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A Home In The City

York City Supporters' Trust is calling on key parties to work positively together to build a new stadium for the Club in the city

The appeal from the Supporters' Trust follows Friday's announcement of the Club's preferred site at Clifton Moor. According to press reports, at this stage, the proposal appears to lack the full backing of the City of York Council.

Richard Snowball, Chairman of the Supporters' Trust, appealed for positive action from all sides:
"A new stadium is a vital requirement for the future survival and prosperity of York City and professional sport in York. It will be an asset for the whole community and it requires all parties to work positively together."

Since the announcement by the former Chairman of York City Football Club (Douglas Craig) that the club and its ground of 70 years were to be sold off, a new stadium became an absolute requirement to enable the survival of the Club.

A few years earlier, the ownership of Bootham Crescent had been carefully manoeuvred from the Club to a holding company (Bootham Crescent Holdings plc - "BCH"). As a result, the value of ownership of Bootham Crescent was then held by BCH, rather than by the football club. Consequently, this enabled the directors and majority shareholders of BCH to plan the separate disposal of the football club (to John Batchelor) and the freehold of Bootham Crescent. No announcement has yet been made that BCH has disposed of Bootham Crescent.

From the outset, the Supporters' Trust has been working to help the Club build a larger role for itself in the life of the city. This includes improving the Club's relationships with the supporters, the community, the Council and local schools.

In the early stages of life of the York City Supporters' Trust, City of York Council provided support and assistance. Subsequently, the Council has also provided support and assistance to the Trust formed to resurrect professional Rugby League in the city. Professional sport is a vital asset for the status of the city and is key to delivering a vibrant community.

The Supporters' Trust has been very encouraged by, and is supportive of, many of the ways in which the new regime at York City has broken from the past and is developing better community links. However, Trust representatives were somewhat surprised at the stance taken by John Batchelor towards City of York Council as reported in last Friday's York Evening Press (July 26th headline: "Council planners blasted as 'inept'").

John Batchelor revealed the Club's preferred site the day after it was reported that Persimmon had lodged an application to build homes on the Club's current home at Bootham Crescent.

Particularly as property prices around York continue to boom, developers posture for new money making opportunities. So far, two local property developers - Persimmons and Harrisons - are involved in the somewhat complex array of parties and relationships. At the centre of all this is a football club loved and appreciated by many thousands of people.

Richard Snowball reminded all parties:
"The supporters of York City want a positive future for our club, playing in a stadium that is a key asset for the city. Not just a place to visit once a fortnight on match-days, but an all-year-round asset for the whole community. A positive attitude must prevail.

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