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Trust News (26/12/02)

From Match Programme (v Hull City)

Programme piece (26/12/02 v Hull City)

Building Trust between Community and Club

For all those people who care about football in general, sport in York in particular, and the local community, these are frustrating and worrying times. The Supporters Trust sincerely hopes and continues to work to ensure - that this will not be the last Christmas for football professional football in York.

Obviously there will be a few more people through the Bootham Crescent turnstiles for todays Boxing Day match. Whilst its great to see more people at todays game, blaming the clubs financial crisis on only 3,000 people turning up each week is not correct. Going forward, York can have a sustainable professional football club at such levels of support. What is needed is common sense about the directors of the Club only allowing it to spend as much as can be afforded. Reality football, not fantasy football.

The origins of the current troubles at Bootham Crescent can clearly be traced back to 1999. That was the year that BCH was formed as part of a corporate restructuring exercise to enable the Club to be secure in its activities. It also coincided with a clear change in the financial management of the Club, whereby, a Club that had previously been run along relatively prudent lines, suddenly began spending well beyond its means. The Clubs then directors who, of course, remain as directors and the majority shareholders of landlord BCH - created an unsustainable wage bill, far in excess of what the Club could afford such that cash reserves soon dwindled. In fact, the Clubs wages to turnover ratio of 180% in the 2000/01 season is amongst the worst ever in the history of UK football. Batchelor took over in April 2002, and now, sadly, we are where we are.

Against this backdrop of frustration and concern regarding the future of York City Football Club, the Supporters Trust is stepping up its fundraising campaign, with a simple message to the people of York; Every penny counts!

Trust volunteers are already working through a huge list of fundraising suggestions. That work is being co-ordinated by a professional charity fundraising manager, who has kindly volunteered his services. The Trust is appealing for more help from Citys fanbase. What we now need is more City fans to step forward and to help turn some of their fundraising ideas into reality over the coming months.

Citys Trust, whose efforts this year have been widely commended, is seeking to increase its funds with a view to supporting the future of professional football in York. That future could involve the Trust having some form of ownership stake in the Citys football club. The level of that ownership stake depends, in part, on whether or not other investors step forward to help support a future for professional sport in the City.

The Supporters Trust continues to pursue its central aim, that is, to ensure that in the future the York community has a football club that it can be really proud of. Trust representatives have continued to work behind the scenes over recent weeks to help secure this aim.

Anyone with fundraising ideas, or (even better) able to volunteer to help with organising an event or project, please contact the Supporters Trust via its mailing address at Bootham Crescent, York YO30 7AQ, telephone 01904 610747, or email

Enjoy the game. Support the team. Search for the truth. Support the Trust. Support a future for football in York.


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