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Batchelor Agrees City Takeover - YCST to be Involved

York City Supporters' Trust proclaim the acquisition of York City Football Club by John Batchelor as a victory for City fans and the York community

Whilst the Trust has now achieved another of its initial objectives - to save the Club - the role of the Trust is far from over. Under its agreement with Batchelor, not only will the Trust have ownership of 25.1% of the Club, but through the appointment of two of its representatives as Board Directors the supporters and the community will play an integral role in the future running of the Club.

Graham Ibbetson, Chair of the Trust, hailed it as a great day for the City of York:
"The true supporters of York City have now helped deliver a brighter future for professional sport in York. We thank John Batchelor for his leadership and efforts over recent weeks and we now look forward to working with him to help run the Club. The Club needs a massive culture change such that in the future it works more closely with the supporters, the community, the Council, local schools and businesses. A Club that the fans and the City can be proud of."

Trust representatives will be meeting again with Batchelor next week to agree more details of their working relationship going forward and to review the business and financial planning implications of the acquisition agreement.

The Save City Campaign 'kicked off' at the beginning of January with the assistance of the Evening Press and the Trust was formed just six weeks ago. The Campaign has been hugely successful, generating an enormous amount of media coverage, a night to remember at the Trust's Barbican launch, about 1,500 Trust members signed up already, approaching 100,000 raised directly by the fans and generally creating a positive backdrop that has helped bring about the change of ownership.

Paul Rawnsley, a City supporter who helped 'kick-off' the Save City Campaign and who is now Vice- Chair of the Trust, commented on the victory:
"We've done it. We, the supporters, have helped save OUR Club. A huge amount of organisation and hard work has gone into the Campaign and everyone should be proud of the achievements. However, the hard work is not over. In the future the new York City will be seeking more support than ever before from the fans, the community, the Council and local businesses."

Over the past few weeks Batchelor and the Trust have set out that a new stadium is an absolutely key requirement for the future viability of the Club. Not only will a new stadium provide the basis for financial improvements for the Club, it will also be a major community, leisure and business asset for the City of York. Batchelor and the Trust have been working with the Council over recent weeks to progress the plans and will now continue this process.

The Trust is a non-profit making legal entity that has a number of defined aims. The principal aim of the Trust is to benefit the community. It is run democratically and its first AGM will be held in May. The Trust's board, and the its representatives who will be Board directors of York City, are obliged to conduct themselves in such a way to achieve the Trust's aims.. Over the next few weeks and months the Trust, together with John Batchelor, will be seeking to establish a change of culture at the Club. The Trust wants to help build a stronger and more successful York City. A Club that embraces its relationships with the supporters, the community, the Council, local schools and businesses. Only on this basis can the Club improve its financial performance, a requirement for future survival.

Sophie McGill, a prominent figure throughout the Save City Campaign, and now media spokesperson for the Trust commented:
"What the fans have achieved is fantastic. Together with John, the Trust will now be looking to establish a medium to long term business plan for the Club that integrates the supporter and community relationships with business objectives. Through the Trust, the supporters will now own 25.1% of the Club and have a big part to play in how the Club is run in the future. That's why it is still important for more people to continue to join up as Trust members."

Trust membership continues to be available. Annual membership is just 10 (5 for under 16s, affiliated through the Junior Reds) or 100 for life. Local businesses are also being encouraged to make any contribution they see fit. Money raised by the Trust will be used in ways to benefit the Club's links with the community and young supporters in particular. Some of the money will be used to acquire the Trust's 25.1% stake in the Club and in that way the members of the Trust effectively own part of York City Football Club. Membership forms are available on the Trust's website at or copies of the form and the Trust's launch brochure can be sent to people by emailing a request to or by writing to York City Supporters' Trust, PO Box 540, York, YO10 3XW.

The immense success of the Save City Campaign over the past three months has not been solely due to the Working Party and the Trust. The way in which a broad spectrum of City fans have united for the cause, together with the support of the Evening Press, has helped create the positive backdrop such that a deal to save the Club has been secured. As well as general positive support from young and old City fans, numerous people have helped organise fundraising, campaigning and community events.

Steve Ovenden, a.k.a. City mascot Yorkie and a key figure in the Save City Campaign and the Trust, offered a big 'thank you' to City fans:
"The fans deserve great credit for the way in which they have united and acted positively over the past few weeks, in particular given the circumstances that brought about this crisis. The Supporters' Trust, John Batchelor and the Club needs everyone's support over the next few weeks, months and years and I hope we can build a new Club to be really proud of.

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