Representatives of the Sky Blue Trust Board met Coventry City Football Club’s new Managing Director and Executive Vice Chairman, Chris Anderson, and his colleague Kieran Crowley. This was an introductory meeting, the main aim of which was to establish an improved line of communication between the Club and the Trust and to assess the scope for future cooperation.
It was noted at the outset that all present shared the same fundamental objective - to secure a long-term successful future for CCFC. The Trust representatives expressed their appreciation for the tremendous season currently being enjoyed under the inspiring leadership of Tony Mowbray. The Trust are wholly behind the team in their quest to secure promotion to the Championship, this season, preferably without having to endure the play-offs.
The Trust representatives also thanked the Club for recent steps taken to encourage more supporters to attend matches, such as the reduction to ticket prices for the forthcoming Oldham game, and the better atmosphere at home games, caused in part by the greater concentration of City fans in the East stand.
However, they also summarised the concerns of many supporters - including the uncertainty over use of the Ricoh Arena beyond the end of the current limited agreement; longer term uncertainty over the location and size of the Club’s home stadium; difficult arrangements for the purchase of match tickets; the need for an improved experience on match days, including serious over-crowding in the concourse at the half time interval.
Chris Anderson accepted that these are all very valid concerns and confirmed that he is working to address them in due course. A key point he stressed is the need to ensure that, if and when promotion is secured to the Championship, the Club must be able to spend a budget on players which will enable the team to compete successfully in that League. Although current spending is competitive in League One, if only that budget could be spent in the higher league, the team would struggle to stay up, never mind progress further. The Trust representatives agreed that sources of finance to ensure success must be found, within the financial fair play rules. We all want success to be sustained.
There was then discussion over communications and a few steps were agreed. The Club and the Trust will keep in close contact to ensure ongoing communication on matters which are being discussed in the press and media. It was also agreed that Tony Mowbray will be invited to attend a Trust members’ Open Meeting in the New Year, to be followed soon afterwards by Chris Anderson attending a similar meeting.
The Club also asked whether the Trust would like to take part in a new initiative aimed at developing support for the Academy. The Trust representatives said they would be most happy to explore ways in which that might be done.