After each matchday programme, we publish the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Gillingham, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy wrote the column and his article is published below:
"Good afternoon and welcome to our Community Day game this afternoon.
I would like to welcome the many Sky Blues fans who join us today in what will be a very busy Ricoh Arena.
I would also like to welcome the Gillingham players, staff, officials and fans. Gillingham were the visitors in 2014 for the ‘Return to the Ricoh’ match when 27,306 was the attendance – and again we have a big attendance for a Sky Blues versus Gills fixture today.
This is our second Community Day game, and it is an initiative which has certainly caught the imagination of fans and the wider Coventry and Warwickshire public.
This year, we have donated around 12,500 tickets to schools in the area. This year, we reduced the amount per child down to 4 rather than 6 last year to try to reach more families and hopefully see a better uptake of seats for this game.
Tickets being reduced to £5 in advance and £10 on the day again is a great opportunity for fans in the wider community to come along and enjoy the day too.
Again, we have a big pre-match Fans Village with many activities to keep fans busy pre-match. Today’s game forms part of Coventry’s 2019 City of Sport activities, which we are proud to play an active part in.
Through ourselves and the work of Sky Blues in the Community, we will support the vision for the year of promoting and celebrating the benefits of sport and physical activity for all ages.
Seeing such a superb turnout for the game today will be fantastic for everyone connected with the club. Following the superb attendances at Wembley in the last two seasons, the bus parade, increases in home attendances and our loyal following up and down the country for away games, it again goes to show the public opinion and feeling in support of their football club being a successful one.
The January transfer window slammed shut on Thursday evening at 11pm and these notes were written before the window closed. I am personally not a fan of the January transfer window, and was glad when it was over!
There has been some business from us in terms of both ins and outs as we go into the final months of the season. Bright Enobakhare joined us on loan from Wolves, while at the time of writing we are looking at adding one more loan to the squad.
Tony Andreu has gone out on loan to get important game time, while there are other players who have been identified as needed similar opportunities away from the club.
Meanwhile, Michael Rose has agreed to sign for us next season following the expiry of his contract with Ayr United.
That is an example of how the Recruitment Department that has now been established is set up not just to work on the current transfer window, but several transfer windows ahead and with a longer term view of the make up of the squad. It is important that the club has that philosophy, rather than papering over the cracks or being too short-term in its thinking.
Myself, Manager Mark Robins and Head of Recruitment Chris Badlan work closely over this period on the targets that we have identified and trying to get deals over the line – however our main focus is the summer transfer window and how the squad continues to develop in the long-term, while making sure we are also successful in the short-term.
That philosophy on the field should also translate off the field. I know fans and the wider community are growing weary of the continued disputes around the club, and the jeopardy that the club finds itself in. That has been a regular state, and is even more urgent than ever this year.
While those who made decisions through this period, even back to 1997 when plans were first presented for ‘Arena 2000’, will have made the decisions based on their best judgement of the best interests of the Club at the time, the Club is consequently now in a position where it is reliant on others – be it decisions of owners or landlords - for its future and its very survival.
A long-term solution to provide stability to the Club and to its fans and the community needs to the aim for everyone involved, so that this same issue does not rear its head every year and the Football Club can move forward with long-term stability.
I hope that everyone who is here today for our Community Day match has a fantastic time, and helps to create a special atmosphere for the game and the players involved. This is now one of the highlights of the CCFC calendar, and I hope you enjoy the day and the game."
Coventry City Football Club