After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Peterborough, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy wrote the column and his article is published below:
"Good evening and welcome to tonight’s game against Peterborough United.
I would like to welcome also the players, staff, officials and the supporters from The Posh, who have made the trip to the Ricoh Arena this evening.
This evening we are showing our support for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. You will see information on the scoreboard and in this programme, as well as Rainbow corners flags, official’s board and captain’s armband among other activities.
Football is a game for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or any other characteristic. A football supporter is a football supporter. We are committed to supporting this and other campaigns which are working hard to rid the game of all forms of abuse and discrimination.
Today we also welcome staff and families from Zoë's Place as guests of ourselves and Sky Blues in the Community at the game. I am sure many supporters are aware of the amazing work that they do, providing palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants aged from birth to 5 years, as well as vital support to their families. As well as fundraising for them today, we hope it is a great experience for them to all enjoy together.
These are my first notes in nearly a month, as we have had a run of away fixtures.
The topic at the forefront of everyone’s mind is still the future of the club at the Ricoh Arena.
The Football Club’s intention is to play at the Ricoh Arena, and commit to a deal beyond this season. That is our focus and aim, and I know it is something all fans and fan groups are supportive of.
As I write these notes, we await the decision of the club’s owners regarding the court case and if they will choose to appeal the most recent judgement. To reiterate, the Club, its senior management and its staff have no involvement, knowledge or say in this legal process and if it continues or not. Sisu has total control of the legal process, instructions to their legal counsel and Sisu cover all legal costs. As Chief Executive, alongside the Chairman, we are making representations on the stadium issue and legal position directly with the shareholders at board level through Otium Entertainment and Sky Blue Sports & Leisure.
There unfortunately have been no negotiations to date with Wasps but I have met with several Wasps Directors, who have told me the position of Wasps regarding the court case with the owners. I have made clear that the Football Club is not involved in the legal proceedings, and our desire to stay at the Ricoh Arena and create a stronger relationship between the two organisations. This is something which has improved in the last 18 months, despite the circumstances we find ourselves in. Our day to day working relationship is excellent.
Coventry City Football Club comes first above everything else, I’m sure you will agree. It is imperative that a deal is agreed and that we stay at the Ricoh Arena. The EFL have made very clear in writing to us that a groundshare outside of Coventry is not and will not be an option– even if it was, it is not an option we are interested in. We want to stay at the Ricoh Arena.
For the avoidance of doubt to everyone in Coventry and Warwickshire who cares about the Football Club, failure to reach agreement to play at the Ricoh next season will mean that the Club’s place in the English Football League is severely at risk.
We know the value that we bring to the stadium and Wasps, which is a vital part of their revenue streams – not just in terms of rent, but matchday revenue and footfall we bring to the stadium, as well as significant contributions to stadium costs such as pitch maintenance and pitch lighting.
But more importantly we know the value the club brings to the community. As I have said before, we saw this during May with the Play-Off win and thousands at Wembley, followed by the 50,000 on the streets for the bus parade and what this Club means to the community.
Whether an appeal takes place or not, I truly believe that everyone – Sisu, Wasps, Coventry City Council, MPs or anyone – wants to see Coventry City Football Club to continue, and to continue to play at the Ricoh Arena.
As we showed when we agreed the current deal - where there is a will, there can be a way."
Coventry City Football Club