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Ground Solution

Trust negotiates necessary ground solution in relation to its Rescue Package

With just days to go before the Company Voluntary Arrangement is put to the meeting of creditors of York City Association Football & Athletic Club plc, and with the football authorities closely monitoring the situation, a solution to secure a home for York City for at least ten years has been agreed in principle amongst key parties.

This involves the suitable re-development of the Monks Cross stadium site for use by the new company that will operate York City Football Club. The major re-development of the Monks Cross site will, in effect, be funded by parties other than the new company.

At an Urgency Meeting of City of York Council yesterday (10 March), Council members approved in principle to lease the re-developed Monks Cross stadium site to York City Football Club Limited for a minimum period of 10 years at a peppercorn rent.

Security of tenure at a football ground for a period of at least ten years is one of the key Football League requirements that need to be satisfied prior to the transfer of League membership to the new company (i.e. the new company is York City Football Club Limited, a company owned by York City Supporters Trust). Whilst matters have yet to be formally approved by The Football League, all of the key parties involved in the agreement hope to ensure that it is satisfactory to the League.

Trust representative Steve Beck commented:

The Leagues requirement necessarily needs to be satisfied to ensure the continuance of League football in York. To that end, following discussions over the past week with key parties including Persimmon, BCH and the Council, an in principle agreement has been reached that will help save City.


In simple terms, York City Association Football & Athletic Club Plc (In Administration) currently have use of the Bootham Crescent ground under an agreement with Bootham Crescent Holdings plc (BCH) entered into in April 2002. The terms of that lease expire on 30 June 2003. In simple terms, BCH has entered an agreement with Persimmon for the sale of the Bootham Crescent site at a time in the future when the Club has vacated the site. In turn, Persimmon propose to build housing on the site.

It is necessary for the League to be satisfied that the Club has security of tenure on a home ground of at least 10 years to enable the transfer of membership. Therefore, to enable Yorks football club to survive and play in the League, it is necessary for a solution to the ground issue to be identified and agreed by the key parties.

The Trust has previously stated, on many occasions, that it considers that York City Football Club should be able to continue playing at Bootham Crescent at least until an alternative stadium is available for use in the York area. Clearly, different parties will have different perspectives on the necessary criteria for such an alternative stadium. Clearly, if the Club has to move from Bootham Crescent, the Trust would like that to be to a superior stadium in terms of the overall balance of capacity, facilities and location/accessibility. The Trust continues to maintain this perspective.

Bootham Crescent has been the home ground for York City Football Club since 1932. Clearly, it is a place that many supporters cherish dearly and any move away from Bootham Crescent by the Club will stir great emotions for many people.


Since January 2002, Trust representatives have been party to certain meetings and discussions regarding a future site for a stadium for York City Football Club. However, until February/March 2003, whilst the Trust has been an interested and important party in the equation, it has not had control, or the prospect of control, over the Club itself.

At this point in time, other than the existing site at Monks Cross, as far as Trust representatives are aware, there is no clarity or certainty that an alternative stadium to Bootham Crescent could be developed for use by the Club within the next few years, in the light of, in particular, planning and funding requirements for such a facility.

MONKS CROSS a possible alternative home ground for York City Football Club

At a meeting of various parties on 6 March 2003 including representatives from BCH, Persimmons, City of York Council, the Administrators to the Club and the Trust an agreement in principle was reached in relation to the suitable re-development of the stadium site at Monks Cross for use by York City Football Club as its home ground in the future.

Some of the principles of the agreement were as follows:

- BCH and Persimmon agree to provide a rent-free extension to the lease to use Bootham Crescent until at least May 2004;
- The Monks Cross stadium site to be substantially redeveloped and improved to meet Football League standards;
- The redevelopment of the stadium at Monks Cross to include, amongst other things, the removal of the running track, development of new stands with facilities including corporate boxes and ground capacity to exceed the Leagues minimum standards.
- Between the two parties, BCH and Persimmon agree to provide substantial monies towards the development costs of the Monks Cross stadium site and would, in effect, be funding the Football Clubs share of the redevelopment. Any remaining money not required for stadium improvement would be given to the Football Club to assist with operating costs.
- The majority of the funding required for the redevelopment of the Monks Cross stadium site will come from footballing bodies in the form of stadium improvement grants.
- Whilst not secured at this stage, Trust representatives have been informed that the full costs of development have been researched and considered and that it is reasonable to assume that the funding from various parties will be forthcoming;
- No significant contribution to the development costs are expected to be required from the shareholders of York City Football Club Limited.
- City of York Council to assist in the provision of Park & Ride facilities and, to the extent possible and appropriate, planning matters;
- Planning applications for the redevelopment of and around the Monks Cross stadium site to run in parallel with the planning application for residential development of Bootham Crescent;
- The Trust and the Board of York City Football Club Limited to use their best endeavours to support the parallel planning applications;
- Necessary legal and professional costs to carry out the preparatory work to be covered by parties other than York City Football Club Limited;
- All parties to use their best endeavours to achieve full completion of the redevelopment of the Monks Cross stadium site in time for the commencement of the 2004/05 season;
- Commitment from all parties is subject to binding agreements that, amongst other matters, will define the key aspects of the stadium redevelopment, the funding package and the proposed timetable;
- An immediate commitment by City of York Council to provide York City Football Club Limited a minimum 10 year lease to use Huntington Stadium from the commencement of the 2004/05 season at peppercorn rent.

Trust spokesperson Sophie McGill commented:

At a meeting of the Trust Board on 8 March 2003, it was agreed that it was in the best interests of the Trust and York City Football Club to work towards delivery of an effective solution to the ground issue in line with the agreed principles.

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