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Club News

PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Cardiff City

30 December 2022

Club News

PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Cardiff City

30 December 2022

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 from our game against Cardiff City below:

Good evening and welcome to the Coventry Building Society Arena, as we face Cardiff City tonight in our final game of 2022.

I would also like to welcome the players, staff, officials and supporters who join us from Cardiff for this evening’s game.

As we face our final game of the year tonight and begin to look ahead to what we hope will be a prosperous 2023, it is always a time to reflect on the last twelve months. There is no doubt that it has been an eventful year for Coventry City, with much going on at the Football Club.

Firstly, I would like to thank Sky Blues fans for their devoted and loyal support. At home, you have made the Arena a stadium with a fantastic atmosphere, in my opinion up there with the best in the championsip, and helped to spur on Mark Robins and the team. Away from home, you regularly out-sing the home fans and travel countless miles backing the side. You’ve also purchased Season Tickets in historic, record numbers – a feat which shows the passion you have for this Club and is hugely important to us.

You have also purchased the home, away and third shirts, as well as our goalkeeper kits, in huge numbers too. Through our design process, both internal and working with Hummel, we created what we believe are iconic kits which are truly reflective of our Club, our City and its history. In November, our retail partner went into administration and that has posed huge challenges for us, but we look forward to continuing to grow our retail operation, which has generated huge revenues, and to creating more fantastic kit designs.

There have been other difficult challenges this year, which we have faced head on. Fans will know that we were left with a pitch at the Arena that was unsafe and unplayable for our first games of the season, following the broken promises of a new pitch by Wasps. The debacle they caused - and the cashflow problems, reputational damage and inconvenience they created for the Football Club - should have been an indication to us all of the financial plight they were facing.

Come October, they and the Arena would plunge into administration. We were faced with uncertainty about where we would play our home games before the World Cup break due to the real risk of liquidation and the doors being closed. There would be more uncertainty earlier this month, however we were pleased to sign a licence with Frasers Group, new owners of the Arena, until the end of May 2023. We will commence amicable talks with Frasers Group with a view to agreeing a longer-term licence for the Club to play at the Arena.

On the pitch, Mark Robins, the players and staff continue to put in a huge amount of work and I would like to thank them all for their effort and dedication. There have been many memorable performances and great victories during this calendar year, and it is a delight to watch us play such entertaining football. Our 21-22 Championship finish of 12th, was our highest finished since the 2005-06 season.

Meanwhile, young players through the age groups continue to develop positively at our Academy in the Coventry City ethos and approach. In May our Under 23s side won the PDL Cup with victory over Bristol City, while the Under 16s and Under 18s reached the Professional Development League Cup Finals for the first ever time. I would like to pay tribute to Dan Bolas and all of the Academy staff.

Elsewhere, the team at Sky Blues in the Community continue their excellent work across a range of ages and projects in Coventry and Warwickshire. The Club’s media presence is engaging with many more fans locally, nationally and internationally, and there are improvements in many other areas – hospitality is sold out in a number of lounges, our dining experience is receiving praise, commercial partnerships are being extended and our wider matchday experience for fans, especially young supporters, continues to develop.

I am proud of the work that the Football Club and its staff does, often in trying circumstances and within limited resources, and I would like to thank them for all of their hard work and dedication.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Sky Blues fans a happy new year and thank you for your continued support.

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