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 opening game against Southend United below:
Good afternoon and welcome to all Sky Blues supporters to the start of the 2019/20 season.
We’d also like to welcome the players, officials and supporters of our visitors today Southend United to St Andrew’s.
The issues of the Summer have been well documented everywhere, and we find ourselves starting the season at St Andrew’s and we are extremely grateful to Xuandong Ren and all of the staff at Birmingham City for allowing us to keep the Club alive, albeit in Birmingham, and for being extremely accommodating.
The decision was not finalised until the 7th June and signed at the EFL AGM in Portugal and a tremendous amount of hard work has gone on from our staff at the Sky Blues and the staff of the Blues too, to make today possible. To everybody involved, I offer my sincere thanks.
With regards to trying to complete an agreement to stay at the Ricoh Arena, we were hopeful right up until the beginning of that week that we could conclude a deal. That was not to be and ultimately what Wasps wanted the Football Club and its owners to sign was impossible to be agreed to.
I have a good working relationship with Wasps Managing Director Stuart Cain and we remain in dialogue regarding the situation.
In the meantime, we have to concentrate on the season ahead and can only look forward and be positive. To that end, we are delighted with the levels of the support with Season Ticket sales passing 3000, despite the difficult circumstances, and thank everyone who has purchased. As we have said on many occasions, at the same time we totally respect the decisions of those supporters who cannot come to St Andrew’s.
We are also delighted and extremely grateful that Allsopp and Allsopp have chosen to support us again as shirt sponsors at a very difficult time for the Club. Our thanks go to out to Carl and Lewis Allsopp, and their father Gary, for their loyal support and show of solidarity at this time.
Over the Summer, some members of staff left the Club. As well as Goalkeeping Coach Steve Ogrizovic, Head of Medical Pauline Robertson and Assistant Physiotherapist Andrew Hemming left our medical department, and we thank each of them for their hard work and commitment over the years and wish both of them the very best for the future.
Oggy will forever remain a CCFC legend, and will never be far away from the Club. I understand he will be doing the summarising for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire this season but I’m sure he will have a role to play within the Club in the future.
Our football recruitment department has been exceptionally busy over the Summer again, particularly during the early part of the close season, and we have brought 10 new signings in to date to complement the squad that had a commendable 8th position finish on our return to League One last season.
The quality that we have added to the squad is significant and the challenge that Mark Robins has is to equal or better last season’s finish. Whilst we believe we had recruited very well, other clubs in the division have spent significant amounts of money to also improve their squads, which only goes to raise the standards and the competitive nature of this league.
Whilst we are at St Andrew’s, we collectively have to make the best of the situation and make it feel like ‘home’ as much as possible, for both supporters and for our players. So please get behind the team, create a great atmosphere as you always do - and ‘Play Up Sky Blues’!
Coventry City Football Club