COVENTRY City have a new slogan – ‘Rise Together’ – in the push for back-to-back promotions, team boss Mark Robins has stated in a letter to fans.
The letter is part of the annual push for early sales of season tickets, which Robins makes clear will determine the player budget for League One.
Coventry’s spending budget for the team for the successful League Two promotion season just ended was around £2million.
It is understood it was slightly more – around £2.25million – in the previous season when the Sky Blues had four managers and were relegated from the third tier of the English football pyramid that they have now bounced back into at the first time of asking.
In his letter, Robins re-interates his key message of recent days that the club cannot “rest on our laurels”, and he wants a competitive budget to push for promotion to the Championship.
The Observer understands discussions are ongoing as to the precise player budget, in a climate where the club is more or less breaking even – with spending not exceeding income, and less reliance on borrowing.
The business model also means there is less reliance on selling players than previously and Sky Blues chief executive Dave Boddy has re-interated the club does not want to sell its best playing talent.
As ever though, should any player want to leave it is difficult at any club to stand in their way, he added.
There has been interest from bigger clubs for some time for academy graduate Tom Bayliss, the 19-year-old midfield revelation of the season.
The club has seen windfalls from the FA Cup run and by reaching the League Two play-offs.
The club also hopes for a significant slice – worth several million pounds – from any estimated £25million sale of former young talent James Maddison by Norwich City to a Premership club.
But those monies from Maddison’s ‘sell-on clause’ – when he signed for Norwich from the Sky Blues two years ago – will include deferred payments in future years.
Robins’ letter states: “I wanted to write to our supporters in the aftermath of the incredibly emotional scenes on our bus parade through the streets of Coventry and Civic Reception at St Mary’s Guildhall following our promotion back to League One, and share with you the emotions we are feeling and the desire we have to repeat this again.
It was a fantastic experience for all of us to see thousands upon thousands of people on the parade route in Coventry, creating a sea of Sky Blue together from Ryton right into the City Centre. Whether they were in their windows, gardens or driveways, or gathered on roads, at pubs or in public squares, the reception that the community gave to the promotion winning squad and staff was fantastic and we are very grateful for that.
This showed again the support which this Club has out there and the desire which you have for our Club to a successful one. It has been a truly incredible few days for myself and the players and staff at Coventry City but more importantly for the supporters and the City, who travelled in huge numbers down to Wembley too.
To bring you the promotion that you greatly deserve has been an enormous pleasure and privilege for us.
We have seen this season the re-connection between the players and our supporters, and I think that relationship is the best it has been here for a very long time.
There is an energy and positivity around the club we want to continue and take into next season, as we continue to build the bonds and relationships for our club to be successful together.
There is much work behind-the-scenes from staff at the club to continue this, including at Sky Blues in the Community and our successful Academy, which recently agreed a long-term deal to remain at the Alan Higgs Centre. Community Day was a huge success, with over 28,000 tickets sold or given to our local community, and the Club will continue in with efforts such as this next season.
We must not rest on our laurels. We will be looking to improve the squad again, as we did last summer, to push on and challenge at the top of League One. We want to bring you more great days like the ones that you have enjoyed this week, as well as the other memorable occasions this season such as the matches against Notts County, wins over Cheltenham and Luton or our FA Cup run.
I have made no secret of my desire to see a packed Ricoh Arena week-in, week-out supporting the team together. Your support, always dedicated, unflinching and vocal, can make a huge difference to the lads.
In the 2017/18 campaign, we had around 4,500 Season Ticket holders. After taking 37,000 to Wembley and the support on the streets this week, we want to increase this massively as we head into League One.
We run the Club very much on an even keel – what revenue we generate as a Club is what we can spend. Therefore, the sale of Season Tickets makes a massive difference to our recruitment and what we are able to do.
In the Standard Zone, adults are £322 (or £14 per game) while JSB Under 13s are free, and Season Tickets can be purchased at eticketing.co.uk/CCFC or by calling 0844 453 9134. The deadline for the second Early Bird period is set to be midnight on Sunday 3rd June.
Our slogan ‘Rise Together’ is an ethos which runs through the Club. It is how we want to approach everything that we do. Whether that is on the field or off it, players or supporters, working together we can achieve anything.
Your support will be crucial as we continue to build a club that you and the wider community can be proud of and give you all more memorable moments next season and in the future.”