MAY 01] COVENTRY CITY NEWS
City Face Twelve Month Timebomb
Coventry City are believed to
have one year to avoid football oblivion after their 34 years
stay in the top flight came to a shuddering halt.
John Hartson, a key player in the
club’s future, has said he will not demand a move and others
have agreed to stay.
But footballers have their own
careers at the forefront of their minds and some will give it 12
months, maybe less, to assess the club’s situation. If they
believe that promotion straight back to the Premiership is not
on the cards, they will be looking to move away.
If Coventry do not win a straight
return, the future will be bleak. The club’s balance sheet
reveals £30 million in debts and income will be down £15
million next season through loss of earnings as a result of
relegation. It is doubtful that the high wages of players on
Premier League contracts could be sustained for more than one
If the better players want to
leave then the task becomes harder.
Saturday’s final match of the
season at home to Bradford was riddled with relegation blues.
It finished goalless and
Coventry’s players were made aware of their fans’ intense
disappointment with the season when they were booed as they
gathered in the centre circle to say ‘thank you’ to the
Lee Carsley, whose transfer to
Blackburn Rovers last season ended similarly in relegation from
the Premiership, said of the reception:
“I was a bit disappointed
with the fans’ reaction. They can see we have not been the
best team, but we have never lacked for trying.
“It makes me even more
determined to succeed.”
It is particularly frustrating
for Carsley because Blackburn Rovers have won back their Premier
League standing after just one season.
“I never thought for one
minute that I would be relegated again, but I shall be staying
to help the club to get back,” said the Irishman.