10 Mar 2022
Update from the Coventry Supporters Forum including answers to some of your questions
After a long wait, the Sky Blue finally able to host a Supporter's Forum which our chairman, Dave Eyles gladly attended.
A HUGE thankyou to members who were able to share questions with us, we managed to get a couple off during the session - see below to see if your questions were fully answered.
Coventry City Supporters Forum
Minutes of the meeting on the 3rd of March 2022 @ 5.00pm
1. Apologies for absence
Dave Boddy (DB)
Mark Hornby (MH)
Chris Halliday (CH)
Gordon Dando (GD)
Ray Stephens (RS)
Steve Maloney (SM)
Steve Harding (SH)
Laura Hartley (LH)
Dave Eyles (DE)
Kevin Greenfield (KG)
3. Discussion on submitted questions to Dave Boddy
Q1. Will the owners be able to agree a competitive budget for 2022/23 without significant player sales?
Model for CCFC has always included player sales/trades to improve the playing squad. If we don’t trade, we will not progress in adding funds to the playing budget and thus strengthening the squad. The Club would never under sell a player and has not done so in my tenure. This has always been the policy, but should not be interpreted that we would be looking to sell players in the Summer transfer window, and that will always be dictated by market conditions.
Q1b Will the funds generated from selling players go 100% into improving the playing squad?
Money generated goes back into the funding of the Club. DB gave several examples where this has happened.
Q2. How much of an impact will the improvements required at Ryton have on the playing budget?
None. There will be no significant further investment, as the longer-term aim is to invest in a new training ground, i.e. laying new pitches. We will continue to invest in equipment, people and resources at the training ground.
Q2a. Will the Warwick University development include the first team training ground?
This has not been ruled out. However, other sites have been identified for the 1st team training ground. If anybody were to train at the University long-term, it is more likely that the Academy would be based there. However, there has been no discussion with the University about basing any training facilities at the University.
Q2b Does the club have any comments on the current state of the playing surface this season? Are there plans to improve the playing surface for next season?
The current pitch was in excellent condition prior to Christmas. With a heavy loading of rugby games either side of Christmas, the pitch has deteriorated in late January. The good news is there will be a significant renovation of the playing surface ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Q3. Is there any news on season ticket prices for 2022/23?
Yes. There is a Board call tomorrow (Friday) to sign-off the numbers for 2022/23. Season Tickets should be on sale in 7 - 10 days. The prices of the season tickets will remain very competitive.
Q4. Can the club clarify the positive impact record season ticket sales have had on this season?
Record season ticket sales for 2021/22 have helped to reduce the loss the club will make this season. Season ticket sales are the life blood of the club. The club’s new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is helping the club to work with the current 11,500 season ticket holders. Season ticket growth helped with increases in food and beverage sales for 2021/22. The target for 2022/23 is to hit the current season actual numbers of 11,555 and hopefully grow beyond that number.
Q5. Is there a reason for the lack of special offers on match tickets sales? Are there any plans to have any offers before the end of the season?
The new CRM system enables the club to target offers to specific supporters based on their attendance patterns etc. It is unlikely that Season Ticket holders will have been contacted as part of these marketing campaigns. There have been several campaigns run over the season so far that have been successful targeting supporters, including on the number of games attended. The club also wants to reward loyalty, so in future there will be offers for regular attendees as well and Season Ticket holders. Probably no specific match package for the final games, as the Club is already offering targeted offers to supporters based on their data.
Q6. Are there any plans to improve the queuing at the turnstiles for 2022/23?
The club is always trying to improve stewarding operations both outside and inside the stadium. Larger crowds unfortunately lead to longer queues to access the stadium on match days. It was pointed out that many supporters currently try to access their seats via the block numbers on their season ticket or match ticket even when busy. It is not fully understood by fans that they can enter via any turnstiles not just the turnstile number printed on the ticket. Hopefully this will be communicated more frequently on match days to help improve the queuing time. Overall, most fans on the call found the queuing times acceptable, but it was noted that it did really depend on how early/late you arrive at the stadium.
Q7. The fence running down the left-hand side of car park B appears to be creating more problems than it solves.
The current police position is they will not hold back away fans after the game. If more room is required to walk down the left-hand side, the club can look at this. The Police and matchday safety operation team both believe the fence and its location in Car Park B has been a very successful way to keep away supporters clear of our home supporters and ensure Sky Blues fans’ safety. We understand the issues for some parking in Car Park B and would probably look at relocating home supporters from this Car Park next season.
Q8. Observations from many supporters is that drug taking has increased inside the stadium this season. What are the club’s plans to address this?
The club, safety operations and the police are aware of the issue. Ultimately it the responsibility of the police to manage this on match days but the club is working hard with the authorities to improve the situation. Members of the group confirmed that this issue was happening at away games and home games and impacts on supporter’s match day experience.
Q9. Feedback from fans using the train and bus services from the city Centre to the stadium is that the transport system is very poor. What is the club view on this?
It was noted that West Midlands Trains have recently re-installed the two-carriage train between Nuneaton and Coventry. This was not seen as a real benefit due to the train size in relation to the number of people wanting to use the service. DB encouraged members of the group to lobby the relevant authorities and elected representatives for improved transport links to the stadium.
Dhillons (Sky Blue Tavern) - the pricing of the return ticket is an issue for some supporters. The group agreed to circulate the Dhillons, and the Albany club offers, to and from their venues, for next season more widely. The Club may be able to add this information to the match day guide.
Q10. Are there any plans to improve half time entertainment for 2022/23?
Due to Covid protocols, access to the pitch has been restricted this season, so no entertainment has been possible this season. Hopefully this will be back for next season.
4. HerGameToo – Laura Hartley
Laura led a short discussion on the ‘HerGameToo’ movement, her role as the Coventry Ambassador, and the recent Q&A held with Dave Boddy. (Minutes of which are on the CCFC website). The Luton Town game on Tuesday the 8th of March has been designated as a ‘HerGameToo’ game with the club.
All members of the group felt that the ‘HerGameToo’ initiative was an excellent new initiative. Members committed to share the HerGameToo information with their memberships. Laura was also invited to join the group permanently.