Coventry City CEO Dave Boddy has admitted it wasn’t a surprise to see Championship rivals Derby County enter administration, expressing his sadness in the club’s matchday programme before their game against Peterborough United on Friday night.
The Rams had endured a summer of turbulence at Pride Park with their transfer embargo, not being able to rebuild their squad despite the loss of six loanees and numerous key players on the expiration of their contracts.
In the end, the East Midlands side had to settle for five new arrivals and a new deal for Curtis Davies in their bid to stay afloat in the Championship, having a total of five EFL charges against them at one point on the governing body’s embargo service.
Quiz: Have Coventry City ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
However, the turbulence didn’t stop after the transfer window closed, being officially placed into administration last Wednesday by Mel Morris, leaving employees’ futures in limbo and automatically triggering a 12-point deduction for the Rams.
After a respectable start to the season, winning ten points from their opening nine games, they now sit on -2 points and nine points adrift of safety, with another deduction of nine points potentially set to come their way in the near future.
However, the East Midlands side’s main priority at this stage is survival as a football club, a catastrophic catalogue of events that Coventry CEO Dave Boddy saw coming down the tracks.
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He said in the Sky Blues’ matchday programme (via Coventry Telegraph): “Last Friday night saw what seemed to me from the outside the inevitable announcement that Derby County had filed for administration.
“This is a very sad situation for the Club, its supporters and the club staff. I have a personal friend on the Derby County staff and feel for all those involved.
“However, the announcement did not come as a surprise to me and should be seen to the footballing world that sustainability is vital to all clubs.
“The aim since I joined the Sky Blues has always been towards self-sustainability and putting a structure in place to get the best out of your resources.
“We will always endeavour to follow those principles and cannot live beyond our means chasing a dream.”
If you had been monitoring the EFL embargo reporting service throughout the summer and saw two particular charges on their section, then their administration wouldn’t have come as a massive surprise.
Failing to submit their accounts didn’t seem like anything sinister, but their default on payments to HMRC and paying transfer fee instalments was, and was a major sign of what was to come.
At the end of the day, it isn’t Mel Morris who is going to suffer the most from this, it’s the fans. It’s those who work full-time and have invested a heavy amount of money in the club over the years on merchandise, match tickets and other costs including transport.
This is the worst part about this situation and it’s a total shame, because clubs don’t have to spend recklessly to be successful in the Championship. Whilst there’s more money in the game than there was in the past, even with the effects of Covid-19, free agents signings and recruiting lower-league players on smaller wages can pay dividends and many clubs have shown that in the past.
Coventry City is one of those clubs who are now back on their feet after ownership troubles in the past, now is the time for Derby to do the same if/when they find the right buyer for the football club.