Coventry City have made some public relations disasters in recent years and the latest statement issued by Paul Clouting, adds to that, by being nothing but a smokescreen to avoid the real facts of the matter and doing nothing to divert the club away from another collision course with its supporters.
The action taken at the last two homes matches by forcing not particularly well paid stewards, who were acting on orders, into a situation they did not need or want to be involved with, has got nothing to do with banners being fire-safe.
We all know that programmes or items of clothing such as club shirts, player tracksuits or carrier bags from the club shop etc, can be as easily set alight as any banner or flag.
Had those in the CT Stand unfurled City flags or an Andy Thorn’s Sky Blue Army banner for example, would they have been confiscated? We think not.
It is purely because they had ‘SISU Out’ on them. Whilst, Arena Coventry Limited, whose stadium it is, have the full legal right to remove any banners they might deem offensive, the decision on behalf of the tenants in ordering the stewards to pile in and get these banners removed, (which apparently were, according to stewards who told a protester with a banner, ok to be unfurled at half-time and full time) served only to fan the flames of the protests and thusly spread the hatred of the club’s owners who it is fair to say, do not have the majority backing of the City support as a whole, to more areas of the stadium including the family sections and block 28 in the CT Stand where the kids teams who go on the pitch are accommodated.
We've heard reports of kids who were at the game on Saturday, now not wanting to go back to the Ricoh in case the stewards barge them over or throw them out for joining in with "SISU Out" chants. Is this the friendly, family club that Mr Clouting and the decision maker wants?
These incidents at Saturday’s game against Derby and the Watford game need never have happened if the person responsible for the decision which was forced upon the safety officer, had decided that for once, doing nothing was the right option.
Many feel that the protests would have died out as the matches progressed but thanks to the actions of the person who made the regretable decision to send in the stewards, we are left with a situation of City supporters saying that they won’t go back to the Ricoh Arena until SISU have gone or the person responsible is out of the club and football for good as their safety cannot be guaranteed.