#PriceOfFootball- Coventry City ticket prices rise

#PriceOfFootball- Coventry City ticket prices rise 

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Coventry City fans haven’t had much to celebrate in recent seasons, and today’s BBC Price of Football survey shows that despite that they’ve been paying more money to line the pockets of the club’s hedge fund owners, SISU.

The cheapest match day ticket to watch Cov is 9% above the league average, and the cheapest season ticket is 5% above it. Getting a programme, a pie and a cup of tea will cost you more at the Ricoh than the league average. A child’s shirt will set you back £36, 12% above the league average, and an adult shirt is £45 – the highest in the league!

The mega-rich owners of clubs like CCFC don’t care about football fans, they just want to make money out of our game. Ticket prices in the German Bundesliga are cheaper than tickets to watch Cov – because clubs in Germany are largely owned by fans, who care about the game. Reclaim the game – kick out hedge funds and big businesses!

If you want to read more about the socialist programme for winning back football for the fans – click here to read our Reclaim the Game pamphlet!

Fifa: invest in working class sport, not profits

Fifa: invest in working class sport, not profits

Coventry City fans protest against owners SISU

The below article from The Socialist was written by Socialist Party member Jane Nellist, who is joint divisional secretary of Coventry NUT and the secretary of Coventry Trades Council.

Fifa, football’s corruption-ridden international governing body, elected its new president on 26 February.

I’m a lifelong Baggies supporter (West Bromwich Albion). Like millions of working people across our planet, I enjoy the thrills, as well as the frustrations, of a game of football. It offers 90 minutes of escape from the drudgery of living under capitalism and the pressure of work and austerity.

But just as workers in their workplaces are exploited by big business, those at the top of the organisations that run football exploit the fans.

It’s often described as the ‘beautiful game’. But behind it lie ugly, bribe-taking, pro-big business organisations, the biggest being Fifa itself.

Even a scene from the new Sacha Baron Cohen film Grimsby refers to this. The main character, Nobby, a football hooligan, is told by his brother, a top spy: “Meet the head of the biggest crime syndicate in the world.” Nobby replies: “What, she runs Fifa?”

The big question for football fans around the world is: can Fifa reform itself? New president Gianni Infantino spent €500,000 of European football organisation Uefa’s money to travel the world in the run-up to the election.

Can Infantino fumigate this multi-billion pound organisation of the stench of corruption? I don’t think so. It’s too infected with greed and bribery for us to have any faith in it.

Football’s huge profits should be democratically controlled by fans, and invested in local communities across the world. To enable boys and girls to enjoy the true spirit of the game. The social interaction, team work, discipline, exercise – the joy of playing.

As the Socialist Party’s John Reid has excellently argued in his sell-out book Reclaim the Game: “the fight to democratise football is linked with getting rid of big business domination within it.” It’s time to show Fifa the red card!

  • ‘Reclaim the Game’ by John Reid: a socialist approach for football – £3 from leftbooks.co.uk

Looking Back At 2014’s Heroes And Villains!

Looking Back at 2014’s Heroes and Villains!

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2014 was a year that showed the brutal nature of capitalism on many occasions – and also the strength and power ordinary people have when we fight back! So here’s our list of 2014’s heroes and villains.

 “Sir” Nigel Thrift

For Warwick University’s Vice-Chancellor Nigel Thrift, he began 2014 as he ended it – by giving himself a pay rise! As we reported in January, the inappropriately named Thrift increased his pay from £316,000 to £332,000 at the start of the year – he’s just put it up again to £348,000! This means that since “Shifty Thrifty” became VC in 2006, his pay has gone up by 26% – while other workers have seen their pay cut by 6-7% in real terms.

Nigel wondering how much to pay himself next year

Nigel wondering how much to pay himself next year

So what has Nige done to justify this salary? Well, at the start of December he defended the shocking violence used by police against peaceful student protesters – they were CS sprayed, slammed to the floor and threatened with a taser. The University management then sought an injunction against students who were peacefully occupying part of the Rootes building – and successfully managed to ban occupations on campus indefinitely. Despite this, not only has Thrift given himself yet another pay rise – he’s also been given a knighthood!

So Thrift is definitely on our villains list – but it’s not all bad at Warwick!

