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Its the end of the domestic football league season, time for stats and reviews.

A staggering statistic emerges from Coventry City that must be a World first.

Coventry City: A season in exileMore supporters followed the team away than at “home.” Mainly because, there was no home. With the club marooned 35 miles away in Northampton the average gate slumped from just under 11,000 to 2,348. Around fifteen hundred were Coventry fans, a hundred under the figure that travelled to official away games.

Its a staggering indictment of the club’s ill judged move to Sixfields. As is the photo above, which shows how some choose to view matches in Northampton. From a hill overlooking the ground where you can only see half the pitch. Rather that, in even the foulest of weathers, than enter the stadium itself. Its part of a standoff of epic proportions. Yet bizarrely, the club have along with 47 others have been given a Football League award for family excellence. Despite the fact 90% of the fan base are boycotting games at Sixfields.

From my own point of view, there is a heartbreaking statistic. It’s the first time since before the Second World War a member of my family has failed to attended a single home game. A proud chain is broken. It wasn’t really a difficult decision. If they don’t play in Coventry then they are not really Coventry is the simple assertion our clan came to. Carrying it out is much harder, the mix of emotions is untrue. But anything else would, for us, validate the simply unacceptable.

There are welcome stats. Despite a ten point deduction, the club stayed up. At one point it was even threatening the play off’s before a big decline in form. But you have to doff your cap to manager Steven Pressley and his young charges for surviving in a situation where there were far greater handicaps than docked points. And one of the brightest stars of League One emerged in prolific goalscorer, the youthful Callum Wilson.

But keeping up your best players in the worst circumstances is a massive ask. Already the vultures are circling. Irrespective of owners, we’ve been a selling club for many years. The difference being, we never sold our very soul before. People are drifting away from the club. Why should you care about the simply uncaring?

And by that comment, I also have the football authorities firmly in mind. We have been promised a new stadium. Not one acre of land has been purchased after a year. A brilliant stadium stands idle in Coventry and the Football League meekly sanctions a continuation of another campaign to be played miles away. All means of protest fall on deaf ears. The games rulers appear not to care, like standing up to the issues at hand is simply too much trouble.

Like Lady Godiva all those years before, Coventry City have been laid bare. The rotting core of football exposed. There seems no end in sight. The club and City Council more interested in yet another forthcoming court battle between each other than bringing us home. The loss is in the young generations who are being denied the parent and child experience of growing up in the Sky Blue faith. And the Football League are handing out awards for this. It really is the most damning statistic of all.

Post written by Rob Summerfield
Blog: rob-summerfield.jimdo.com, Twitter: @RobSummerfield1

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