Were Coventry City doomed from the start?
BY NO MEANS am I a hardened gambler, but the fact that one of the few times I've been fortunate enough to be in a position to collect any winnings from the bookies this season (albeit a meagre handful of coins) came as a result of betting on a heavy defeat for the Sky Blues speaks volumes about our year.
The spanking in question came away at Ipswich back in September, but it was a visit to my local bookmakers two months previous that really sticks in my mind.
It was late July, and after a tumultuous Summer Coventry City were rounding off their pre-season preparations. The noise coming from the Sky Blue camp didn't exactly fill one with confidence for the season ahead, but despite our troubles I was not prepared for the damning indictment that I saw before me.
In amongst the menagerie of odds flashing away on the bookmaker's screens were those for relegation from The Championship; a market in which Coventry City were the frontrunners.
Needless to say I found this prediction laughable, but sitting here after the dust of a disastrous campaign has settled it's clear that this forecast did in fact come to fruition, and the autopsy aiming to ascertain exactly how it happened is well and truly underway.
Referees, injuries and plain old misfortune can be blamed until the cows come home, but if bookmakers across the country saw the demise of Coventry City as a near certainty before a ball had even been kicked, should and could decisive action have been taken to prevent us crashing out of English Football's second tier?
For me, the answer is yes and no.
Naturally, something should have been done. Players should have been drafted in to plug the blatant gaps in our squad.
In reality, however, whether or not anything could actually be done is up for debate.
A cash-strapped side with an administrative structure more akin to a certain Mediterranean government than a slick footballing machine is hardly in a position to make significant inroads in the transfer market, so the job Andy Thorn was faced with was simple. Keep us in the division using what you've got.
I'm not cynical enough to suggest that the fact Thorn was able to blame his lack of financial support led to a degree of complacency. He has shouldered his fair share of the blame and is now hopefully focused on next season as opposed to concerning himself with last season's failings.
Looking back, it's no surprise that Coventry City were earmarked for relegation early doors. It just goes to show, the house always wins.