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PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Sheffield Wednesday

28 January 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 Sheffield Wednesday below:

Good evening and welcome to tonight’s game as we face Sheffield Wednesday here at St Andrew’s. We also offer our usual warm welcome to the players and travelling officials of the Owls.

This is a re-arranged fixture – the original game was due to take place on Saturday 16th, but unfortunately the Sheffield Wednesday camp was hit with a bout of COVID positive tests which meant that Sheffield Wednesday sought to postpone the game.

As the world continues to battle against COVID, it has become increasingly difficult for football clubs and we at Coventry City have worked diligently to try and protect our group and the Club as a whole from the disease.

We have continued to do a voluntary PCR test throughout the winter when it was not compulsory to do so, and since the introduction of the lateral flow tests 10 days ago we are now testing 3 times a week, including the PCR test. Whilst it is difficult, we have rigorously enforced the EFL protocols and both myself and Mark Robins are united in our aim to keep everybody at the Club safe.

One suggestion in the EFL protocol (albeit not compulsory) that we have put in place is to take two coaches to away games and for players to have separate rooms (as opposed to twin rooms) when we have an overnight stay for away games. Richard Overson has supported us in providing this second coach, and we thank him for that and his ongoing support for the Club. 

We also regularly deep clean Ryton and have just purchased three machines for Ryton and the Alan Higgs Centre to have daily deep clean sprays.

All this comes at a big cost at a time when all football clubs have very little income. However it is essential that we continue to do the right things for everybody employed by the Football Club.

The EFL via the Sports Grounds Safety Authority did an inspection of Clubs’ training facilities just before Christmas to see if Clubs were complying with their protocols and taking into consideration the configuration and age of Ryton, we were highly commended for what we are doing and the steps we are taking.

We are doing everything within our capabilities to stop cases at the Club but we understand that even with these measures it could still infiltrate us, however we will continue to do all we can.

Since my last notes we have brought in Matty James and Viktor Gyökeres, and both are great additions to the squad. However, on Sunday morning we received the news that Wolves would be recalling Ryan Giles from his loan with us as he has chosen to go elsewhere.

As always, we are doing everything that we can within our budget to make the squad as strong as possible, during a difficult time financially for football due to the pandemic. I work very closely together with Mark Robins to try and achieve the balance required, and Mark completely understands and buys in to what we need to do.

Tonight is the first of three big games for us in seven days, having only played two of the scheduled four Championship games in January through no fault of our own. The re-arranging of this fixture for Wednesday night was something we fought against with the EFL (we were happy to play on the Tuesday) but were forced into the position by the EFL to accommodate a pattern of games for other clubs, and to ensure that Sheffield Wednesday did not miss the opportunity to use a midweek.

As always enjoy tonight’s game from wherever you are watching, stay safe – PUSB.

Dave


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