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PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Preston North End

28 February 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 Preston North End below:

Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game as we face Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship.

I would also like to welcome the players, staff, officials and fans from Preston to the Coventry Building Society Arena, in particular Peter Risdale and his fellow directors.

It is also nice to welcome to today’s game Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, along with Allan Andrews, his senior advisor. It was well documented at the time we announced our return to the Coventry Building Society Arena nearly 12 months ago now that Andy and Allan played a significant role in bringing the two parties together. For this, I would like to publicly thank them both again.

I am sure all Sky Blues fans will agree with me that it has been a fairly momentous season so far since returning to Coventry, with exciting football and an average league attendance since we’ve been back of 19,196, which is currently 7th in the division, and an amazing atmosphere being created by the Sky Blue Army.

After Tuesday night’s win at Bristol City, I would like to take this chance to praise all of the fans that were there and made the midweek trip to Ashton Gate – your support was outstanding from start to finish, singing throughout the game and behind the team all the way.

Today is our Level Playing Field game. The campaign works with Clubs and supporters to improve the facilities and experience for disabled supporters at football and other sporting events. The ‘weeks of action’ aims to showcase the good work being done by clubs and organisations to improve accessibility and inclusion across all sports. We are delighted to support the campaign, especially at a time when we are looking to improve the experience for all fans, including our disabled supporters – with the appointment of our Supporter Services Officer Jodie Jones and also the opening last week of our new Sensory Room, which is a facility where adults and children with autism and other disabilities can watch the action whilst being shielded from loud noise and bright lights. We would like thank Wasps and the Coventry Building Society Arena for making this available to us and Sky Blues in the Community for working with us on this too, as their staff will be running this on matchdays for us.

At today’s game we are also remembering supporters who have passed away since our last memorial game earlier this season. While it is a sad occasion, it is important that we as a Club remember and pay tribute to those supporters who are sadly no longer with us, but will always remain part of the Sky Blue family. They will be remembered in this programme and on the scoreboard, while our Club Chaplain Kieran Joseph will conduct a short service in the Memorial Garden for fans, whether of any faith or no faith, to celebrate and remember life.

Although I touched on the topic against Barnsley, we held our first #HerGameToo female fans forum at the Sky Blue Tavern last Thursday night, the aim of which is about fostering an ethos in football in which women are welcomed and respected equally. The forum was really enlightening with, apart from myself, an all female attendance and the discussions held were really positive and gives me the opportunity to review the way that the Club operates from the perspective of our female fans. It was the first time that we have managed to have face-to-face engagement with a group of supporters for a long period of time, and I look forward to the day that we can regularly recommence fan engagement of this type.

Enjoy the game as always, PUSB.

Dave


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