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VIDEO: Dawn of a new era for City

By Ian Appleyard | 6th December 2017

Stadium development director Ian McAndrew joined representatives from City of York Council and York City Knights Rugby League club at Monks Cross today as work officially started on the new community stadium.

McAndrew, who was accompanied by Chris Tock, the club's Operations and Safety Manager, said it was a 'hugely important day' for the club after years of uncertainty surrounding the proposed scheme.

The photocall was also attended by representatives of Buckingham Group Construction and Greenwich Leisure Ltd

"This is so exciting," said McAndrew. "It's been 14 or 15 years since it was first mentioned. A lot of people say to you - day-in, day-out - 'Is it going to happen?' So to stand here today and say 'It IS happening' is just brilliant for everyone, the fans, the club, and the city of York.

"It means an awful lot to the football club going forward into the future," he explained, "It's a really great stadium and a really great project. It's quite unique in its style and design and it gives us the ability to create additional income.

"Bootham Crescent has been a wonderful place since 1932 but it's facilities are completely out-dated," he admitted. "It's been difficult for the club over the years, particularly for the chairman (Jason McGill).

"There is no denying that it has cost a lot of money whereas here it should be much more financially viable. We have got through it, we have come through it in the end and, in 18 months, this (stadium) is going to be up and finished which will be fantastic."

Construction of the stadium is due for completion in May/June 2019.

"Financially, it's hugely important for the club to progress and it is a real motivator for the whole club to be coming into a brand new stadium," he said. "Hand on heart, I have had some doubts at one or two points. The council have probably hit every problem you could on the way through. It's never easy and it was a big scheme."

Confirming that Persimmon Homes have the option on Bootham Crescent, McAndrew said: "That was part of the deal when the chairman did a great job in buying it back.

"That seems a long time ago now - but there would not have been a club if Jason McGill had not been able to negotiate that deal which included an option for Persimmon Homes."

Watch our exclusive video including interviews with both Ian McAndrew and council leader David Carr by clicking the link below:

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