After each matchday programme this season, we will publish the regular column from the Coventry City board on our website. Read Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy's column from Saturday's game against Bristol Rovers below:
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to everybody for this League One encounter at St. Andrews. In particular, we would like to welcome all connected with our visitors, Bristol Rovers and hope they enjoy their trip to the Midlands.
We expect to see in the Rovers squad today former Sky Blues players, Jonson Clarke-Harris & Tom Davies, both of whom featured in our League Two play-off promotion success in 17-18 and both played a big part. Welcome back both and thank you for the contributions you both made.
Since writing my notes for the opening game of the season against Southend United we have done two significant pieces of business on the playing front. The day before the game we sold Academy product Tom Bayliss to Preston North End for substantial fee. It has been exciting watching Tom’s development, since Mark Robins gave him his debut as an 18-year-old against Cheltenham Town in December 17 and also playing a big part in the 17-18 promotion success and Wembley win. We wish him well with his move to the Championship and will eagerly watch his future development.
We wasted no time bringing in striker Matt Godden, investing a substantial fee to sign him from fellow League One side Peterborough United. Matt has an impressive goalscoring record over the last 3 or 4 seasons and we had a brief taste of that on Tuesday night, when he opened his Sky Blues account with a great header in the Carabao Cup victory over Exeter City. Welcome aboard Matt.
The first game at St. Andrews went relatively smoothly from a logistics point of view and whilst there was always going to be teething problems, we have learned from the experience and we have worked very closely with Birmingham City FC to make a few changes today, to hopefully make it an even better experience for everybody that attends.
One issue that we did have that we had mistakenly sold Season Tickets in blocks 36/37. The issue only became apparent at the game, which has resulted in Season Ticket holders who brought in those blocks having to move. We were told initially by the SAG (Safety Advisor Group) that we could not sell tickets in the Kop Corner (except for disabled access to the viewing ramp in that area), but were not aware that blocks 36/37 were considered by them to be in the Kop Corner. This is a genuine misunderstanding, for which we apologise to all effected.
During the period of uncertainty and ultimately the groundshare with the Blues, one thing that has remained constant is the unswerving support of the Supporter Club groups. Most have pledged to support the Club whilst in “exile” in Birmingham and both the Leamington & Warwick group and Bedworth & Nuneaton group are laying on coaches for their members to St. Andrews, as well as the away games. On top of this, we have seen two new groups form with a Southam group launching at the back end of last season and Coventry branch launching at the beginning of the month.
The support of all supporters during this difficult period has been amazing and I know that the atmosphere created at the first game here was appreciated by Mark Robins and the players. Let’s hope we can all continue to enjoy the experience while we are here.
Enjoy the game and PUSB
Coventry City Football Club