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PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Barnsley

20 April 2021

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 our game against Barnsley below:

Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game as we face Barnsley here at St Andrew’s in the Sky Bet Championship.

I would also like to welcome the players, staff and officials who join us from Barnsley this afternoon.

On behalf of the Club, I would also like to express our condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family following the death of The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip opened the Sky Blue Connexion complex in 1980, when it was owned by the Football Club, and that was one of many events he attended in Coventry and Warwickshire. His contribution in supporting the Queen and to the country was huge and he will be sadly missed.

It was widely reported last week on the back of another Championship club leaking confidential information that we have been placed under transfer embargo. The Club, like nine other clubs in the Championship who were also embargoed, have taken advantage of the Government’s offer to all companies to be able to delay submitting their annual accounts to Companies House by three months, to enable auditors an extended period to collate the necessary information – something the EFL has also taken advantage of with their own accounts.

We were amazed to find out that we were being placed under embargo and fail to understand why the EFL have not temporarily amended their rules to follow the Government’s amended submission dates when the EFL has amended other financial rules, including not placing clubs under embargo for failure to make PAYE payments! The Club will be submitting its annual accounts well within the extended three-month period, and ahead of the next transfer window opening, and at which point the embargo will be lifted.

In my last notes, I updated fans on the Ricoh Return Membership and by way of a further update, at the time of writing our sales were over 7,300 of the 8,000 ceiling we set on Memberships, which represents 25% of the Ricoh Arena capacity. Following a further EFL call last week, it still appears unlikely that sport will be able to return to full capacity attendances before October/November.

Sporting organisations, including the EFL, are investigating how a Covid certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing. They have last week written to all Westminster’s political leaders expressing their desire to see this and how this may be achieved.

There are many issues to be addressed including how the technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organisers. They have agreed that the process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test alongside vaccination certification. This would mean fans who choose not to have the vaccine are not discriminated against.

They have also agreed that the final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria. There is much work that will be required behind the scenes by the Government and the sporting organisations, and we will of course keep supporters up to date regarding this and how it will affect them as much as we are able to.

Thank you for your support as always – PUSB.

Dave


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