10 years in the Championship: 2002/03
Coventry City will be the Championship`s longest serving club next season following the relegation of Preston North End, the 2011/12 campaign being their 11th in a row in the second tier of English football.
The 2002/03 season saw another popular former player being given the chance to cut his managerial teeth against a tight financial backdrop which saw the club`s big name players sold off ahead of the transfer deadline.
Gary McAllister used a huge number of players during his first season in charge, the City team sometimes unrecognisable from week to week as a host of loan signings and free transfers appeared and then disappeared at alarming speed.
Fabian Debec, Jamie McMaster and Juan Sara are never likely to be invited to legends day at the Ricoh Arena while the award for most desperate signing perhaps goes to veteran central defender Steve Walsh who had been playing non-league football before being drafted in by the Sky Blues.
McAllister`s playing skills together with the pick of the loan crop, Gary Caldwell and Craig Hignett, kept City in a challenging position until the new year but City would win just one game between the 1st January and the end of the season and did not secure safety until April.
The manager`s chopping and changing became ever more desperate but supporters, mindful of the circumstances in which he was operating, gave the team a rousing send-off following the final home game of the campaign, a goalless draw against Gillingham.
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