the match itself, frustrating as that was, it’s about the virtual silence emanating from the club during the week leading up to yesterday’s game.
It’s hugely disappointing and worse than that, actually dismissive of the supporters.
A crowd of 1435 watched Coventry’s last home game, the biggest of the season.
1435 of whom the vast majority were Coventry supporters. A big increase on the season’s average…so what would you expect the club to do?
Well, if I were anything to do with marketing, I do everything in my power to retain that interest over the summer…
And I ‘d want to begin by making sure that in the build up to the final game there was plenty of information available from the Monday onwards – directions to Wharfedale for those going, where to stay if staying over two days, local radio stations that might have news if applicable, where to get updates during the game, team news, what the players were intending to do after the game, photos of those making their final appearances etc etc.
But instead, nothing before the team news went out on Thursday and then absolutely nothing afterwards.
Nothing about the build up of the game on social media via the official Twitter feed, nothing else on the website…the season ended for Coventry RFC customer relations at 4.45 pm on Saturday 23rd April.
‘Your city, your club’…
As long as we’re playing at home.
Twitter on Friday and Saturday was alive with National 1 clubs send photos of the players setting out for games, with images of the players on coaches, of them enjoying the build up to the game.
Nothing from Cov…a club with aspirations of being a Championship side with a professional approach. Yet throughout the whole week all that comes out of the club is the team for Saturday…
For goodness sake, this is a monumental week in Cov’s recent history – players and coaches leaving, individuals who have given a few good years to the club. No goodbyes, no pictures on the website other than a couple from the Awards a week ago. Nothing to acknowledge this was even the final week of the season, let alone the enormity of what’s taking place…
Sorry, that’s unfair of me…there was a notice to let supporters know the closing date for the Early Bird season tickets scheme has been extended. At least the business team are on the ball, then.
And extended because of a great deal of interest or a lack of enthusiasm?
And about information coming from the game itself…a couple of things there.
Firstly, if the signal is so poor up at Wharfedale that no one was able to send updates, then that would have been a problem that would have reared its head in previous visits…so, out of courtesy, there would have been something on the website or via the official Twitter account to let supporters know of the potential problem.
Instead, many, many fans were left roaming all the various sites we could think off to get updates – it was 80 minutes of my life wasted that I’ll never get back.
I must have had 25-30 people contact me directly to see if I was at the game in the hope that something might be forthcoming, so I clearly wasn’t alone in getting more and more frustrated. Goodness knows how many others tried to find the score at some stage during the game.
And given we did get a half time score via a supporter, there must have been a signal from the ground…so even if it was intermittent, the official Cov Twitter account could have sent something out. Interestingly, the match report was up on the Cov Telegraph website by 5.30, so I’m not altogether sure how that works with out some sort of connection…easy enough to turn a laptop into a wi-fi hotspot to send out updates from anyone with a phone nearby????
But, in fairness if there was absolutely no signal, then supporters should have been given an indication this might be the case beforehand…
But the past week has shown it’s about far more than just match updates – it’s about communication with supporters as part of the Coventry experience. Look at Plymouth, Fylde, Hull, Henley, Richmond…the list goes on – they are far, far better at keeping their supporters informed and interest heightened even on non-match days.
It shouldn’t be supporters having to tweet scores for all those supporters unable to make it to the game, either home or away, it should be the club. And there are a lot of people following the game on Twitter – even from overseas.
Along with all the changes taking place within the squad and the coaching staff, there has to be some recognition that within the club, too, there needs to be a transformation in the way it communicates with its supporters.
A bit of time spent researching what other National 1 clubs do, or indeed the likes of National 2 clubs like Broadstreet and Cambridge, would reap dividends in the long run…
By the sound of it, Cov supporters are soon to have a voice, and one that will be listened to by the club.
It is long overdue.
I’ve had my say.
The season’s over and so is this blog.
The players have given their all, and I thank them for all they have done this season…however disappointing things might have been, I’ve never questioned their efforts. It’s been an interesting season for sure and although results haven’t gone our way at times, it has been one that I’ve found enjoyable and one that has certainly given me something to write about!
To those of you who have read the posts, either regularly over the course of the season or just intermittently as the mood takes, a massive thank you and to those of you who have commented, thank you for sharing your thoughts…
I’ve enjoyed writing the blog and I’ve certainly valued meeting so many people I would never have met otherwise, many of whom I hope will remain in contact.
All the very best and have a fantastic summer,
Please do feel free to leave comments as I’ll still get notifications as and when, or contact me via a pm on Twitter or Facebook.
It would be great to hear from you…