Warwick Uni Protesters

There were a number of demonstrations at Warwick last year, organised by various different groups. In June, after the media revealed that a member of the openly fascist group National Action was studying at Warwick, over 200 students joined an anti-fascist demo to oppose them and other far-right groups.

Over 1000 students gather at Warwick for #copsoffcampus protest

Over 1000 students gather at Warwick for #copsoffcampus protest

In December after a peaceful sit-in demonstration was viciously attacked by police, Warwick students immediately organised a #CopsOffCampus demo in response, which was attended by around 1000 people! Hundreds of students then occupied the top floor of the Rootes building in protest, and issued a list of demands to the university – rather than responding to the demands, management organised “negotiations” which were a sham, and sought an injunction against the occupiers. Despite this, students are planning to keep fighting in the new year – so they’re very much heroes of 2014!

Ann Lucas

After the actions of Coventry Council in 2014 no list of villains would be complete without including the council’s Labour leader Ann Lucas, who has happily signed off on cuts to thousands of jobs, loads of crucial services and even cut funding to local charities like Coventry Haven.  The council’s “City Centre First” plan, if carried out, will devastate the city’s services.

Protestors outside the Council House

Anti-cuts protestors outside the Council House

The Council also sold the Ricoh Arena to Wasps for a pittance, threatening the existence of CCFC and Cov Rugby Club.

One particularly vicious cut planned by the council was to cut transport to school for disabled children – however they went back on this after a protest outside the council house!

Anti-Cuts Protesters

Throughout the year there have been repeated protests against cuts being carried out by Coventry Council. These have been organised by different organisations including Coventry Against the Cuts, Disabled People Against Cuts and a number of different trade unions – and supported by the Socialist Party and TUSC. As mentioned above, one of these protests – against cuts to disabled children’s transport – forced the council to reverse their plans.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students campaigning against cuts

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students campaigning against cuts

The position of Coventry TUC, Coventry Unison, TUSC and the Socialist Party is that the council shouldn’t simply carry out the Tory cuts, but should use some of their £81million reserves to fund services for a year and buy them some time to build a campaign to demand the rest of the money from central Government.

Striking Workers

Workers have been under attack from this Government since they took power, and continued to fight back in 2014. Teachers in the NUT went on strike in April against attacks on the education system, and over 800 joined a rally in Birmingham on the day. The Fire Brigades Union has taken strike action repeatedly throughout the year against the Governments plans to cut their pensions and make them work until they’re 60. PCS members in HMRC also took action in June, and again on July 10th. 6 unions (Unison, Unite, GMB, FBU, NUT and PCS) took action on “J10” and 500 workers rallied in Broadgate against the cuts!

Industrial action is a key weapon available to the working class to fight the bosses – in 2015 we need to develop co-ordinated national industrial action between the unions and develop and support local community campaigns to defend services. At the same time, we should build the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition to develop working class political representation that can challenge the Westminster mainstream parties who are united behind the same austerity agenda.

BBC Reveals #PriceOfFootball – Reclaim The Game!

BBC Reveals #PriceOfFootball – Reclaim The Game!

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The BBC released its “Price of Football” survey this week, which revealed the price of following 207 football clubs across the UK. Since last year ticket prices have risen by 4.4% – more than treble the rate of inflation, and above the increase in the cost of living.

Coventry City fans have suffered a lot in recent seasons, spending a year playing 35 miles away in Northampton – now we’re back at the Ricoh, and matchday tickets usually cost at least £20! If you want to get a cup of tea and a pie, that’s another £5.50, and £3 for a programme. At least we’re not Chelsea fans though – their cheapest matchday ticket is a ridiculous £50!

It costs more to watch some non-league games in the UK than to watch 3 of the best teams in Europe – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich! This is partly because many European teams, particularly in the German Bundesliga, are owned by their fans and the community, so prices are kept low.

Football clubs think they can get away with ripping us off, because we love our teams and we’re not going to shop around and watch a cheaper or “better value” side – but the more they increase prices and rip off fans, the more we’re priced out of the game working people invented.

We need to kick big business out of football so supporters and local communities can democratically run clubs, stadiums and football as a whole – reclaim the game!

