The City Executive Vice Chairman writes his boardroom programme notes for Coventry City's draw against Walsall...
Good afternoon and welcome tonight’s game against Walsall, and I'd also like to extend a warm welcome to all of the Directors, staff, and supporters from the Black Country.
Firstly, Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed the Christmas and New Year festivities and I’m sure all of you feel very positive looking ahead to 2016. The team definitely helped that mood with a fantastic 5-0 win over Crewe Alexandra and it really shows our progress over the past year or so. We suffered a poor 2-0 defeat at Gresty Road last season and it really feels like the club has come such a long way in such little time.
Undoubtedly, we want this progress to continue and I believe we’re not just progressing on the field, but off it as well. Over the Christmas period, we announced that Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) has extended the current license agreement with CCFC at the Ricoh Arena for two further seasons, until the end of the 2017/18 season. As I said previously, it was really important for us to have security about where we are going to play football next year and I know our supporters and stakeholders join me in looking forward to an exciting second half of the season.
The deal gives us a chance to look further into the future and begin to plan for next season, and the season after in the knowledge of where we will be playing football and the revenues we’re going to be able to generate. I would also like to thank David Armstrong, the Wasps CEO, for the co-operative spirit in which we came to an agreement and I’ll continue to work with them in the future to improve the match-day experience for our supporters.
We’ve also made slight changes to the way we operate behind the scenes. Our marketing and design team will be moving to the Butts Park Arena to have a closer relationship with the ticket office and help supply you with a better quality of service. We’ve also moved our financial department to Ryton training ground. Mark Venus is currently producing some brilliant results with the playing budget and if the finance department work closer together with the football department, it could produce even better results. It is all part of an ongoing process to improve the day-to-day operations at the club because as the team improves on the pitch, we must keep up the pace off it.
Finally, we received the sad news of Jimmy Hill’s passing last month. The work Jimmy achieved for this football club made our history possible. The Sky Blue revolution wasn’t just an incredible achievement on the pitch, but off it as well with several forward-thinking ideas implemented during his time here. We owe a huge debt to Jimmy and I’m looking forward to celebrating his life at the Jimmy Hill memorial service at Coventry Cathedral on Friday, February 12th. The club will also be announcing further plans to mark Jimmy’s life soon.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the game,