City Could Be Heading For Financial Disaster - Athwal

16 May 2013 12:58
Former City Commercial Against City Leaving Coventry

The former Commercial Manager of Coventry City Raj Athwal has said that the Sky Blues could be heading for financial disaster if they were to move out of Coventry as per Tim Fisher's plans.

Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph, the City supporting Mr Athwal now, head of Commercial Operations at Rangers, said: “From a football club point of view, the most critical period for any club is from May to August because that’s when you sell your season tickets which is one of your biggest incomes for a club.

“You then have your merchandise, which is certainly the shirt sales, which is the next biggest income for the club and you simply can’t capitalise on those sales by the end of August and early September. If you miss that period then you’ve lost a lot of money.

“On top of that you are talking about advertising and partners who all want to be seen in the city and the region. This is what I have dealt with for the past 20 years, they want to be part of a club that has a home in that city that it represents.

“A shirt sponsor is not just on the shirt, there are tangible benefits that not all the fans see.

"They associate themselves with the club and the city so there are a lot more reasons why a shirt sponsor comes on. It’s primarily to have their name on the shirt and be seen by a wider audience but the value will decrease because you haven’t necessarily got the tangible benefits.

“An alternative stadium might have LED advertising and City might be able to use that if they let them use it, and that will come at a cost as well. Then there are the static advertising boards, which have to be utilised and the sponsoring company will also have memberships.

“What about the box holders and people who have paid a lot of money to be members of the Premier Club, Jaguar Club and other areas, and you have to ask can the club replicate what they’ve got for the same price elsewhere? And that’s money that goes to the club.

“So they would be taking away people from supporting their city and the areas they have bought in to.

“So looking at all those areas and they are heading for financial disaster, I’m telling you. What they have at the moment, coming in and going out, if those next four months are not organised they’ll probably end up losing more than they owe in rent.

“There is no other model unless someone is going to fund the club and inject cash in to make up the shortfall.

“They’re talking about over a million pounds from the season tickets income, shirts income, membership and advertising, it’s well over a million, no doubt about it and they won’t be able to replicate it if they go to another stadium.

“The reason I feel strongly about it is this is a club I’ve grown up with and supported as a kid. I still follow the club and I can’t let that happen to the club I’ve supported all my life purely because the income is going to affect the club one way or another. They can’t get away with that if nothing happens in the next three or four months.

“Once the time elapses they’ll miss all those people who decide not to go with the club, so where are they going to get new revenue from? It’s hard enough as it is in League One.”

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Source: Coventry MAD