Keeping Keogh is key to successful promotion bid

By Steve Carpenter 10/05 Updated: 10/05 11:41

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Buy photos » Tim Fisher (right) and Steve Waggott (left) take questions from the audience. 19.012.014.cov.jg2

SKY Blues chief executive Tim Fisher and adviser Steve Waggott expressed their determination to keep star asset Richard Keogh at the club next season.

The pair were given a grilling by local supporters at a recent fan's forum event held inside the Herbert Art Gallery last Friday (May 4).

Fisher and Waggott answered questions from disgruntled supporters, still clearly frustrated with the club's relegation into League One last month, as part of the popular Coventry Conversations series run by Coventry University and the Herbert Art Gallery.

Both insisted that Keogh is the man to lead the Sky Blues back into the Championship, but admit they have a hard job in keeping him at the Ricoh Arena this summer.

"Richard Keogh is a player that would jump through walls for this football club and after the last game finished he was committed to do what it takes to get this club up," said Fisher.

"But there are external forces which we cannot control.

"He is a highly recognised addition to any football club, so you have to respect the fact that if he hears that club X, or club Z, or club Y are interested in him, there is a chance that he gets his head turned."

Waggott echoed those thoughts but revealed the centre back will be offered a new deal.

"Richard Keogh has played every game possible since he came to the club, he puts his body on the line and he is a guy who would happily come up to me and say 'Steve, I love Coventry but I'm not happy about playing in League One.

"He is very honest honest player and he is in a critical time of his career and you've got to factor all that in.

"There will have to be an enhancement on his current contract, we are going to say we want him to lead the club back, he loves this club and hopefully he will stay."

Fans have been quick to point the finger at owners Sisu in recent months, blaming them for the club's downfall.

But Fisher revealed that Joy Seppala was “bitterly disappointed” and “hurt” by relegation and claimed that Sisu pumped in £40million to save the club when “nobody else would.”

Waggott has been advising Andy Thorn since joining the club in December and although he is keen for the current transfer embargo to be lifted, he paid tribute to the academy already in place, adding that it was “absolutely imperative” to keep it strong.

Fisher added that season ticket sales are up from the same figure this time last year.

"This is the time when we all have to dig deep, from the management side and on the playing side.

"If you buy a season ticket, you will get Steve Waggott's and mine full and undivided motivational drive to do what we can to turn this club around."

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Buy photos» Sky Blues life president Joe Elliott was in the audience and gave his thoughts on the club. 19.012.014.cov.jg6

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