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 Blackpool below:
Good afternoon and welcome to today’s game as we play Blackpool in the Sky Bet Championship.
I would also like to welcome the players, staff, officials and supporters who join us here at the Coventry Building Society Arena today from Blackpool.
At today’s game we are delighted to welcome Tommy Hutchison as our guest with the Formers Players Association. Tommy is a true Coventry City legend, playing 355 games for the Sky Blues after joining from Blackpool in 1972 and also scoring 33 times. He also played nearly 200 games for Blackpool and it is entirely appropriate that he is our guest this afternoon.
He will be in our Club Shop before the game signing copies of his new book and will also be in the hospitality lounges this afternoon, where he will take part in a Q&A with our matchday host and another former player – Harry Roberts.
Our matchday restaurant experience has been great this season, with fantastic three-course dining in the restaurant and a really positive matchday experience for supporters in our lounges. The post-match Man of the Match interviews have returned to our lounges following the relaxation of COVID restrictions, and the reception that has been given to players after games has been brilliant and it has allowed fans of all ages to meet the players, as well as getting autographs and photos too.
Working with our Former Players Association, we have been able to get guests such as Tommy back, with others such as Carlton Palmer visiting in recent weeks – his first visit back to Coventry City as a matchday guest since he left the Club around the turn of the century.
Former Players are also visiting the Family Zone as well, joining the current players from our first-team and Under 21s squads in heading to the Zone to meet fans on matchdays. For our Under 21s, it is often the first ‘community visit’ that they have undertaken as a young professional footballer and we see this is an important part of their development as players and also people.
Fans will also have spotted that we have had local teams participating in group experiences on matchdays again this season, who also get to meet players. They also get to wave the flags as players coming onto the pitch before the game, which is a something unique that we are able to offer by continuing to work closely with Sky Blues in the Community.
Sky Blues in the Community, who I’m proud to be a trustee of, are here today highlighting their work around mental health, which is such an important topic for all of us nowadays and an area they do excellent work on for men and women of all ages, alongside their other brilliant projects across sport, health, education and inclusion.
Elsewhere, we have been delighted to see the return of child mascots. We are currently working through the backlog of cancelled mascots from the 2019/20 season, before being able to make this fantastic experience available to current Junior Sky Blues members again. There will be details on our website and social media before the end of the year about how JSBs can secure their place.
By working with various groups and volunteers, we are making sure that we continue to be a true ‘Community Club’ for all ages, reflective of and embedded in our local area and ensuring fans of all ages are engaged with their Club.
Thank you for your continued support – enjoy the game. PUSB