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 Friday's game against Reading below:
Good evening and welcome to St Andrew’s for this evening’s game against Reading.
I would also like to welcome the players, staff and officials who join us tonight from The Royals, who currently top the early Championship table.
Tonight is our Remembrance fixture, ahead of Remembrance Sunday in November, and it is particularly important for us this year as we remember the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz of 14th November 1940. While some activities are not possible this year in this Remembrance period, we will be observing our minute’s silence before kick-off tonight to pay tribute to Armed Forces past and present, and remember a poignant anniversary in the history of our City and remember those who were sadly killed and injured.
On Wednesday, the EFL Chairman Rick Parry wrote to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden MP in a letter which he made public and which we subsequently reproduced on our official website.
In the letter, Parry urges Mr Dowden to provide the financial support that the Government already has provided for other industries within the DCMS portfolio that have also been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic (For example, £1.5 billion funding for the arts).
Parry also urged the Government to allow fans into stadiums as soon as possible to support the financial viability of EFL Clubs.
As a collective, EFL Clubs are facing the most challenging period ever.
With no gate income, Clubs have lost the major source of income that they have. The Government needs to recognise this fact and support EFL Clubs by either returning spectators safely to stadiums as soon as safely possible, and helping in the form of grants to keep Clubs alive - both of which it has done for other industries.
As I have said repeatedly, Football Clubs are community assets and play a vital part within their communities.
For supporters themselves, football is a huge part of their lives. There is no doubting the benefit that a return to stadiums would provide for the mental health and wellbeing of all football supporters, as well as bringing some degree of normality to lives.
I applaud and endorse Mr Parry’s approach in his letter to a Government that are clearly not listening about the crisis that EFL Clubs face.
In this crisis, generating revenue is more important than ever to EFL Clubs. I would like to thank all of you have purchased this programme, and in doing so are helping us at this time.
We felt that it was important to continue producing the programme at a time when some other Clubs in the Championship have not done so. We are very proud of our PUSB publication and I am determined to keep it alive during this crisis. I believe it’s a fantastic programme with great content from across the Club and its history and has consistently been amongst the best publications in each division we have been in, and has the awards to back that up.
There are several ways in which fans can support us in generating revenue. As well as the sale of retail items in the Club Shop, there are opportunities such as purchasing Match Passes on iFollow or buying our official lager that we have developed with Dhillons Brewery. Already, 3,500 fans have supported us by purchasing the special Championship Club Membership for this season.
Each fan who purchases these items is playing their part in supporting the Club and we appreciate that support.
Enjoy the game - PUSB