Coventry Council Sells Ricoh Arena to London Wasps

Coventry Council Sells Ricoh Arena to London Wasps

Ricoh

After spending a year playing 35 miles outside Coventry in Northampton, CCFC’s recent return to the Ricoh Arena was welcomed by football fans across the country. Despite this step forward, however, the issues over the ownership of the club and the stadium have continued. A recent bid from London Wasps Rugby Club to purchase ACL, the company which runs the Ricoh, has been accepted unanimously by Coventry Council, putting the future of CCFC and Coventry Rugby Club in doubt.

The bid has been accepted without a full public consultation, and without the people of Coventry knowing the full details of the deal. The Wasps chairman, Derek Richardson, now owns 100% of ACL, having paid Coventry Council and the Alan Higgs charity £2.77million each, and taking on ACL’s £14.4million loan from the council. The council claims this deal is best for the club and the people of Coventry – but how do we know if they don’t give us the full details? Our money built the Ricoh, now it’s being stolen from us by a rich businessman from the other side of the country who couldn’t care less about us or our clubs!

In 2003 when Coventry Council was debating building the Ricoh there were 3 Socialist Party councillors who held the balance of power on the council and forced a full public consultation and debate. The views of the people of Coventry and Sky Blues fans were sought and as a result the Socialist councillors voted to build the new stadium. The current makeup of the council, with 43 Labour and 11 Tory cllrs, has led to a unanimous decision taken behind closed doors to lease out our stadium for 250 years – and we don’t even know the details of the bid!

Dave Nellist speaking to the press today about the sale

Dave Nellist speaking to the press today about the sale

Coventry already has a rugby club and a football club – London Wasps relocating here threatens both of them. CCFC fans can also sympathise with Wasps fans whose club is being moved 80 miles across the country – why should they lose their local club?

SISU and the council have shown repeatedly that they don’t have the best interests of the club of the people of Coventry at heart – the businesspeople who own Wasps don’t either. They’ll keep on selling us down the river – the club should be owned and run by the fans.

Thousands March to bring Cov City back to Coventry

At least 7,000 people, probably more, marched through Coventry today (July 12th 2014) demanding Coventry City Football Club is rightfully returned home. The march comes on the backdrop of another season where the club looks set to play their home games over 30 miles away in Northampton. As the dispute between the clubs owners, hedge fund SISU, continues with the City Council and ACL (the group that owns the RICHO Arena, which the Council is part of).

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Whilst there were mixed and varied messages from the different elements involved in organising the demo in relation to their stance on the clubs ownership by SISU. The overwhelming majority of supporters and people on the demo, were clear; they want the money grabbing parasite SISU OUT!

Football fans of from Chelsea, Leeds, Ipswich, West Brom, Middlesbrough and many more clubs were out giving their support and solidarity to the protest. Reflecting the fact that the fight to kick Big Business out of football is a fight who ever you support and for every football fan.

Thousands pack in Broadgate Square

Thousands pack into Broadgate Square

Socialist Party members were on the protest, selling a number of Reclaim the Game pamphlets.

The tragedy that has hit Coventry City FC is a perfect example of how these unaccountable profit hungry parasites such as SISU directly impact on working class communities and attack the traditions and culture of ordinary people. They must be stopped and discussions need to take place about how we can get fan and community ownership of football and sport in general.

check out the link below for Socialist Party book and Pamphlet ‘Reclaim the game’ to find out more on the struggle to reclaim football for diary working class people.

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/ReclaimTheGame/ReclaimtheGame.htm

Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party were out on the demo

Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party were out on the Demo.

St Michaels Socialist News – August 2013

Below is the the text and pictures from the current News Bulletin being delivered from and by Dave Nellist and the Socialist Party on issues concerning St Michaels Ward and its residents.

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

In this issue – News on the cuts, MP’s pay, campaign against the Bedroom tax in Coventry,

the Charterhouse Fields and Coventry City Fottball Club…

All politicians are the same…

It’s getting harder and harder to tell the big three parties apart.

See an MP on the TV and it’s not until their name tag comes up you can tell whether they’re Tory, Lib Dem or Labour – they all sound the same.

They made the financial mess and are making us pay!  As if it’s our fault that this city, once the richest working class city in the country, is now best known for having the fastest growing food banks!

3 sons

And local politicians are just as bad. In the 5 years since this financial crisis started hundreds of local jobs have been axed, workers across the city have had wages frozen, or cut. Less workers, with less money in their pockets, has led to 1 in 7 city centre shops  standing empty!

