After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Blackpool, Coventry City Chairman Tim Fisher wrote the column and his article is published below:
"Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game against Blackpool. I would like to welcome all Coventry City fans here today, and the supporters, players, staff and officials from Blackpool too.
The main topic of the moment is our future at the Ricoh Arena. Through these regular Boardroom columns, we aim to keep fans updated as much as possible on progress.
Since our last boardroom column, we have seen a debate taking place in Westminster on the future of Coventry City Football Club.
We welcome the discussion on the club’s plight around securing a place to fulfil our fixtures next season. Following the debate, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy has made contact with the respective MPs to arrange follow-up meetings with them.
Indeed, over the last number of months, the club has had a number of meetings with a range of stakeholders, supporter groups and interested party organisations to explain the situation and the risks to the future of the football club. Both the club’s position and the risk is clear – we simply want to resolve the impasse and sit down with the club’s landlords to discuss and agree a new deal to stay at the Ricoh Arena. A failure to negotiate an extension to our current stadium arrangement will likely lead to the club losing its football league status.
The prospect of an all-party meeting is welcome. Such a meeting chaired by Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media could be an important first step in securing the future of the Football Club at the Ricoh Arena, and we confirm our commitment to both this meeting and any subsequent agreed next steps.
There is seemingly one point of confusion upon which the club would like to add clarity. We have all seen published statements that the Club contributes around £100,000 each year to the landlords stadium finances. However, for the avoidance of doubt, during the 17/18 season, the Club contributed somewhere in the region of £930,000 to the landlord’s stadium finances. This included the licence fee of £80,000 (this was League 2 – in League 1 it is £100,000), ACL matchday costs (e.g floodlights, undersoil heating etc), payments made to IEC (the stadium-catering Joint Venture company) and revenue from Food & Beverage sales on our matchdays.
This does not include other stadium related income such as car parking, for example, and secondary revenue such as fans drinking in the Café and Bar in the atrium, booking hotel rooms – or the value our matchdays with fans frequenting the on-site Casino. On top of this figure, there was also non-matchday events we held at the stadium such as Evenings with Kevin Keegan and Harry Redknapp.
Outside of the stadium there is a financial ‘halo effect’ with local pubs and shops benefitting from match day attendance. The Club directly employs a total of nearly 400 full time and part time staff, which includes matchday stewards and employees, and indirectly employ many more local people, including over 200 each game at the stadium in catering.
Beyond a substantial financial contribution to the City, Coventry City is a significant part of this City’s history and culture and is undoubtedly a cornerstone institution. Indeed, there is no price or value put on the feelings that the supporters have for their club and that is why it is imperative that the Club continues to push for a solution and a resolution to the current impasse."
Coventry City Football Club