Club talk

It started with a kiss…

It started with a kiss
Never thought it would come to this

‘It Started With A Kiss’ – Hot Chocolate

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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.

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I’ve had my say.

I’m done.

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,

Tim

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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…

 

 

 

 

Categories:Club talk

31 replies »

  1. Far too many times have previous board members/owners promised something that has never occurred and left the supporters wondering what happened or just plain frustrated, let alone down right angry.However a supporter gets in contact with another and we have an addition to Coventry rugby .No trumpets or i know this you dont. A genuine read for the COV supporter.
    The management of the club maybe taking steps to remedy the perceived black hole of information but its always taking steps after the event never before it. There has been so much B.S over the years, all anyone wants, is the truth…not exaggeration,bluster or anything else.
    Thankyou TIM for your blog and your time to the cause.

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    • Hi Mark…thank you so much for the very kind comments – you kind of sum up what the blog was all about…just a Cov supporter chatting away to himself and anyone who cared to listen. Off all the endorsements, that’s one of the nicest.
      I’ve met with RW twice now and on both occasions I’ve been impressed; hopefully, you’ll be able to get to the Forum and listen to what he has to say – it will be interesting (if you can’t go I might do a ‘last post’ (without the bugle) just to keep those unable to be there aware of what was said.! There are moves afoot to change the way supporters are involved in the club and these will have a significant impact. One thing is for sure – the brand of rugby he is promoting will be the most exciting we’ve seen at Cov for a long time – it will be all out attack with little interest in penalties. Could be frustrating at times as defensively we might get undone BUT it will always be entertaining…or so the promise is.

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  2. Very much enjoyed reading your blog – the more so as I don’t get to watch many matches. Please do continue next season.

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    • Hi Iain, thanks very much for the very kind comments…it is frustrating when so little information is forthcoming from the club – however, I live in hope that under Rowland Winter things will start to improve next season, although it will inevitably take time.
      Once again, very many thanks…
      Tim

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  3. Hi Tim, Just a quick word of thanks from us for your blog. It had been the most information we had been able to get from Cov when Courtney was there. It is a shame we couldnt catch up when Sue and I were over there. It is great to have him back home and now finally playing rugby and enjoying himself. Have a great summer.
    Cheers Shane and Sue

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    • Hi Shane – I’m so pleased Courtney’s playing again; hopefully he can put the last 10 months or so behind him and be better for the experience, although it’s very sad that it had to be Cov. Everyone I’ve spoken to felt Courtney was hard done by when he got dropped and was then discarded.
      Sad I missed seeing you both, but I’ll be watching to see how Courtney does out in NZ.
      Many thanks for your kind words…
      Tim

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  4. I think I’ve said all I want/need for this season – I just want to thank you for your excellent writing over the course of the season. With your blog you are certainly adding another layer of the Cov rugby experience (admittedly the experience is fairly thin elsewhere), and like a lot of people I look forward to reading your thoughts and feelings on all things Cov. Have a great summer. Onwards and upwards.

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    • Many thanks, Warren – your comments and support have been greatly appreciated…as you say, onwards and upwards but perhaps not quite so much on a wing and a prayer as last season…

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  5. Hi Tim,

    It has been great to chat to you at games home and away this season – Lets hope the trip back from Darlington will be a whole lot easier next season!!

    I have really enjoyed your blog – it’s been my daily lunchtime read!! Totally agree with your comments. A very frustrating season both on and off the pitch.

    Look forward to seeing what RW can deliver next season.

    Wishing you a great summer.

    Kind Regards
    Ian

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    • Hi Ian…definitely up for Darlington if you are…thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, even if there were those who weren’t so effusive! Should be an annual event! Thanks for the kind comments…and like you, I’m looking forward to some significant changes next season!

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  6. Hi Tim
    Others have already said it. Your blog is a must read daily event for me and many others and I hope that you do continue with it next season.
    Over the last few months I have spoken with many ex (wow that suddenly hit home!) Players, coaches and backroom staff and I get the distinct impression that there is something rotten within the club, at times I thought this may have been sour grapes but the more comments I heard the less I believed it was and I think the forum will be an interesting evening.
    Your blog gives many people the opportunity to comment on the good the bad and the ugly of our club and with a new era now here, it maybe something that we need more than ever! Please keep it going next season.
    I am still in wharfdale and will be all week, I took many many pictures yesterday on my cam corder, I will check them out when I get home and if I can I will send some to you. The players and coaches huddle in the middle of the pitch after the game was very emotional and must have lasted a good 10 min
    Keep up the excellent work.

