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February Fans' Forum


By AdminBTCov
February 5 2020

Nick Meredith reports on the Fans' Forum held at the Butts Park Arena on the 4th of February: 

A VERY good crowd turned out for the Supporters' Forum in the Jon Sharp Suite at the BPA yesterday evening. Compered by Chris Wearmouth, it was an opportunity for Jon Sharp, Nick Johnson, and Rowland Winter to talk and gain reactions on the growth of the club.

Jon Sharp started, outlining the current position and talking about development plans for the BPA. He started with phase 1 - the successful installation of the AGP, before going on to describe phase 2 - a health and fitness facility on the front (Butts Road) end of the ground. Changing business conditions had brought this forward since previous proposals had been outlined a couple of years ago. Plans are under discussion for a four storey structure to be built over car parking, to include revised ticketing and club shop facilities and providing a new supporter entrance to the ground. Phase 2 is at the Heads of Agreement stage, with an application for detailed planning permission to be submitted soon.  Phase 3 would then be built on the Broomfield Road side of the ground, with potential for an interim temporary stand on that side of the ground until  a commercially appropriate long-term development could be agreed. The temporary stand would not be expensive - perhaps £120,000.

Nick Johnson went on to discuss commercial growth in the club.

He started with attendances, up 10% in the league and 11% in the cup on last season. He went on to described the effects of the AGP - currently booked every evening, with Football sixes, Coventry University, and other local clubs and schools, as well as the more major tenancies. The tenancies included Coventry Bears, and Coventry United men and women's teams. He spoke briefly on the partnership between the u18 squad, and the supporters' club.

He went on to praise the community outreach programme, and said there would be a separate evening to discuss this in due course, targeted more at parents, and commented on the success of the Project500 scheme.

Nick then got on to Match Day issues, talking about improvements that had been made, and work still to be done. Electronic ticketing was beginning to work well, with e.g. 1002 tickets being pre-purchased online for the Nottingham match. Talking of the food and drink facilities, he explained the rationale for bringing in outside food vans while changes were made, and expressed a plan to bring casual catering back into the control of the club as they continued developing facilities, and now they had more of an idea of what wouldn't work.

Kit for next year had been designed and agreed, and there would be a third kit for the cup competition. There was exasperation shown at how the RFU enforced kit regulations in a totally inconsistent  manner, depending on the clubs involved.

 Rowland came on to talk about growth in the players and the team, describing in significant detail how the targets for a number of metrics had been set, based on the  performance of the top four teams in the Championship.   He showed how we were doing better in some than others, but requested that the details he shared were not published. Some of the figures were counter-intuitive, and in some cases improvements in some were only achieved by poorer results in others.

 He also spoke about various matters regarding recruitment, and the players we have lost to the Premiership. A number of players had been re-signed for next season, others are still having discussions. He expects the squad to, on average, be younger next season, and spoke about how some of the younger players already in the squad contributed some of the calmest rugby minds. He also explained how the older and more experienced players, particularly those with Premiership experience often only become available late in the season when they had been released by current clubs, and that where he had an eye on these players it was counter-productive to sign upcoming younger players early.

 An open question session followed, with a wide variety of questions. It was made clear very early on that no discussion could take place regarding the head coach. At nine-fifteen, two hours after the start, the meeting ended.

 

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February Fans' Forum
Discussion started by Unofficial Coventry Rugby (IP Logged), 05/02/2020 17:14
Unofficial Coventry Rugby
Unofficial Coventry Rugby
05/02/2020 17:14
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:02:11:09:12:55 by AdminBTCov.

Paul Ingleston
Paul Ingleston
05/02/2020 18:10
Nick
A pretty precise resume of last nightís Fans Forum and what was mentioned therein. The only thing I would say is that I am under the impression that the Phase 2 plans have already been submitted but there might be a delay of 3 to 4 months in gaining approval owing to a backlog of plans currently awaiting approvals or not.

Thanks anyway for your efforts.

Paul

MESSAGES->author
OldNick
05/02/2020 18:29
Cheers Paul.
The application has not yet made it onto the public forum at Cov Council, nor had it reached the stage for public responses. I did note at one point that it would soon reach the stage when support would be needed from the supporters.

Alinta
Alinta
06/02/2020 09:58
Nick,
Just wanted to add my thanks for your write up which is, as Paul mentioned, a precise resume of the evening and I'm sure will be appreciated by those supporters who were unable to attend in person.

Thank you.

CharlieBravo
CharlieBravo
06/02/2020 12:47
I couldnít make it on the night so Iím grateful Nick, thank you.

Straightout
Straightout
06/02/2020 17:48
Did the gents imply we are still aiming to be premiership ready in 2 or 3 years? Did they talk about end ambition under current regime or was it more realism of a top 3 champ side consistently? Does Rowland believe in the purdy/Wallace model of prem quality if they get released even though you may lose them in the season or even before (Stan South) added to our existing core of younger upcoming players and champ level players.. any snippets for us on the above? Great update Nick thank you



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:02:06:17:49:24 by Straightout.

MESSAGES->author
OldNick
06/02/2020 17:56
Straightout.
It was clear that part of the recruitment for next season would be looking at existing premiership level players, but the expectation was that the average would be younger than at present.
Premiership ready is still the target. So far RW only considers the Strength and Conditioning team to be there. I did not note any timings for the rest of the club to get there.

HoboAl
HoboAl
06/02/2020 21:26
Quote:
Straightout
Did the gents imply we are still aiming to be premiership ready in 2 or 3 years? Did they talk about end ambition under current regime or was it more realism of a top 3 champ side consistently? Does Rowland believe in the purdy/Wallace model of prem quality if they get released even though you may lose them in the season or even before (Stan South) added to our existing core of younger upcoming players and champ level players.. any snippets for us on the above? Great update Nick thank you

What was said....every Championship club wanted to sign Purdy. He wanted a release clause as all players do. He chose Coventry because of our set up. RW was clearly disapointed we did not have the benefit of him until the end of the season, but contractually could not stand in his way. But Coventry do get a fee, non discloseable as they did with South.

So these deals are a bit of a gamble. Some you will win some you will lose.

Also once we become top four Premeriership teams will be looking at us for potenthial talent. We are no diffrrent to any other Championship side we wont be able to stop them making the step up. RW said a Premiership side can practically put a 0 on the end of our players wages.

CovBlueLou
CovBlueLou
07/02/2020 19:04
Thanks Nick.

Apologies if this is obvious but I assume the 4 storey structure will look like the first picture in this article?
[www.coventrytelegraph.net]?

With the stand included?

HoboAl
HoboAl
07/02/2020 19:27
Quote:
CovBlueLou
Thanks Nick.
Apologies if this is obvious but I assume the 4 storey structure will look like the first picture in this article?
[www.coventrytelegraph.net]?

With the stand included?

The original artists impressions were possibilities and not final plans. The ground development is fluid and have changed. There will be some terracing in front and it will incorporate the club shop. It seems other investors will invest in the build but Cov will get the rental income. Subject to planning permission.

The aim is developing to give us eventually a 10,000 cap stadium.

MESSAGES->author
OldNick
07/02/2020 23:21
There were no pictures to see, and no guarantee it will look like any previous impressions.
When I asked about spectator facilities the answer was pretty vague except for the shop.

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