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Representing the Fans and the Community

The process is well underway to select the first two representatives of fans and the community to serve as directors of York City Football Club.

Under its agreement with new Chairman John Batchelor, not only will the Supporters' Trust have ownership of 25.1% of the Club, but through the appointment of at least two of its representatives to the Club's Board of Directors the fans and the community will play an integral role in the future running of the Club.

Paul Rawnsley, a City supporter who helped 'kick-off' the Save City Campaign and who is now Vice-Chair of the Trust, was keen to point out that there is much hard work to be done in the future:

"Whilst we have secured the immediate future of the Club, there is still a lot of hard work to be done to build a new Club that we can all be proud of. Through the Trust, the supporters and the community have a big part to play in how the Club is run in the future. The two Trust representatives will help deliver the Club's new business objectives and integrate that with supporter and community relationships."

The first two Trust representatives to be directors of the Club are being selected from the thirty or so fans on the Save City Working Party. Largely, these are the fans who volunteered their time and commitment to the Save City Campaign at the beginning of January and since then have worked hard to help deliver the hugely successful launch of the Trust and the campaign to save the Club. At the same time, Trust representatives are keen to emphasise that credit is due to a broad spectrum of City fans who have united for the cause and helped create the positive backdrop such that a deal to save the Club has been secured.

This week eight fans have been nominated by fellow Trust members to stand to be one of the two Trust representatives to be directors of York City Football Club. The Trust's own Board will meet this Saturday prior to the Kidderminster game and the eight fans will be whittled down to two by way of a vote by the Board members. To assist the selection process, a broad criteria for the role has been outlined.

In order to select the first two representatives it has been neither necessary nor practical to organise an election for all voting Trust members in the space of the last few days. All fifteen of the initial Trust Board members will effectively resign their positions in May 2002 when the Trust holds its first democratic elections and A.G.M. At that time, every eligible Trust member will have both the opportunity to stand for election and the opportunity to vote for who they wish to see on the Trust Board. The Trust has engaged the services of the Electoral Reform Society to help handle the election and the process will 'kick-off' at the beginning of April.

Richard Willis, the Trust Secretary who has organised the selection process, explained:
"The Supporters' Trust is simply the legal entity through which the fans and the community democratically exercise their voice and their power. The Trust representatives who will serve as directors of the Club will work to achieve the Trust's principal aim to benefit the community. There is a lot of work to be done at the Club and hopefully it starts immediately."

Under their initial agreement with Batchelor, the Trust's ownership stake and director governance will cover both the Club and the ground. In addition, if the Club's Board of Directors exceeds eight the number of Trust representatives will increase pro-rata to the size of the Board as a whole. The Trust has already received assurances from Batchelor that the so-called 'transition period' will not only be as short as possible, but also that the former Chairman, Douglas Craig, will no longer be involved in the decision-making processes of the Club during or after this period. Trust representatives are due to meet with Batchelor to agree more details of their working relationship going forward and to review the business and financial implications of the acquisition agreement.

 
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