    Phil

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    • You certainly will see a lot more of me next season can’t wait. At least I’ve got 7s to tide me over.I hope RW gets it right and we see mcburnie knoxy and Dan at full pelt for the full season. Need a great 9 and 10 to join them and I’ll be happy

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    • I’m looking forward to the Forum too, although with RW present, I don’t think it will be quite so combative as it might otherwise have been, but we’ll see. Great idea to stay up around Wharfedale and make a holiday of it.
      Your support has been really appreciated and along with Phil, I’d love to see you take some part in the Supporters’ Club when it’s up and running – someone who has a passion for Cov and always speaks great sense. I’d really appreciate seeing the photos and I could certainly add an extra post if you’d be happy to have them viewed…
      Have a lovely week and a great summer. All the very best…and thanks once again!

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  7. Very many thanks Tim. I shall miss reading the blog. You have made Coventry Rugby grow with your input. It would be very wise of the club to contact you. Looking at some capacity that you and the club could and should work together. I not only had difficulty at the ground trying to contact home not being very savvy with all the methods of modern communication. A simply phone call was hard to make. But as ever I have a season ticket for next season, like others I will try not to be kidded by the hype. But COV very much need to start moving forward or the consequences could be fatal for us all.

    Once again many thanks Tim. Please continue next season.

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    • Thanks, Mick…you’ve been a tower of strength and it’s a real joy sitting so close to you and having a natter on match days, as it is reading your comments on the blog. To have gone to every away game this season is some achievement and the 4 of you should be really proud of that achievement! I’ve said somewhere else that I’m sure we will make progress but if we aim to high this season, I think we’ll be headed for a fall. like many, I think there are concerns about things that go on behind the scenes and until the structures are in place to launch a sustained challenge on promotion, then I think we should aim just to consolidate and see how things go and if things to go are way, then we should capitalise on them. I’m sure I’ll see you at the Forum…stay healthy and keep the faith! Have a great summer…

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  8. Tim – all season your blog has been the first port of call for me and many others. I never visit the official site. Totally confusing and a complete waste of time. Foolishly, I’m optimistic about improvements in the future. I think RW will have a different approach. But then again I swallowed all the hype all the start of the season!
    I’ve enjoyed your thoughts immensely and hope you continue next season, if only to keep them on their toes! Jon should be actively seeking your advice about promoting the club and improving communications.

    All the best for the summer. Looking forward to more blog reading next season.

    Public thanks to all the players and coaches. Particularly Scott. I was standing next to him at the Ampthill games. Blimey, he’s got a voice on him. Classic Welsh baritone.

    Thanks again
    Richard

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    • Hi Richard…thank you for the very kind comments – the official website just isn’t fit for purpose, is it?
      I still haven’t fathomed how out to access news items more than a few days old. I’m with you, though, I am also optimistic that things will improve and I certainly won’t be encouraged into believing that next season will be an all out attempt on the title. something that I was guilty of at the start of the season. Small steps for me, although I’m sure that it wouldn’t take many changes to bring about some giant leaps, given we are so far behind where we should be at the moment.
      Thanks for your support once again and have a brilliant summer…
      Kind regards,
      Tim

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  9. Thanks for entertaining and, more importantly, informing us all season Tim. Given the dearth of information coming from the club at times your blog has been a bit of a lifeline – it’s sad that it has never been acknowledged by the powers that be.
    Yesterday, and the week preceding it, seems to have represented the season as a whole in a microcosm – a lack of pre-match build up, the team failing to see out a game they should have won, no match updates and the supporters’ network providing what little information was available.
    I hope I’m wrong but there seems to be an indifference from the club where supporters are concerned and, perhaps more importantly, in how it treats players and coaches.
    Changes did need to be made, yesterday’s result shows that to be the case, but we are losing some loyal ‘club men’ and one of those in particular should have been treated a whole lot better than he was.
    I hope the changes work and that we can become more successful on the pitch, but I also hope the club keeps sight of the ethos of the game of rugby.

