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 Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup below:
Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game as we face Derby County here at the Coventry Building Society Arena this afternoon. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Sky Blues fans a happy new year.
I would also like to welcome the players, officials and supporters who join us from Derby today. The Third Round of the FA Cup is always a special weekend in the football calendar. This is a special competition which means a lot to the Football Club and our supporters following the famous victory in 1987 and the competition is this year celebrating its 150th anniversary. Of course, the FA Cup will also bring back memories of John Sillett and George Curtis, who we sadly lost last year.
I propose to dedicate these notes to looking back at 2021, which saw lots of highs for the Sky Blues. 2021 began where it left off in 2020, with the country in lockdown and us playing behind-closed-doors. Our first game was away at Millwall, where we picked up a very comfortable 2-1 win with an outstanding performance. January saw the first postponement we had due to COVID, when the Sheffield Wednesday game was postponed. This was re-arranged for the back end of the month which resulted in us playing three games in five days. When the game was eventually played we won 2-0 at St Andrew’s, to keep the battle against relegation going.
We continued to pick valuable points up through February, but by the end of the month we were still in 20th position. A home 1-0 win over Derby County on 6th March was followed by the news that all Sky Blues fans had been waiting for and dreaming of for a long time, as on 10th March we announced that a long-term deal had been done to see us returning to what was then the Ricoh Arena.
The Club had secured its future by signing a 10-year agreement. Whilst still under COVID restrictions, we put a Ricoh Return Membership on sale with Season Ticket, which was initially restricted to 8000, of which all were sold relatively quickly. This was further extended to a second phase of 10,000, which again quickly sold out, showing the euphoria and passion that our wonderful supporters placed in us returning to the City. Season Tickets would continue to grow to the best ever total since 1969/70, as we currently head to the 11,500 mark.
The season continued to have its ups and downs, but three back-to-back wins against Rotherham, Barnsley and Stoke City in April virtually assured that we would retain our Championship status and we did that in the penultimate game of the season, collecting a point at Huddersfield Town before a rousing final game at St Andrew’s ending in a resounding 6-1 victory over Millwall and lifted us to a very credible 16th place finish, which was our highest finish in the Championship since the 2005/06 season.
Our first game of the 21/22 season was fittingly back at the newly named Coventry Building Society Arena, when in front of the Sky cameras we witnessed an incredible finish with Kyle McFadzean scoring a 95th minute winner in front of a crowd of nearly 21,000, with fans back in the stadium and the Arena was rocking.
5 home wins on the bounce followed our success against Forest, and the Arena has continued to rock all season. For most of the season we have occupied a place in the Play-Off positions, which brings the end to a satisfying year for the Sky Blues.
As we face our first game of 2022 today, it is a year that we can look forward to and look forward to continuing our progress on and off the field. I wish all Sky Blues supporters the best for the year ahead, enjoy the game.