Due to the ongoing COVID situation, Coventry City will be taking steps to ensure the safety of players in the coming weeks on matchdays and non-matchdays.
We are delighted to have supporters back in stadiums and can’t wait to be playing in front of Sky Blues fans again, starting on Saturday at Cheltenham and then back at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Supporters will be aware of the concerns within the Club of players testing positive for COVID-19, and consequently then having to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. We had a number of positive tests ahead of our pre-season training camp in Spain, which led to the postponement of the first-team friendly at Leamington FC and those players not travelling to the training camp.
We have since had a number of positive tests for players throughout the Club at first-team, Under 23s and Under 18s level. This has severely disrupted the pre-season training and fitness of the players concerned, and our overall preparations.
In an effort to try and mitigate further players testing positive and to give Mark Robins and his staff the best opportunity to prepare for the first Championship game of the season at home to Nottingham Forest, it will be necessary to change the way that our players interact with fans on matchdays in the short-term to ensure the health of the squad.
We therefore unfortunately ask that fans do not ask players for autographs, photos or selfies at either home or away games.
Players and management staff will also not be making any appearances on matchdays around the stadium until further notice.
The interaction between our supporters and players has been very important to the Club, especially in recent years, however we hope that our fans understand our reasons for this and we are keen to return to normal as soon as is safely possible.
Unfortunately, players and management staff appearances on non-matchdays in the local community will also continue to be suspended.
Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy said:
“Over the last few years, the interaction between players and fans has been integral and special in re-building the link between supporters and their Club.
“As we continue to deal with pandemic as England begins to open up, unfortunately in the short-term we have to take these measures due to the level of interaction our players would have on a ‘normal’ matchday and the number of supporters in attendance.
“I hope our fans will understand the reasons for this, and like us will be looking forward to a return to our old ways of doing things as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Manager Mark Robins added:
“It is important that we take precautions to protect the health of players as we much as we are able to do so. Players continue to undergo regular testing for COVID as part of our protocols.
“Interaction on matchdays is really important to us, but in the current climate does bring some risks so we felt it necessary to mitigate against this in the short-term as cases around the country increase, to protect the players and their availability as much as possible.
“We hope that we will be able to return to normal soon and again meet our fans, whose support is vital to us.”
Coventry City’s mascot packages will continue to be suspended for this reason, as current EFL guidelines would mean the mascot would not be able to interact with players as part of the experience.
When mascots are able to return again, we will firstly allocate places to mascots who were affected by the curtailment of the 2019/20 season and the cancellation of those games. Details regarding the availability of mascot places will then be confirmed - please do not contact the Club regarding mascots places ahead of this information being confirmed.