After each matchday programme this season, we publish the regular column from the Coventry City board on our website. You can read Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy's column from Tuesday's game against Luton Town below:
Good evening and welcome to this evening’s game, as we face Luton Town in the Sky Bet Championship.
As our usual we offer a warm welcome to the players and officials from Luton Town to St Andrew’s tonight, in particularly their Chairman David Wilkinson and Chief Executive Gary Sweet, whom I have both known and respected since the Hatters days in the Conference (National League).
Since my notes were written for Saturday’s programme, the EFL announced their ‘rescue package’ as agreed and supported by the Premier League. Whilst I am sure the package will be welcomed by some Championship clubs, it does nothing for Coventry City Football Club.
It is effectively a short-term loan and with the restrictions placed on it, it can only be used to pay HMRC PAYE debt. Whilst we have a need for cashflow support in 2021, as of January we do not have any PAYE debt so are not eligible for the loan and to receive any support from this ‘rescue package’.
During the initial lockdown HMRC allowed us a three month holiday period but enforced a ‘time to pay’ agreement which sees us completely up to date by the New Year, whilst us still having no matchday income and very little commercial income.
As clubs we haven't really been consulted on it by the EFL, with the decision on the package being made by the EFL Board.
The Government has supported 11 other sports in the ‘winter survival package’ with substantial interest free loans over a long period of time and yet it hasn't provided any support for football. It should have supported football - we're the national game.
All this package agreed by the EFL board and the Premier League clubs does is help those clubs that are probably very near to administration/winding up orders from HMRC.
Last Thursday evening we held our first Supporters Forum meeting of the new season via Zoom. The majority of supporters groups in the forum were represented at the meeting and were updated on a host of topics including the potential return of spectators to games and an update on the development of a new stadium at the University of Warwick. Minutes from the meeting will be published on our website.
I felt the meeting was productive with all of the groups engaging in a really positive manner. These meetings are really important for constructive and pro-active dialogue between the Club and all supporters groups.
It was really encouraging to see the return of spectators to some stadiums over the weekend in the EFL and the Premier League. A capacity of 2,000 is a welcome start and we look forward to the opportunity of welcoming Sky Blues fans at the earliest opportunity, albeit unknown exactly when at this stage. However this is just a start and we need very quickly to be able to welcome supporters back in far greater numbers.
Thank you for your support wherever you are watching from tonight – Play Up Sky Blues.