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PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Stoke City

28 December 2020

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 Saturday's game against Stoke City below:

Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game as we face Stoke City in the Sky Bet Championship.

I hope that everyone had a safe Christmas and an enjoyable one as possible given the circumstances.

I would also like to welcome the players, staff and officials who join us from Stoke for our Boxing Day fixture, in particular their Joint-Chairman Peter Coates who I have known for many years and has done such a magnificent job for the club and the game over a long period of time.

Looking back at 2020, it has been a strange and difficult year for most people. Whilst our focus at the Club during the pandemic has had to be about getting back to playing football, we understand how difficult it has been for all of our supporters and for those that have lost loved ones during this terrible crisis. Our thoughts are with all Sky Blues fans who have suffered during the pandemic.

At the turn of the year, following our 4-1 victory away at Tranmere Rovers, nobody could have predicted what was to lie ahead. At that point we sat third in League One with a game in hand over all surrounding contenders and from that moment until the COVID crisis prematurely curtailed the League One season on 13th March, we never looked back.

We remained unbeaten in the league and had an exciting FA Cup run, which sadly ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat against our landlords at St Andrew’s after two thrilling cup ties. When the league season was curtailed we were five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand, and eight clear of third place. We were on a roll and deservedly were awarded the title after much debate during the months of May and June as to whether the League One and Two seasons should recommence, or not.

Obviously because of lockdown conditions, we were unable to celebrate our success in the traditional manner of an open-top bus ride, which was so memorable for many when we won the League Two Play-Off in the 2017/18 season at Wembley. We improvised and held an online party which supporters could enjoy from home, with highlights of the season, live interviews and the End of Season awards. Hosted by JD from the top of the Ramada Hotel, it culminated in a live DJ set and spectacular fireworks display that could be seen through Coventry and Warwickshire.

Preparations for life back in the Championship were difficult with the players not having played for six months when the season finally began, but I feel we as a Club have now adapted to the level and we look forward to the second-half of the season having gained experience and know-how.

Whilst always wanting to develop and progress the squad and the Club, our sole aim at the start of the season was to retain our Championship status and our focus has not changed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff at the Club from top to bottom for their hard work and total dedication during this difficult year of 2020, and it remains for me to wish all Sky Blues fans a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021.

PUSB

Dave


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