FORMER Coventry City striker Jay Bothroyd has expressed his doubt over the future direction of the club and the Sky Blues’ ongoing stadium predicament.
The 37-year-old, who now plies his trade for Japanese J1 League outfit Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, was formerly a teenage prodigy at Coventry – having started his professional career at the club upon his departure from Arsenal in 2000.
Finding the net 14 times in 74 appearances for the Sky Blues, a move to then Serie A club Perugia then transpired in the summer of 2003, bringing an end to his three-season stay at Highfield Road.
Bothroyd, speaking exclusively to 888sport, said: “When I first went there, Coventry were a mid-table team with the odd relegation battle, but since then there has been a downward spiral and season after season it gets worse and worse.
“It’s never got any better since I left, and that’s not because of me obviously, but the club hasn’t been run correctly.
“They got into debt and any player that was valued got sold. They don’t have a stadium now and where do they go from there?”
Bothroyd’s departure from Coventry, following a season in which he had been the club’s top-scorer during a relegation battle in the 2002/03 Championship, was far from amicable in media publications at the time and resulted in hostility from supporters whenever the striker returned to face the Sky Blues.
But the forward is keen to stress that he left the club on good terms, explaining: “No-one said to me I was surplus to requirements.
“If I was top scorer that means I am playing every week and if I’m playing every week that means I am not surplus to requirements.
“I know what really happened and people can say what they want it wasn’t that kind of situation. It was more that the club was struggling and that’s what happened.
“Gary McAllister never said to me that I was surplus to requirements. I’d had conversations with him previously when I’d scored a couple of goals and he said I could go on to play for a bigger club in the Premier League.
“I always had a good relationship with Gary and even when I was at Cardiff he tried to sign me when he was at Leeds. I know that he knows I was a good player. All the rest doesn’t really bother me.
“What I never understood with Coventry is that any time I played there after I left I got booed. I didn’t understand that at all. I left because the club was in financial difficulties.”
Despite the downturn in the club’s fortunes since relegation from the Premier League in 2001, Bothroyd believes the club are now back on the up on the pitch under Mark Robins.
“If he has got the team into fourth spot that’s good and hopefully he can take the club forward.
“But then again I don’t think they an go any more backwards.
“They are going to have to go forward and hopefully they can get promotion and get back to where they used to be.”
Read the full 888sport interview with Bothroyd here.