After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Southend United, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy wrote the column and his article is published below:
"Good afternoon. This afternoon we welcome the players, officials and supporters of Southend United who visit us for this SkyBet League One encounter. We hope you enjoy your visit to the Ricoh Arena.
The Christmas and New Year Holiday period is usually a time for reflection and to look ahead. We look back at 2018 as a very successful year for Sky Blues, starting with a deserved 3rd Round FA Cup victory against then Premier League Stoke City at the Ricoh. We then hosted the 4th Round draw here at the Ricoh which gave us an away tie at MK Dons.
The Sky Blue Army of over 8,000 supporters turned Stadium:MK Sky Blue (not the only time in 2018 that there would be more away fans than home fans for a Sky Blues away trip), to see a 1-0 win that took us into the 5th Round.
Next up we were away again to Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion and another sell out away crowd. In the end class told and our FA Cup run ended with a 3-1 defeat. We were out of the cup but far from disgraced and I am sure that all City fans will have fond memories of our FA Cup run.
It was then back to the bread and butter of the league campaign and our sole aim at the start of the season was to gain promotion from League Two at the first attempt. Our league form was stuttering a bit, with three back to back defeats between the 4th & 5th Round of the Cup.
However, we got back on track and a hard-earned point away at Mansfield was probably the turning point for a run which took us into the last game of the season at home to Morecambe requiring a point to be absolutely certain of making the play-offs. Morecambe also required a point to be guaranteed their league status. It was far from a thriller, but a nervy 0-0 gave us both the point we required.
Everybody will have their favourite game of the season - mine was the away 2nd leg 4-1 victory at Notts County which ensured a second trip to Wembley in just over 12 months.
Wembley again was a very special day for anybody associated with Coventry City F.C. 37,000 fans made the trip to the home of English football to see Sky Blues win there for the 3rd time in our history and for the 2nd consecutive season. Spectacular goals from Jordan Willis, Jordan Shipley and Jack Grimmer ensured that it was “mission accomplished” and we were back in League One at the first attempt.
The scenes that followed the week after will remain with me for the rest of my life. His Worship the Lord Mayor, John Blundell honoured the Club with a civic reception at St. Mary’s Guildhall. The sight of over 50,000 Coventrians lining the streets to watch our open top bus parade was something to behold. It really showed me what this Club means to our community.
The summer saw a very busy period for new Head of Recruitment Chris Badlan and the Management team, with no less than nine new players coming into the first team squad either permanently or on loan and a further four players joining as development players. Meanwhile, six players leaving the Club.
Having made a steady start to the season, we then proceeded to win 5 games on the spin in October, including a fine away win against today’s opponents Southend United which I believe was one of our best performances of the season to date. This run saw us flirting with the play-off places. Mark Robins duly won the Manager of the Month award which came with the usual curse, an eight games in all competitions winless run. We ended that on Boxing Day with a fine home win, completing a deserved “double” over Charlton Athletic.
On reflection at the end of the year, we would have been more than happy at the start of the season with our current points tally and position in the league. Also when you assess the depth and quality of the squad that Mark has assembled, we have a far stronger squad than last season or when he joined us back in March 2017.
Off the field we have also made lots of progress in lots of different areas within the Club. Our main objective for the New Year remains to agree a new deal to play at the Ricoh Arena next season and beyond.
Coventry City Football Club means a huge amount to the people of Coventry and is one of this City’s most famous and important institutions. We have a proud history of over 135 years which has touched generation after generation of families within the community it serves.
We must all stand and work together, everyone who cares about the future of this Football Club, to keep it that way.
Happy New Year,
Coventry City Football Club