Years ago you could at least tell the difference between the 2 big parties; Not any longer. When the Council met to decide how many local services to cut – cuts, for example, that threaten 10 youth centres and services for the elderly, and are threatening families with eviction for being unable to pay the Tories’ bedroom tax – not 1 councillor out of 54 voted against!

For the first time in nearly 40 years the budget vote on the Council that night was unanimous – Labour and Tory councillors united in saying that local people have to suffer more for the bankers’ gambling.  Not one councillor voted against – that has to change!

In Parliaments Budget debate, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls emphasised that a future Labour government would NOT reverse the cuts or the Tories hated bedroom Tax. Instead he pledged Labour would use the Con-Dem cuts as a starting point for more cuts!

But ours are different…

In June – in one of those “you couldn’t make it up” moments – MPs pay body IPSA recommended a £11,000 a year rise!

MPs have presided over a 9% cut in average wages, while food and fuel prices are rocketing. They stand idle while 1 in 5 of Coventry’s young people are unemployed. And they think they’re worth a bigger rise in their wages than a person on the minimum wage gets for a whole year!

Well socialist politicians are different.  The Socialist Party has consistently argued that being an MP or a councillor shouldn’t raise people above the people they represent.  They should only receive the average wage of skilled workers in our city – not 2 or 3 times the salary, and five times the holidays, of the rest of us.

And we have a track record to prove ours isn’t an idle boast. We did it!When the BBC wanted to contrast someone with the MPs pay rise they profiled Coventry Socialist Party member Dave Nellist.  Dave, MP for Coventry South-East in the 1980s, is famous nationally for only taking the same wage as the people he represented, and giving tens of thousands of £s to local and national campaigns.

 NO TO THE MP’s PAY RISE 

 

FOR WORKERS MP’s ON WORKERS WAGES.

from a BBC article on the 13 July 2013, titled

 ‘Dave Nellist : The Coventry MP who gave away half his pay’. 

‘Mr Nellist, now 60 and still an active member of the Socialist Party… had worked in a factory for many years. He only accepted the average wage of a skilled Coventry factory worker  -46% of his salary as an MP-..Mr Nellist said he saw his political career as being akin to that of a union rep in a factory.

‘At the time, I saw the job as like a union rep for Coventry people, but not on 3 times the wages or holiday. The engineering union used to work out the average factory wage in Coventry – equivalent to £28,000 nowadays – so that’s what I took home.’ 

“I accepted every penny of the (MP’s) salary, but as the Labour Party we gave away roughly £35,000 of it [per year in today’s money] to help miners families in the 80s, community groups, pensioners. The suggestion by [Ipsa chairman] Sir Ian Kennedy that the pay rise would stop MPs claiming more expenses is frankly amazing – I was lost for words. It’s basically  saying they’ll get a bung on their salary as a way of keeping them in line.”

Dave Nellist (on right) - a true Working Class fighter.
Dave Nellist (on right) – a true Working Class fighter.

Mr Nellist added that as a Coventry City Councillor for 12 years until 2012, he continued to take home the same wage by reducing the hours of his full time job at an advice agency. Mr Nellist believes councillors and MPs should be able to empathise with the people affected by political decisions.

 “With a 9% average fall in wages, MPs shouldn’t get a rise – it insulates them from the day-to-day problems like food & fuel which have rocketed. Millions have to get by on much less [than MPs]. That’s why they should be paid only a workers wage. So, like us, they share the pain and the gain”.

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 FIGHT IS ON TO DEFEAT KILLER BEDROOM TAX!

200 people from across Coventry have attended meetings in Hillfields, Tile Hill, Stoke and Henley to organise the fight against the bedroom tax. Dave Nellist opened the meetings and spoke about the death of Stephanie Bottrill from Kingshurst.

Her death was a tragedy and no one else must be left to feel that they are on their own in their struggle against the bedroom tax. To get the tax scrapped we must stand together and fight it as a community.

Dave Nellist leading the lobby of Whitefriars. Demanding they take a no eviction policy.
Dave Nellist leading the lobby of Whitefriars. Demanding they take a no eviction policy.

