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Chairman issues statement on Trust

By Ian Appleyard | 21st January 2018

York City chairman Jason McGill has issued the following statement in response to comments in the local media from the York City Supporters' Trust.

"It is crucially important to ensure the true supporters of our football club are aware of the realities behind the latest comments from John Lacy, the chairman of York City Supporters' Trust.

"Almost two years ago, I indicated that, with delays in the provision of the new Community Stadium, an amount of at least £1m would be required to provide the necessary financial support for the football club.

"This, inevitably, required a contribution of £750,000 from my company and, as 25 per cent shareholders, £250,000 from the Trust to ensure the club was able to fulfil its legal obligations during this period.

"Numerous meetings were subsequently held with the Trust and - although John Lacy has fully accepted within his comments the very serious problems affecting the Trust in recent years - it was abundantly clear they did not have, nor could they possibly raise, the necessary finance despite pledging in 2006 to ensure the club received at least £50,000 each year in sponsorship from their various initiatives.

"This commitment should have provided £600,000 to the club within the budgets that had been agreed by both parties. However, Mr Lacy is, no doubt, aware they have regrettably failed to deliver in this respect. 

"Inevitably, this has necessitated substantial additional funding having to be provided by my company including, as Mr Lacy has been advised, £630,000 during the 12 months to June 30, 2017.  

"Against this background, it is therefore totally disingenuous and, I consider, extremely disrespectful for him to suggest I have been 'less than forthcoming in providing information about my intentions with regard to my future financial plans for York City'.

"These, as he should know only too well, have been made crystal clear from the first meeting in May 2016 when I confirmed that, if they could not deliver the necessary finance required for the share issue, my company would do so to ensure football could be played at the new stadium.

"I also provided numerous other confirmations demanded by the Trust such as the club not changing its traditional colours or playing outside the city boundaries which, as a lifelong supporter, were readily endorsed. 

"I also offered to return the Trust's 25 per cent shareholding if the club did not play a game at the new stadium - yet the Trust's board failed to even consult their members for a mandate to approve these proposals.

"It is now over 20 months since our initial meeting to discuss the financial issues and little, if any, progress has been made.

"It is vitally important for supporters to understand that the Trust stated on 10 October 2017 that their board was unable to give consent to the request for its authority to increase the club's share capital despite there having clearly been more than ample time to determine their members views - which they have failed to do.

"There is now an opportunity for supporters of York City Football Club - who are also members of York City Supporters' Trust - to attend the Trust's Annual General Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday, February 5 2018 at Burton Stone Lane WMC and let their voices be heard.

"The survival of our football club is, therefore, in your hands and I would urge that, after vigorous debate, at least a 'show of hands' for those 'in favour' and those 'against' is held to demonstrate to the Trust chairman the strength of feeling that, I believe, is behind the football club being able to continue with the necessary financial support from my company."

Jason McGill, January 21, 2018

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