After each matchday programme, we publish the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Oxford United, Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy wrote the column and his article is published below:
"Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game against Oxford United.
I would like to welcome the fans, players, staff and officials who have made the trip to Coventry from Oxford for this afternoon’s game.
I would also like to give a special welcome to the former players who join us for Legends Day. We are delighted to welcome you back to the club, and to celebrate your contribution to the history of Coventry City. I would also like to thank the Coventry City Formers Players Association, without whom today would not happen.
The support at Peterborough last week was phenomenal, which matched the performance of the team.
It was reminiscent of the atmosphere and together of the relationship between players and fans at the Play-Off Semi Final win at Notts County. Your continued support will play a big part in where this season takes us.
It has been a busy time at the Club regarding the Ricoh Arena and stadium situation, which I will try and cover below:
We welcome the statement from the Owners – it is important that they communicate with the supporters and our community. In it, they said that they wanted (and always have wanted) to provide CCFC with:
- a stadium it can call home
- access to all the revenues it can generate (like any other professional football club)
- control of the costs it incurs
- a stable base from which to challenge up the leagues.
Of course, that is something which we as a Club welcome. They also made clear that circumstances in which they would decide to drop legal action, which again is helpful for them to make clear to all involved.
I viewed the Westminster meeting as an important opportunity for all parties involved in the current impasse to get around the table and discuss the future of the Club and how to resolve the present situation.
I was disappointed that the Coventry City Council Leader and the Chief Executive chose not to attend, instead deciding to send the City Council Lawyer. Parties including CCFC, Wasps, SISU, the EFL and the Government all sent key decisions makers, while local MPs also attended with the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Premiership Rugby.
Mr Duggins criticised the concept of the meeting the day after, also saying that nothing had come of it – of course, if the Council had attended with their key decision makers then more progress may have been made.
Council Leader’s statement:
I welcome the statement that the Council want the Club to be playing at the Ricoh Arena next season. Mr Duggins encouraged everyone to get around the table and sort the issue once and for all, and I wholeheartedly agree, and I have been saying that all Winter and requested numerous meetings with him to discuss this matter.
With the current impasse, we are looking at what other groundshare options there would be – only if a deal cannot be agreed at the Ricoh Arena.
This would be our last resort, and only be done to fulfil our fixtures and to ensure the club’s survival.
I have seen some criticism that we are taking this precautionary step. However, if we did not explore this step at this time, then we would be taking a grave risk with the club’s future.
Myself and all of the staff at Coventry City will leave no stone unturned to try and resolve this situation. Our aim and our Plan A is to be playing at the Ricoh Arena."
Coventry City Football Club
Contrary to some reports on social media overnight, Chairman Tim Fisher did not make any announcement about a grounshare next season with Rugby Town, or any other venue, for next season at yesterday's game. Our aim and our Plan A is to be playing at the Ricoh Arena next season, as stated above.