Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy has provided a further update to supporters regarding the current situation at the Club, following the Coronavirus outbreak and ahead of the new season:
I am writing to fans again today to keep you updated as to the latest situation around the Club, as we approach our first league game back in the Championship this weekend. It is an exciting time for the Club, tempered hugely by the fact that our fans cannot be with us in person.
The Government has previously suggested 1st October as the date from which fans could return to stadiums. There have been some test events this month, which I understand to have gone well.
However, this is an ever-changing situation. We must be mindful that there is still a long way to go and Government could change their view or infections rate etc may dictate what we are able to do nationally or locally, and that there has as of yet been no confirmation from the Government of this 1st October date.
Once there is Government approval for fans to return, we will be required to then get approval from the local Safety Advisory Group and hold a ‘test event’ with fans at St Andrew’s.
While the return to stadiums is expected to be around 22-25% of capacity initially, which for St Andrew’s is around 7000, we will be required to operate at a lower amount of about 50% for the ‘test event’ – which we anticipate would work well with our Championship Club Membership cap of 3,500.
The approval for this event to take place is also expected to also take time, as the plans need to be approved by the Safety Advisory Group. So therefore I do warn fans that a return to stadiums may not be as soon as some media are reporting it could be.
It is also a possibility that we will only need one ‘test event’ at the Trillion Trophy St. Andrews, so that might be for either a Birmingham City game or a Coventry City game. Depending on how successful the test event is will be dependant on whether we can reach the 22-25% of capacity or not. We had initially hoped that the home game against Bournemouth on 3rd October could possibly have been our “test event”, but in view of the timescales required this now looks highly unlikely.
Initially, there are no plans for away fans to attend initially but we will review this as the wider situation develops and this approach is in line with all other Championship clubs.
Details around matchday arrangements, for example transport and parking, when fans do return to stadiums will be confirmed in due course, and will be led by the restrictions around Coronavirus in place whenever that time is.
We will try to keep fans updated as best as we can in this ever changing situation and thank you for your patience.
In the meantime our Championship Club Memberships have gone on sale and sold very well, with over 1800 sold with Season Tickets with a week to go before they become available to Members, JSBs and Match Package holders ahead of the General Sale period.
These packages include iFollow access to home games too, and information on how to redeem access to iFollow access will be sent to those fans with Season Tickets hopefully around 5 days before the first eligible game, but we’ll keep you updated.
As indicated previously the QPR game will not be on iFollow unfortunately due to it being on Sky Sports, so will not be part of the package - therefore the first iFollow game for these fans will be versus Bournemouth on 3rd October. Fans will also be able to buy a match pass for the Bristol City fixture this Saturday, and the Carabao Cup tie at Gillingham.
iFollow was used for the MK Dons Carabao Cup game and the service worked well. We sold a significant number of Match Passes too for the game, which provides important revenue to the Club.
V12 and Ticketmaster are currently working to provide the finance option for fans to buy a Championship Club Membership with Season Ticket, and again we’ll keep you updated on when this becomes available.
Elsewhere, we have seen huge sales of the home and away kits that we unveiled last month. To give an indication to you, last year we were selling around 95 shirts per day at this point – this year that is nearly double that figure!
Both kits are testament to the work we have done internally and with Hummel, again showing how important the ability to create bespoke kits to Coventry City has been to us.
Programme subscriptions are also available now, and we’re delighted to be continuing an important part of the Football Club and the matchday experience for fans despite the difficult circumstances.
Recently we have brought in Tyler Walker, Leo Ostigard and Ben Sheaf to the squad, who are all key additions to the side and add further quality to the squad.
As you can see, there is a lot of hard work going on behind-the-scenes from our staff at the Club on and off the field to make sure we are in the best possible shape for the season ahead.