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PUSB: 'From The Board' versus AFC Wimbledon

18 September 2019

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 Tuesday's game against AFC Wimbledon below:

Good evening and welcome to all Coventry City supporters to this evening’s game.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to players, officials and travelling supporters of AFC Wimbledon who visit St Andrew’s tonight for our SkyBet League One fixture. I’d particularly like to welcome their President the legendary Dickie Guy, who played in goal for Wimbledon in the first game of football which I ever saw and will be remembered by those of my generation for his penalty save from Peter Lorimer, when non-league Wimbledon played the mighty Leeds in the Third Round of the FA Cup at Elland Road, helping them to a 0-0 draw in 1975. Over the recent years I’ve come to know Dickie, who is a gentleman and proper ambassador for AFC Wimbledon.

It was with disappointment that on Monday we announced the resignation of Richard Stevens as Head of Academy. Rich has been offered the same post at West Bromwich Albion and the offer proved too good to turn down from Rich’s point of view. Rich deserves the opportunity to head a Category 1 Academy, with resources and facilities far better than ours.

Rich has been with the Academy for 12 years, with 6 of those as Academy Manager, and during that period of time his record in overseeing the development of players stands up with anybody else’s in the country. To have two Academy graduates in the current England international squad in Callum Wilson and James Maddison along with a host of players that have gone on to play a lot of league football for Coventry City and other clubs is testament to that.

Rich has achieved this despite working with limited resources which has seen a regular churn in staff, because of the neighbouring Category 1 clubs constantly cherry picking the staff and also the well documented problems that we have previously had regarding the future of the Alan Higgs Centre.

During my period as Chief Executive of the Club, I have had an excellent relationship with Rich and everybody associated with the Club thanks him for his massive contribution and hard work, and wishes him the very best in his new role.

At the time of writing, we are undecided about how we will replace him and are looking at a possible restructure but will invariably appoint a caretaker team to ‘hold the fort’ in the meantime.

Last Monday saw the first meeting this season of the Supporters Forum. The Supporters Forum is made up of representatives from all recognised and established groups of Coventry City supporters and replaced the Supporters Consultative Group around 18 months ago. Colin Henderson, who is chair of the London Supporters Club, was elected as the first Chair of the Supporters Forum and it is now hoped that the group will meet quarterly to discuss any issues that supporters might have.

As previously mentioned, our thanks go to all supporters who continue to travel to Birmingham to support the team for our ‘home games’. Mark Robins, the team and everybody associated with the Club continues to be amazed by the levels of support. We currently have just short of 3,200 Season Ticket holders and people continue to buy Season Tickets. To continue to support this process, we are offering all supporters who are not Season Ticket holders the opportunity to buy a Pro-Rata Season Ticket for the remainder of the season – this is not something we have done for the last two seasons. The offer will be available later this week, up until the Doncaster Rovers game.

Thanks for your support, enjoy the game!

Dave Boddy


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