TITLE-WINNING York City Knights' future well-being has been put in doubt because of the deal they get when moving into the shared new community stadium.
That is the opinion of chairman John Guildford, who claims the terms of the contract on the table from City of York Council mean the club would lose up to 70 per cent of income they generate through Bar 13 at their present Huntington Stadium home.
He says City of York Council are not fulfilling promises that the Knights "would not be financially disadvantaged".
Currently, the Knights - who will be presented with the Kingstone Press Championship One trophy when they host London Skolars in their last game of the regular season on Sunday - operate and run their own bar, boardroom and function room, with profits on non-matchdays as well as matchdays going into club coffers.
They have been given notice to quit their home this autumn to temporarily move in with York City at Bootham Crescent.
The new stadium, scheduled to be ready for summer 2016, will then be operated by City, with catering carried out by CGC. Guildford says the Knights are to receive a proportion of matchday bar takings and will get use of the function room only on a certain number of nights a year.
Said Guildford: "They (the council) sent formal contracts which basically show the club loses 69-70 per cent of (bar) income in years one to five.
"We've currently got a (bar/function) facility on 365 days of the year. They're saying at the new stadium we can have a percentage of what we take on about 15 match-days.
"This is not what we were promised. They continually say this is a good position for the club. Anyone can see it's not.
"We agreed in May 2012 how it would run and what we would get, and on the basis of that I lifted my objection (to the plans). The council gave us assurances on how it was going to go and we were all happy. We were told we need not worry.
"They said we would not be financially disadvantaged and it would enable the club to thrive.
"It's the complete opposite. Everything has been changed for the worse. We're 69-70 per cent worse off.
"They've taken the bar we run and given it to somebody else. They've taken off our income stream and not replaced it.
"At one stage there was talk of having a shared sports and social club that we would run ourselves with the football club and share the profits.
"The council need to be honest and transparent and tell everyone how it will work, including me.
"The idea was that we had a hub at the stadium that would help to subsidise running the stadium. It's supposed to be a sustainable development. I think the stadium itself will be sustainable but they're taking money out of it to cover the leisure portfolio - Yearsley Baths and Energise, which lose money."
Asked if he had signed the contract, he said: "Sign it and what happens to the club? They take off that income and give us nothing back. How would we survive?
"It's in the council's hands. They'll have to make a statement.
"Tim Atkins (stadium project manager) has gone on the radio saying it's a fantastic deal for York City Knights going forward. I can't understand how they get people to believe it. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but it's pretty clear I'm not."
A council spokesperson said: “The council is currently in commercially confidential discussions with all partners involved in the community stadium and leisure complex and these are progressing positively.
"We will not enter into a debate via the media regarding the detail of these.
"The council has put together a commercial offer for the York City Knights, as it has other partners involved in the scheme, which provides the club commercial opportunities to maximise should they wish to."