Foreign markets highlighted as lack of loans and season tickets spark Coventry City debate

The football may be over for a few months but there are still plenty of talking points for Coventry City supporters to get their teeth into during the closed season.

New signings and key positions are both popular topics of debate, while the club’s season ticket release has prompted a mixed response from Sky Blues fans. Most of whom are delighted with club owner Doug King’s decision to freeze last season’s prices. but there have been a few grumbles regarding hidden costs and rule changes, plus calls for more consultation with the paying public in future.

Sky Blues reporter Andy Turner has hosted a live question and answer session with supporters about these issues and more as talk turns to transfers and rebuilding...

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With thoughts turning to departures and incomings and the usual gossip, is there any sign of Coventry using foreign markets even more in the summer window to add to the likes of Sakamoto, Wright and Torp? Also to bolster squad depth, would we consider more loans along the lines of the Binks model where the loaning club does not appear to expect the player to play every week, but that player still makes an important contribution when called upon and benefits from our coaching?

AT: The foreign market has proved fruitful, especially with the players you have mentioned, and I am sure the club will be casting their net far and wide again to get the right players at the right price. As for increasing the number of loans, that may be an option but the trend has been to reduce them rather than rely on them, as the club has done in the past. I know Doug King would prefer all the club’s own players, but loans do have a valuable role and can help provide strength in depth. I have to say, not many parent clubs would be happy to see their player getting limited game time though.

Each season ticket purchase seems to need to have an £8 processing fee which, for me, is very naughty and only negative with renewing season tickets. Some answers on this £8 processing fee would be great!

AT: I’m told it was the same fee last year except that the club paid £6 of the £8 ‘processing’ fee, meaning fans only paid £2 (for the early bird period). The charges have clearly now been passed on.

What’s your guess on the final numbers for season ticket sales?

AT: I reckon around 23,000, maybe more.

Do you think the club will rethink the changes to carer tickets for disabled under 14s or carry on and break FA guidance on the Disability Discrimination Act?

AT: It doesn’t sound like they will. Doug King said on Monday: “I have huge sympathy with that... I think it’s really unfortunate and we’d love all the kids coming in but we just have to put it in line with other venues.”

Do you think we’ll bring in any young Premier League players on loan next season? Think we missed a trick last year by not having a few more loanees to help with the backlog of games towards the end of the season.

AT: Yes, I agree, but they have to be good ones. The likes of Ian Maatsen are a real asset, but no disrespect to Josh Wilson-Esbrand, he just wasn’t the right fit at that time. I guess it’s a balancing act. It’s great getting outstanding players in on loan (Callum Doyle is another) but when they go back it leaves a huge void that needs to be filled. Doug King is moving away from loans because he wants the club to have their own assets, which is fair enough and makes sense. But you’re right, if City had three or four extra loans last season it might have made all the difference towards the end. But to answer your question, they may get in one or two but I would be surprised if they went for any more unless they were struggling with injuries come January.

Any news on the kit and who will be the sponsor on the front as King of Shaves was for one season only?

AT: There is no news on the kit other than all the new designs were drawn up, signed off and submitted months ago and everything will be ready for the club to announce and roll them out to fans in the next couple of months. I am sure the club will hope to reveal the new kit before pre-season (July 1) and Doug King has given assurances that there won’t be the delay fiasco with pre-orders experienced last summer.

As for the sponsor, I have no clue other than knowing that King of Shaves was a one year deal and money talks, so if there is a more lucrative deal out there I am sure the club will be talking to people.

I’m convinced that Callum O'Hare has already made his mind up to leave for the Premiership, and for one, I wish him all the best. I’m delighted we have finally got Ephron Mason-Clark and believe he could actually be the perfect replacement for COH, What are your thoughts?

AT: I agree that I think Callum has made up his mind to leave and that Ephron Mason-Clark is an exciting signing for next season. However, I do not see him as a replacement. Ephron is more of a left winger who, I understand, has been brought in to provide pace and assists on the left, although I am sure he could operate on the right if required. It’s possible he could play in the number ten role but my understanding is he’s a winger.

Just wondered whether you feel that the use of full-backs might come into the transfer reckoning this time. We have persevered with wing back formations, admittedly with quite a lot of success, but at times defensively we have been woefully short. With the exception of Jake Bidwell, our left flank has been a liability. On a positive note, our right flank has been very successful. Do you see Jay Dasilva as a future Sky Blue? And what role do you see Ephron Mason-Clark taking, central, wide or both?

AT: Well, City switched to a back four around Nov/Dec last season and that appears to be the way forward. As you say, the right side was particularly effective with Milan van Ewijk linking up and overlapping with Tatsu Sakamoto. I do feel that the manager may look to add competition at full-back, particularly on the left. Although Jay Dasilva didn’t have the season he would have hoped for in terms of consistent form, I think the club will persist with him and get someone else in to compete and push him. As for Ephron Mason-Clark, I believe he is coming in as a left winger.

Is there a fans group/chaired forum who liaise with the club when decisions like this are being made? If so, it might be useful to highlight this to fans as this is where any issues/complaints could be raised and voiced? If not, is it something to consider?

AT: The club did have regular sit down meetings that were minuted with representatives of most of the fan groups, called the Supporters Consultative Group, initiated in 2014. Not sure if it is still running but I agree, consultation is key to all these things.

As there wasnt a young player of the year award this year, do you think its a major concern that City are not developing the young talent we have seen in the past (Wilson, Madders, McAllum). Do you see any youngsters breaking through?

AT: As I understand it the lack of an award was down to a lack of sponsor for the award rather than no-one being worthy of it. City are continuing to try to develop their own players through the Academy, but the reality is that the higher up the football pyramid you go, the harder it is for youngsters to break through and bridge the gap to first team football. I would suggest that Aidan Dausch is highly rated, as well as the likes of Kai Andrews, but it may just take time for them to come through. Quite a few, however, have fallen by the wayside as well.

How many season tickets do you think the club will sell for the new campaign? Tell us what you think in the comments HERE