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Nearly 6,000 fans sign FA petition

A petition containing almost 6,000 names calling for an investigation into the proposed 'asset stripping' by the Club's current directors was presented to the Football Association at their Soho Square headquarters on the morning of Saturday 23 February

Supporters from York City were joined by fans of other clubs, including Ipswich, Bradford, Middlesbrough and Lincoln, as the 80-strong group made their way from Hanover Square to Soho Square. Despite prior communication to Adam Crozier, he and the FA elected not to have a member of authority available to meet the fans, many of whom had travelled significant distances for the occasion. Instead they were greeted by two police officers flanking the doors of the FA building, and the protesting supporters had to hand the document to an FA official.

With 5,831 names collected in less than three weeks, the petition demands that the FA investigate the breach of its rules by the York City directors. In addition it urges the FA - as supposed guardians of the English game - to demonstrate leadership and commit itself to putting the interests of football clubs, their supporters and communities ahead of the financial interests of individual owners and directors.

Supporters of over 200 different teams, and from as far afield as Australia. New Zealand, the Middle East and the Virgin Islands had responded to the call, demonstrating the widespread nature of the concern with the plight of York City and the potential risk faced by other clubs.

Petition coordinator, John Catton, a Southern-based fan of over 40 years standing, said "The response to our petition has been fantastic and is a credit to the followers of York City and a good many other clubs. With the lengths that we have gone to you might have thought the FA would have shown a little more courtesy and concern though".

A letter, addressed to Adam Crozier, accompanied the petition itself with a further request for an official response.

March organiser Colin Matthews added, "The attitude of the FA is quite shocking. We have been assured today that Mr Crozier or someone will be in contact in the near future, but I really don't know if that will be the case. The pace at which they seem to be moving on this issue is alarmingly slow particularly since the directors are looking to complete their 'asset stripping' within the next few weeks.".

A number of MPs have also raised concerns about the circumvention of the FA's rules, and it is understood that York MP Hugh Bayley has requested a meeting with FA Chief Executive Adam Crozier to discuss the issues surrounding York City and their general governance of the game. No response has been forthcoming.

Prior to the petition being delivered on Saturday, a presentation of 2,000 was made by members of Fulham's Supporters Club to Steve Beck, a member of the York City Supporters' Trust Committee, from funds raised by fans at a recent Fulham game.

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