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 Nottingham Forest below:
Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game as we face Nottingham Forest, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras. I would like to welcome all Sky Blues fans back to the Coventry Building Society Arena on what should be a historic, memorable and quite emotional afternoon. We also offer our usual Sky Blues warm welcome to the players, officials and travelling Forest fans who are here in large numbers today. It will be magnificent to sample the atmosphere of two sets of supporters at a game for the first time in nearly 18 months for what is heading for a 20,000+ attendance. I hope everybody thoroughly enjoys their day.
It has been a long and bumpy road back to the Arena and during last season I only had two aims: to deliver the Sky Blues back to Coventry and to retain Championship status, so that our magnificent Sky Blues fans could witness today’s event.
There are numerous people to thank for achieving this and we must not forget the part that the respective club’s owners Joy Seppala and Derek Richardson directly played in achieving this, but a special thanks from me must go to Stephen Vaughan, my counterpart at Wasps, who went above and beyond what might have been expected of him to make the deal happen. The immensely positive relationship that the two clubs now has bodes very well for our future at the Arena.
On the back of signing our long-term agreement at the Arena, very quickly followed the announcement that the Coventry Building Society would be the new naming rights partner for the stadium. I believe that everybody in the City feels that they are a great fit for the stadium, Wasps and ourselves, and having met with their CEO Steve Hughes and their senior management team I am convinced that they will deliver great support for the local community as part of this agreement.
Everybody at the Club was desperately saddened to hear the news of the passing of Club legend George Curtis. 543 appearances for the Club, playing and captaining the side through the divisions, and then playing a major part in running the Club from 1972 to 1994, including being part of the management team that led City to FA Cup victory in 1987, earns him the absolute right to forever be a Sky Blues legend. Many former players and staff who were at the Club during George’s time are here today, along with members of George’s family as guests of the Club, and there will be a minute’s silence to honour him prior to kick-off.
Last week we broke the magical 10,000 barrier for Season Ticket sales, a figure that we’ve achieved only once since 1969. This is a testimony to the belief that supporters have in the Club returning to the City, Mark Robins and his team. Unfortunately, we have had major third-party issues in connectivity between Ticketmaster (our ticketing partners) and Fortress (who operate the stadium entry system). This has been an on-going issue for three weeks, which has resulted in us having to post paper tickets to Season Ticket holders for this game, due to the production times needed for Cards. However, the issue is now resolved and Phase 1 ‘Ricoh Return’ Members will receive their Cards prior to the Reading game, and Phase 2 and Season Ticket holders will receive their Cards post the Reading game. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused for supporters and whilst I have personally been overseeing the situation, it has been very frustrating because the situation was beyond both our and the stadium’s control and in the hands of the two third parties.
I hope that everybody enjoys this afternoon’s game – PUSB and thank you for your support.