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PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Bournemouth

5 October 2020

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 AFC Bournemouth below:

"Good evening and welcome to this evening’s game against Bournemouth in the Sky Bet Championship tonight, which is live on Sky Sports. I would like to extend a warm welcome to the players and officials from AFC Bournemouth tonight who join us at St Andrew’s this evening.

Since our last home game against QPR and my last notes, the situation with regards to supporters returning to games has not become any clearer. We are awaiting the latest Government update from the EFL, which was due after these notes were written, but my personal expectation is that in view of the latest increase in reported cases of Coronavirus, we should expect to be playing behind closed doors fixtures until at least the New Year.

Obviously the longer the sport continues without spectators being allowed to games, the more pressure clubs will come under across the country. This does not just apply to football and the EFL, but will be applicable to all professional sports.

Here at the Sky Blues, when we set our initial budgets for this season during the early part of lockdown, we budgeted for playing behind-closed-doors for the first half of the season, which is hindsight looks a prudent approach in almost impossible circumstances for planning and budgeting.

We are therefore hopeful that we can see a measured return of crowds early in the New Year, with reduced capacities. Supporters are the lifeblood of the game and if there was ever any doubt about that, it has been proved beyond doubt with the experience of witnessing behind-closed-doors fixtures. It is such a shame that Sky Blues supporters cannot witness our return to the Championship and that our players cannot witness the undoubtable atmosphere that these early games would have produced.

On the back of the difficulties of planning for the 20/21 season, the Championship Club Membership and Season Ticket package that we developed, mindful that some games would need to be played behind-closed-doors, has proved to be very popular with supporters and a major success.

We set a ceiling capacity of 3,500 Members based on a number of factors: one being the level of Season Ticket holders last season, two the initial reduced home capacity at St Andrew’s was expected to be around this number and three the number tied in nicely with the capacity of supporters names that we can get on the one-off exclusive Membership shirt.

I am delighted to say that we sold out of the Membership around seven days before they were meant to go off-sale. We thank all of the supporters that have been able to purchase this Membership, which is a fantastic contribution towards the running of the Football Club in difficult times for everybody.

As part of the package for Season Ticket holders, this include free iFollow access for home games. Whilst they are not available for Sky Sports games generally, we have been able to negotiate free access for tonight’s game with the EFL for these fans. The iFollow live match product is an excellent product developed by the EFL and is currently the only way to watch the Sky Blues (other than live Sky Sports matches). League matches are available on a pay-per-game basis for all home and away games. Fans who pay for this service are contributing to another vital revenue stream for the Club whilst playing behind-closed-doors, and we would encourage fans who want to watch games to do so buy purchasing a Match Pass.

Enjoy the game – PUSB.

Dave


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