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Club comments on City's plight

From the York Evening Press 04/04/05 - by Dave Flett

RELEGATION to Conference North would see York City go part-time.

Communications director Sophie McGill warned that the club would not be able to continue on a full-time basis should the Minstermen suffer a second successive drop.

City, who were relegated from the Football League after 75 years membership in May, now have a battle on their hands to stay in the Nationwide Conference.

They have lost all three of their games over the Christmas and New Year period, leaving them just two points above the relegation zone.

McGill said: "Although we were relegated, everybody thought the new season would be a bit of a renaissance. It has not been quite like that.

"Everybody was saying we've got to get in the play-offs and it will be a disappointment if we don't. I really would have to say now that it is about consolidating and it is about avoiding relegation and trying to achieve the best we possibly can.

"We need the club to continue to prosper off the field as well. Financially, it is still a struggle. Because of being relegated, the commercial aspects have not been as good as they might have been. Gates have held up extremely well, but everything is a struggle."

Despite the horrendous 2004, which saw City win just seven matches out of 46, McGill said the Supporters' Trust-owned club would not throw in the towel.

"As a board, we have a total obligation to ensure we don't go down again, whatever the cost may be or whatever we have to do," she said.

"If money is available it would come from a limited source - basically it would come from us (the board members) or additional funding. It is a labour of love. You cannot give up. You have to stick at it.

"We have to ensure whatever we have to do that we don't go down. It wouldn't be the end of York City football club, but the end of York City in its current professional form."

The first team squad is made up of 17 full-time professionals, backed up by third-year trainees.

Caretaker manager Viv Busby approached the board yesterday for funds to get in a couple more players after signing Doncaster Rovers defender Jon Maloney on loan just before Sunday's 2-0 home defeat against Scarborough.

McGill said: "We are three players short on what we require. The good thing about Viv is that he does have a lot of contacts and the board will, of course, support Viv in his attempts to improve our league position.

"It is often said that you see through the Christmas period with what you've got, and when it comes to a new year you really have a reassessment of what you need.

"It will probably have to be on loan terms that we get anybody in. The fortunate thing is that there are people like the young Paul Robinson who has just joined us and who has been paid up by Tranmere - players that do want to play football and are talented. You need to be innovative and there are ways and means."

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