After each matchday programme this season, we publish the regular column from the Coventry City board on our website. Read Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy's column from Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie against Birmingham City below:
A warm welcome to Sky Blues fans and Blues fans alike for this unique and special Fourth Round Emirates FA Cup tie.
The FA Cup draws can pull out some magical ties and the draw on Monday 6th January was no exception to this. My phone went into meltdown after the draw and the tie has captured the imagination of supporters, media and the wider public all over the country. As I’ve said previously the FA Cup excites me and I think today is proof that the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup is still very much alive and kicking.
This is the first occasion at this stage of the FA Cup that groundsharing clubs have been drawn together and with the tenants at home to the landlords. It has happened at earlier stages of the FA Cup where non-league teams often share facilities and play each other.
From the moment the draw was made, both Clubs had to start preparing for the possibility of the tie even though we still had to beat Bristol Rovers in the Third Round Replay.
Although I’ve said at numerous times publicly previously, this is our best opportunity to say a massive thank you to everybody at Birmingham City Football Club, from the Owners to all of the day-to-day staff and Blues supporters. You have welcomed us and our supporters with open arms and in difficult circumstances you have made our stay at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium easy to adapt to and helped us to keep our Club alive. For this, Coventry City Football Club and everyone associated with it will be forever grateful to you.
With that in mind, during the preparations for this game it was always our intention to make as many tickets possible for the game available to Blues fans.
Through careful planning, changes to segregation and matchday operations, we have managed to achieve this, albeit leading to a reduced capacity with blocks of seats withdrawn in the Gil Merrick Lower away end and parts of the Tilton Road Stand.
This has allowed us to have a fairly equal split of the tickets available and will result in a great attendance and atmosphere for the game today.
Once again, the way that the two clubs have worked together in planning and organising this fixture proves what a special relationship we have.
Today will be the highest number of Sky Blues supporters who have come to St Andrew’s so far this season. We would like to thank everybody who has attended not only today but previously during the season. We understand that fans have their reasons for not being able to come to St Andrew’s, and it remains as the top priority of the Club to return to Coventry at the earliest possible opportunity and we continue to work hard behind the scenes to achieve this.
Coventry City Football Club