We are building an anti-eviction network across Coventry. A network of people who are prepared to help resist evictions, protest outside court hearings etc. This is so no one is left isolated and we can call on people at short notice to fight against people losing their homes. We need as many people as possible to be part of this –  if you can help in any way, please contact us.

HOTLINE NUMBER: 07870757585

 

 Councils must help the fight against this unjust tax

We need councillors who fight to defend their communities by:

1) Demanding that the government scrap the bedroom tax

2) Fighting for all debt to be written off

3) Demanding Housing Associations refuse to evict anyone in rent arrears as a result of this tax

4) Refusing to implement all cuts and build a mass campaign to defeat the ConDem government.

So far Labour Councillors in Coventry, who sit on the board of Whitefriars and other housing associations have refused to demand a no evictions policy! Labour Leader Ann Lucas herself even refused to allow an anti bedroom Tax Stall at the Godiva Festival!

 Just who’s side are Labour Councillors on?…

The People of Coventry or  the ConDem government!

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Charterhouse – Exciting possibilities

All the residents hard work may be at last paying off.  For years local people, strongly supported by Socialist Party councillors, have fought to keep public access to one of Coventry’s hidden gems, the Charterhouse Fields off the London Road.

For the last 2 years our former councillor, Dave Nellist, has kept a block on potential development of the area by submitting a Village Green application – supported by evidence of hundreds of local people.  But Dave and the residents haven’t stood still, they’ve been meeting with others who also want to see protection of the Fields, and the restoration of the nationally important historic buildings there – and now there’s movement in the right direction.

We hope there’ll be an announcement fairly soon of national funding to restore the historic Charterhouse & make major improvements to the parkland around it.  Whilst the Council in the past ignored what local people wanted, socialists & residents working together have proved they are the best defence to the threat of the loss of green space we can all enjoy.

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They’ve taken our jobs, factories & hospitals…

 

Now they taking our Football Club!

 

 Thousands march through city to ‘Keep Cov in Cov’

7,000 people marched on 20th July in protest against the recent decision to move Coventry City home games over 30 miles away to Northampton. Dave Nellist addressed the final rally in Broadgate. Dave pointed out that back in 2003 the 3 Socialist Party Cllrs had the casting vote over whether the new Ricoh Arena would be built. The Socialists wanted to improve the deal for local people. We got amendments passed, guaranteeing  jobs for local people & any profits from sales of land should go back in to services for Coventry people.

Dave Nellist addresses the rally of thousands in Broadgate.
Dave Nellist addresses the rally of thousands in Broadgate.

However, Dave pointed out that looking back we should also have moved an amendment to ensure that the fans had a representative on the Board, as they do in many other countries. Dave pointed out to rapturous applause that whilst in other countries there are clubs owned by the fans, we have here a situation where an offshore hedge fund is only interested in raking as much profit as possible from the people of Coventry.

The tragedy that has hit Coventry City FC is a perfect example of how profit hungry parasites such as SISU directly attack working class communities, traditions & culture. They must be stopped, with discussions needed on how we can get fan and community ownership and control of clubs, football and sport in general.

 Public Meeting – Football and Big Business

 John Reid author of Reclaim the Game

 Monday, 19th August, 7.30pm SQ Club, Whitefriars Lane, Coventry, CV1 2DT

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JOIN the SOCIALIST PARTY!

The Socialist Party meets around Coventry every week on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights,  7.30.

 Get in touch for info, about meetings or joining the Socialist Party.

 phone/text 07530 429441   coventrysocialistparty@gmail.com

http://www.coventrysocialists.wordpress.com                www.socialistparty.org.uk

  Dave Nellist

Ring  07870 294 237    Email: dave@nellist.net

Keep up with Dave on:

facebook.com/dave.nellist       Twitter: @DaveNellist

Football and big business: time to reclaim the game

John Reid (From the Socialist Newspaper)

At the start of the new football season, the same old robbers are wrecking the game. Since the outset of the Premier League, over 50 clubs have gone into receivership.The latest club in trouble is Coventry City. Docked ten points, and without a ground due to the antics of the money men in charge, fans have to travel to Northampton to see their team play!

Mismanagement has already ruined Portsmouth, Luton Town and also Glasgow Rangers, which was expelled from the Scottish Premier following off-field dodgy dealing.

Football is a game at the top owned by billionaires and played by multi-millionaires.

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