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PUSB: 'From The Boardroom' versus Accrington Stanley

5 November 2018

After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Accrington Stanley, Coventry City Chairman Tim Fisher wrote the column and his article is published below:

"Good afternoon and welcome to our game this afternoon, as we welcome Accrington Stanley to the Ricoh Arena.

I would like to welcome the players, staff, officials and supporters of Accrington Stanley who join us today.

Since my last programme notes were written, the Football Club released a statement outlining our intention to reach an agreement with Wasps to continue playing our home games at the Ricoh Arena beyond the end of this season. It goes almost without saying how important reaching an agreement is. Without it, the Football Club’s place in the EFL is at serious risk.

As written in the club’s recent statement and repeated by Chief Executive Dave Boddy last week, this risk needs to be addressed in the near future. Being able to fulfil our fixtures as members of the EFL and playing our home fixtures at the Ricoh Arena is simply about securing the immediate future of Coventry City Football Club. This issue must be resolved shareholder to shareholder.

This is our second home game in two weeks, following the victory over Doncaster Rovers last week. That win made it five out of five in the league, which is the club’s best winning run since 1998. The win against Doncaster Rovers was especially pleasing as it followed two tough away games with long distances travelled with little rest and recovery time for the players. This is where the mental toughness of the players is important. We all saw how the players dug deep in last week’s second half. To win football matches you need mental as well as physical strength and endurance. However, today is a different challenge and the mantra of ‘one game at a time’ is an important one.

Following last Saturday’s game, the world of football and the wider community were shocked by the helicopter crash after Leicester City’s home game at the King Power Stadium.  Tragically, Chairman Mr Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died in the accident, along with two members of his staff - Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare - pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

On behalf of Coventry City Football Club and all of its supporters, I would like to extend our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of those that died and to Leicester City Football Club and its supporters.

Today, we join other Premier League and EFL clubs in remembering the victims during a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off.

Our game today is the final home match ahead of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, as well as the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, and these will also be marked with a minute’s silence before the match.

Armed Forces representatives join us as our guests this afternoon, and there will be collections for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal before the match around the ground.

As always, we were represented at the launch of the Poppy Appeal in Coventry city centre last week, with Jordan Ponticelli and David Busst in attendance. We will also again be at the Remembrance Sunday service at the War Memorial Park next week, along with other Remembrance activities which we are conducting this year, which is particularly notable in 2018 as it marks 100 years since the end of World War One. In today’s programme, we pay tribute to the Coventry City players who served their country in that conflict.

It is important to Coventry City Football Club and our supporters that we remember and acknowledge the service given by our Armed Forces past and present. This is especially pertinent around this time of year, but we also support the work of Tickets for Troops by providing them with free tickets for all of our home matches, as well as providing Armed Forces discounts on Season Tickets and Match Tickets. Meanwhile, many ex-service men and women actively participate in a range of Sky Blues in the Community projects.

The 14th November will mark the 78th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz. It was a night which changed the City forever with a bombing raid that caused utter devastation to the City and its people.

The official death toll from that night was 554, but the true figure was likely to have been much higher, and at least 1000 people were injured. It is a night that profoundly affected the City and is an important part of its history, which is why it is important that we commemorate the anniversary each year.

Tragedies past and present, conflict and death in service underline to us all the fragility of life. Football is a power for good and can bring together a community and its people in good and sad times. Today, up and down the country and here at the Ricoh Arena, football will bring communities and people together to respect, mourn and remember those that have passed.

Enjoy the game."

Tim Fisher
Coventry City Football Club

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