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PUSB: 'From The Boardroom' versus AFC Wimbledon

14 January 2019

After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against AFC Wimbledon, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy wrote the column and his article is published below:

"Good afternoon and welcome to the Ricoh Arena for our Skybet League One fixture with AFC Wimbledon. We extend our usual cordial welcome to their players, official and supporters and a personal welcome from me to their Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson who I sat on the Football Conference (National League) Board of Directors with some years ago.

On Tuesday we brought in Bright Enobakhare on loan from our Premier League neighbours, Wolves. Bright played his part in Wolves Championship winning side last season, making 26 appearances and  he will help in developing the squad for the second half of the season. We hope to further strengthen the squad before the January window closes, but only if the right players become available.

Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the Junior Sky Blues in the Ericsson Exhibition Hall at the Ricoh Arena. It was a really heart warming event, and fantastic to see so many young Coventry City supporters and their families there to enjoy all of the activities and meet their heroes. I would like to thank everyone involved in making the Party such a success, especially the volunteers who gave up their time.

On Monday evening myself and Mark Robins are visiting the Coventry City London Supporters Club for an evening with their Members followed by a Q & A. This is something that we regularly do with the Leamington & Warwick Supporters Club and the Bedworth & Nuneaton Supporters Club and I feel it’s really important that we get to meet with all of our supporters’ groups. Following the inception of the Leamington & Warwick group led by the drive and inspiration of Juggy Chima & Paul Howes in the summer of 2017, the concept has grown with Bedworth & Nuneaton successfully launching in October 2018 and Southam to launch in February & Kenilworth also launching. We have also had enquires about an East Midland branch and a Rugby branch forming which we will follow up shortly.

The concept is excellent, and it gives supporters the opportunity to meet with Mark Robins, the players and other members of staff such as Chris Badlan (Head of Recruitment), Richard Stevens (Head of Academy), myself and to get a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve and how the Club operates. I firmly believe that these groups have played a big part in the Club and players getting closer to our supporters over the last 18 months. The nights are also very entertaining and insightful.

As we moved into 2019, inevitably the issue regarding our future at the Ricoh Arena will take centre stage and move on at a pace. In a radio interview on BBC Coventry & Warwicks before Christmas I said  “If the people of Coventry want to see the Football Club survive they have to get together and find a solution in order to play at the Ricoh Arena next season.”

I was encouraged earlier in the week to read Jim Cunningham MP’s statement. He said “This saga has gone on for too long and we need Government intervention to ensure that our city’s football team continues to play within our city. This football club is part of our fabric as a city and as we enter 2019 as the European City of Sport, it would be unforgiveable for the Government to stand idlily by and let our football club leave our city or worse, collapse altogether.

“I’ve written to the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport and the English Football League urging them to take action and to convene an urgent meeting of Coventry and Warwickshire MP’s. This cannot continue. We must ensure the home of Coventry City Football Club remains in Coventry.”  

We endorse Mr Cunningham’s actions and would other urge prominent and respected members of the community to all show their support to help find a solution to remain at the Ricoh Arena next season. This Club means so much to our community, we must find a way to get a new agreement and avoid the unthinkable happening."

Dave Boddy
Chief Executive
Coventry City Football Club


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