After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's match against Accrington Stanley, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy wrote the column and his article is published below:
Please note: This article was written before the announcement about the Ricoh Arena was made on Friday afternoon.
Good afternoon and welcome to today’s Community Day game against Accrington Stanley.
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone from Accrington Stanley who join us today, but mostly to the Sky Blues supporters and those who join us as part of our first Community Day.
It will be brilliant to see the stadium packed for what is an important fixture in our push for promotion this season.
14,000 tickets have been distributed for free to primary schools in Coventry, and a huge amount of credit needs to go to the team at Sky Blues in the Community for their work in distributing vouchers and tickets for the game.
For many of these youngsters it will be their first ever football match, and we all hope it is the first of many as they support their local team for many years to come.
We have also done a wider £5 ticket offer for the game when tickets are purchased in advance, which has all contributed to today’s big crowd.
Today we’ve also held a Fans Village in the Exhibition Hall, shown our support for the Kick It Out and Football vs Homophobia campaigns, celebrated the success of the City of Culture bid, teamed up with RicohArenaParking.co.uk for free off-site parking for the game and invited primary school headteachers to a pre-match networking event with Sky Blues in the Community.
This all makes today a tremendous day for Coventry City Football Club and everyone associated with club – a real Community Day!
We have tried to improve communication with supporters since I became Chief Executive and have been largely successful, but with regards to where we will be playing next season we are massively restricted in what we can say publicly due to the fact that we signed a Confidential Non-Disclosure Agreement ahead of negotiations. I completely understand the frustration that some supporters expressed about the minimal updates on where we will be playing next season, but hopefully you now understand why this is, ahead of any positive announcement.
On the back of the magnificent support we received from the 8,000 strong Sky Blue Army at MK Dons for our excellent 4th Round FA Cup victory, we were in no doubt that the 4,500 tickets we received for the 5th Round tie away at Brighton would sell out quickly. This proved to be the case with them selling in under 2 hours. At MK Dons with the allocation of nearly 8000 tickets, tickets were restricted to 4 per person, so with an allocation of 4500 at Brighton we decided to reduce the allocation per person to 2. For those supporters who have managed to get a ticket I’m sure it will be a great occasion and I am still not sure how or why it did not get selected for a ‘live’ TV game, when 5 out of 8 ties are.
Let’s all enjoy this special community day today.