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Club News

PUSB: 'From The Board' versus West Bromwich Albion

22 December 2022

Club News

PUSB: 'From The Board' versus West Bromwich Albion

22 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 West Bromwich Albion below:

Good evening and welcome to the Coventry Building Society Arena as we face West Bromwich Arena in our final Sky Bet Championship fixture before Christmas.

I would also like to welcome the players, staff, officials and supporters who join us this evening at the Arena from West Brom for what is always an eagerly anticipated local derby.

As we enter the festive period, as always we go into a busy period of fixtures in the football calendar – this being the second of four home games out of five, and one of our games in hand over virtually every other team in the division. This fixture was postponed in September due the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Supporters will now be aware that we were able to re-open our Club Shop at the Arena on Friday afternoon last week, having been closed since the 23rd November due to the Elite Group, who owned the Hummel licence rights in the UK, going into administration. We were one of nine clubs in England affected by this position and we worked tirelessly with the administrators to try and re-open the store in time for Sky Blues fans to get their Christmas purchases.

Our situation was more complex than that of other clubs but we achieved this last week, probably a week behind most other clubs.

Re-opening all facets of the operation, including the online facility, was further complicated by the need to involve two other third parties in the fulfillment. One of these provides the online Club Shop and till and card merchant systems. It is not a quick process setting up with a new card merchandiser, hence the issues we had with card payments late on Friday and on Saturday. The online element of the shop should be re-opened within the next seven working days, but sadly not in time for Christmas.

One of our priorities was to fulfil the outstanding online orders that were left in the ether during the period of time from which Elite Group went into administration, with over 600 paid for but unfulfilled orders.

Through the other third party who provide the logistics for delivery of the online goods, we have managed to get these orders fulfilled in time for Christmas at the football club’s cost, as the revenues from these orders had already gone to Elite Group.

I would like to apologise to all of our supporters who have been inconvenienced by the closure of the Club Shop due to circumstances completely beyond our control, and hope that the re-opening of the Arena shop has helped to alleviate some of this disappointment. We were unable to re-open the shop in the West Orchards Shopping Centre due to further logistical reasons, but it is something that we will review in the New Year as the shop had proved popular since opening in July.

We will now run our own retail operation for the remainder of the season and are in the process of looking for a new technical partner for the 2023/24 season.

It remains for me to wish all Sky Blues supporters and our sponsors and partners a very Happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you again at the Arena next Thursday when we face Cardiff City.

Enjoy the game – PUSB. Dave

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