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    • Hi Rob…indifference definitely, even to the point of being dismissive.
      The sad thing is I genuinely believe by only releasing team news and seeming to rely on John W to do the rest, the club are selling themselves short. There are loads and loads of really good examples of how clubs promote themselves in National 1 – many of them involving photos of players and supporters with happy, smiling faces…something you rarely see on the Cov website or on social media…and yet that in itself creates a feel good factor that seems to be missing from Cov right now…and I’m off again…
      Thanks for your support this season and, if a supporters’ club does emerge from out of the ether, you should think abut getting involved.
      Have a great summer, Tim

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  10. Thanks for your blogs Tim. Always very interesting and in particular the music references. Really hope the club take notice of your comments about giving out information but am not hopeful.

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    • Hi tim I know it no consultation but me and my son where in every part of the ground trying to get a signal and WiFi. Even the password in the clubhouse was a joke and no help from locals to get connected. We wanted connection not only to put updates for people not at the game.but for Newcastles and Sunderland results which are also very tight at the moment. We could not get nothing till we left the ground. Back to your blog which I have read everyone since you started and really enjoyed and looked forward to everyday. To be fair it’s really the only positive and truthful contact with cov rfc as an outsider I have.and I too hope the club take note of you and the supporters cry for more open and current updates about the clubs activities. I do hope you will pick the blog back up at the start of next season even if it was just once weekly would be better than nothing.and if cov don’t act on better communications with the supporters they would be left with even less without your input. So I hope you have a great summer and I would like to thank you for all your hard work on making this blog a must read daily.thank you again.

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      • Hi Jeff…I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated ‘chatting’ to you either on here or via Twitter…and am looking forward to the 7s! I think there will be really noticeable changes under RW and quite quickly, too. I know you won’t be about for the Forum, so I might just add something to the blog to round off the season as there will be a number who might be interested in what is, or isn’t said. Have a great summer and hopefully Newcastle will stay up…if only because it guarantees West Brom 6 points next season! With Dan back, hopefully we’ll see a lot more of you at The Butts next year. Tim

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      • Jeff, my family and I are also Cov Rugby & Newcastle football supporter (Dad emigrated from Whitley Bay to the Midlands in the 1970’s). At the start of the season I was hoping one of my teams would be in the Championship next year. Not panned out the way I planned!

        Thanks For The Blog Tim. At the start of the season I thought this would a triumphant record of a promotion campaign. Even though it’s not gone that way, it’s enriched the season greatly.

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      • Hi James…that’s really kind of you!
        I did, indeed, rather hope the blog would be a record of Coventry’s ultimately successful 2015/16 season. Even though things haven’t quite worked out the way we’d all hoped, it’s still been a fairly interesting season one way or another!
        Have a great summer and hopefully things will improve on and off the field for both clubs

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    • Hi Steve…thanks for picking up on the music…I’d put some lyrics or YouTube clips in every post but I don’t think they’re everyone’s cup of tea and I tend to spend too long in the early hours searching through what might be appropriate. I get completely side-tracked from the blog itself!
      I do hope the club will listen and respond to what supporters are saying – the fact that there’s going to be a Supporters’ Club is a massive step in the right direction. Thanks for the kind comments and have a great summer…Tim

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  11. Will agree, there was no signal so very difficult to send messages, etc! Game was flat and neither side had anything to play for. We could have won and should have! Just when we were gaining momentum in the second half, we had a line out just inside their half and it was identified as ‘not straight’ by devlin! The rest is history and again ‘small margins in sport!’
    Overall, yesterday’s game was a sad affair and a shake so many lads won’t be here next year, who in my opinion should be! Coventry rugby are entering a new chapter next year but personally what has happened in recent months has been like a scene from Eastenders! Communication poor, rumour after rumour, Emotional to highlight just a few. The bottom line is that we need to go up next year, otherwise at £15 a game, people will either decide to leave and do something else on a Saturday afternoon or go and watch Wasps for the same money! Things need to be improve as talk is cheap…

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    • You’re right, small margins play such an important part these days but in all honesty, as you suggest, this season has been about problems of a greater nature and often not ones directly connected with what’s happening on the pitch but which have been of a serious enough nature to impact on the confidence and morale of the players. Personally, I don’t think there is a need to go up next year – I’d rather see the structures put in place to ensure a more sustained progression with promotion over two or even three years but with us showing improvements year-on-year. If we were to be promoted next season, brilliant, but I’m not sure RW and his team would have got everything in place to secure Championship rugby beyond just one season…but I understand that that might not be the view of everyone! The bottom line though is that talking the talk is all too easy and we were probably all too guilty of that back in August and July…
      Thanks very much for post a comment, Stephen…have a great summer!

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