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 Millwall below:
Good evening and welcome to the Coventry Building Society Arena for this Championship fixture against Millwall.
We would like to extend that warm welcome to the players, officials and supporters of Millwall who join us here tonight.
Today sees the introduction for the first time at a home game for us of the implementation of the Government’s COVID Pass for entry to the stadium, following the postponement of the game against Stoke City. It was disappointing that the game was postponed, especially as it was our last one before Christmas. There are challenges for Clubs and the wider public generally, and further protocols have been introduced by the EFL and ourselves at Ryton to seek to protect players.
The introduction of the COVID Pass will be a challenge for our matchday operation and supporters alike, and it will also be a challenge across the whole of the sporting world. We would ask you to be patient and respectful to the implementation, for the benefit of everybody who attends fixtures. Today will be a big learning curve for our operation and no doubt we won’t get all aspects of it right at the first attempt, so please bear with us as the lessons are learnt and the operation evolves. We thank you for your co-operation.
The magic of the FA Cup draw brought us a home tie against Derby County in the Third Round. Supporters will be aware of the crowd trouble that happened both inside and outside the stadium for the Championship fixture here back in October. As a result of the problems that day, we have worked tirelessly with both the West Midlands Police and the Arena matchday operation to improve and try to put measures in place to avoid replication of the issues we had, which had the effects that we desired for the recent high profile against Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.
Because the Derby game is so recent, working with the Police and the Arena, we have had to take the precautions we all feel necessary to try and reduce the risk of a repeat. As such the fixture is an all-ticket game, with no pay on the day for either sets of fans, and we have closed blocks 14 and 15 as part of those measures. The actions of a small minority have made it necessary to take this approach to this game.
Supporters will be aware that Half Season Tickets are valid from tonight’s game. Season Tickets will remain on sale currently and are the still cheapest option for supporters to watch the Sky Blues in the second half of the campaign. We have already seen a big uptake as we continue to see fans flocking to the Arena to support Mark Robins and the team, and we look forward to welcoming those fans tonight.
As we head into the New Year, we can look back fondly on 2021 with lots of positives for the Football Club, while it has also been a challenging period too for us and supporters. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everybody at the Club to wish all of our supporters a very happy New Year.