|The Secretary of State for Culture, who embraces
sport in her portfolio, has proclaimed that the new national stadium
will be at Wembley – probably!
This ridiculous farce, now approaching Dome-like proportions in
terms of its illogicality and ludicrous hopelessness, is set to run
and run for a while yet before the United Kingdom finally has a new
national sporting arena, if indeed it has one at all.
The aforesaid Secretary of State, Tessa Jowell, told the House of
Commons that there were still many issues surrounding money and the
propriety of those involved (in other words, has someone been up to
something they shouldn’t have?) to be resolved. If they are all
sorted out to the satisfaction of both the Government and the
Football Association, the new stadium will be built at Wembley and
it will include an athletics track.
Question: Will Coventry’s David Moorcroft, now the top man
running athletics in the UK (so we know that there is at least one
senior sports administrator we can trust!), be genuinely pleased at
the prospect of sharing a new national stadium with football,
bearing in mind that athletics will only ever be staged there so
long as it fits in with the football fixtures?
If the various issues are not solved properly then the powers
that be will look again at the Birmingham bid and, added Ms Jowell,
there is every possibility that we will not have a national stadium
Er – excuse me Minister – what about Coventry’s bid? It is
the only option that would not incur even more delay than we have
already experienced as planning permission is already in place for a
new stadium in Coventry. It is by a long way the cheaper option.
Unless I missed it in a tortuous speech from the Secretary of
State, delivered in such an unbelievably stumbling, bumbling,
hesitant way, as if every comma or full stop was there to
deliberately trip her up, the word “Coventry” did not fall from
Yet the Coventry bid has obviously fallen from grace, without the
FA’s Chief Executive Adam Crozier giving it more than a cursory
Like every true supporter of the city of Coventry and all it has
to offer, I feel angry and incensed at the way the city has been
treated. Mind you, it is not the first time that Coventry and its
citizens has been regarded with the contempt one usually reserves
for dog dirt on your shoes by those in the corridors of power.
Another recent example is that of the location of the proposed
new hospital in Coventry, which will be built in an area that for
bizarre, so far unexplained reasons suits the city’s Health
bosses, even though the overwhelming majority of the local
population want it somewhere else.
That said, deep down inside I reckon that Coventry is well out of
the whole national stadium nonsense.
Do we really want them from down there coming up here and telling
us how to do what we can already do far better than them? The way
the old Wembley was run and allowed to decay for so many years was a
It was already a football slum when the Sky Blues won the Cup
there in 1987 and it passed into terminal decline not long after.
No – let them get on with their stupid, protracted arguments
over the lottery money already committed to the project and who
should pay for the rest of it – while we build our own new stadium
and make it a venue to be proud of for our own football club to play
Merry Christmas Ms Jowell. You may, unwittingly, have given
Coventry the best present possible by taking us out of this
unseemly, pathetic process. It would have been nice, however, to
receive an acknowledgement that our bid – indeed our city –
And merry Christmas to all the CWN staff and readers. Let’s
look forward to a prosperous New Year for Coventry and its football
club. Remember the City when you are pulling your wishbones!