YORK City Supporters’ Trust chairman Ian Hey was not surprised by this week’s news that the club made losses of £467,000 last season.
The figure, largely reached due to 96 per cent of income at Bootham Crescent being spent on playing costs including promotion bonuses, came as a shock in some circles following the club’s two winning Wembley final appearances.
But Hey has revealed that the Trust, who still own a 25 per cent shareholding in the club, were told to expect such losses at the start of the campaign.
In light of last season’s accounts, Hey has also stressed the huge importance of regaining Football League status in 2011/12, and the Trust are now hoping to gain reassurances that the proposed move to Monks Cross will provide the means to ensure the club are sustainable and competitive in the future.
He said: “The football club and the Supporters’ Trust have regular meetings at which the management accounts are produced, forecasting income and expenditure calculated to the end of the season. The figures that were revealed recently were in line with those being budgeted for in the forecast, produced to the Trust during the season.
“The vast majority of the club’s income derives from gate receipts and season-ticket sales with little or no opportunity to derive additional income from the other principal asset of the football club, namely Bootham Crescent stadium. It is for this reason that the Trust has always supported the construction of a new stadium.
“Once it became apparent that a redevelopment of Bootham Crescent was not viable, then a new stadium is the only option to provide for that additional income required to sustain professional football within the city. The latest figures produced by the club merely confirm that to sustain a competitive team is impossible from income derived solely from gate receipts.
“Obviously losses of the size incurred last season could not be sustained on an ongoing basis and a return to the Football League, with the additional funding this entails, means that forecasts for this season are showing a break-even figure.”
The Trust continue to hold meetings with the club’s financial consultant Peter Rookes, who will be making a presentation to the Trust board at their February meeting about the latest figures and the club’s forecasts calculated to the end of the current campaign.
Hey added: “The Trust will be seeking discussions with both the board and the council to satisfy ourselves as 25 per cent owners of the club that the new stadium will deliver the additional income required to sustain a competitive team in the Football League going forward.”
The Trust’s annual general meeting will be held in the Pitchside Bar at 7.30pm on Thursday night.
City boss Gary Mills, meanwhile, has praised the support chairman Jason McGill and his family, which includes fellow board members Rob McGill and Sophie Hicks, has given him during his two-and-a-quarter year tenure at Bootham Crescent in the light of the accounts announcement.
A total of £1.3 million has now been loaned to the club on an interest-free basis and Mills said: “What they have done for the football club is fantastic. They are a lovely family who work hard and they know how hard I have worked for them too. I know how much they wanted to get into the Football League.
“They’ve proven that during the two years I have been here and I have a fantastic working relationship with them.
“I know them very well and everything that has been done has been for the right reasons and intentions. They love the football club and want to progress again.”
Kindon kicks in for dinner
YORK City’s fourth youth team sporting dinner promises to be the best-ever this year with award-winning guest speaker Steve Kindon confirmed for the Thursday, March 14 event at the Park Inn.
Former Burnley, Huddersfield and Wolves winger Kindon might not be as famous as previous guests Jan Molby, Lee Sharpe and Mickey Quinn but his hilarious self-deprecating humour makes him one of the most popular characters on the after-dinner circuit.
Kindon will be joined by comedian Les Gibson, who reached the 2011 Britain’s Got Talent final following his impersonations of Ant and Dec, sports and TV personalities and Coronation Street stars.
Tickets for the night, which will see doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start, cost £37.50 a head and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning Sarah, chairperson of the York City youth team fundraising committee, on 07904 646670.
McGurk and Potts battle for accolade
DAVID McGurk is an early contender for The Press’ January Player of the Month award.
The recalled centre-back is currently joint top of the standings with Michael Potts ahead of today’s match at Cheltenham.
McGurk received another three points towards the contest as our man of the match during last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Exeter.
Former Blackburn midfielder Potts (two points) and Paddy McLaughlin (one) were also rewarded for their efforts as our second and third-highest rated players.
Potts drew level with McGurk, though, after receiving a share of the two bonus points on offer to the player who polled the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website.
He halved that honour with Dan Parslow, who still lies second on The Press Player of the Year leaderboad.
The Press Player of the Year latest standings (not including Player of the Month bonus points): C Smith 22 points, Parslow 21, Blair 15, Ingham 15, Walker 15, Chambers 14, Fyfield 14, Kearns 12, McGurk 8, Coulson 7, Oyebanjo 7, Kerr 6, Carlisle 5, Potts 5, J Smith 5, Doig 3, McLaughlin 3, Reed 3, Blanchett 2, Taylor 2, Challinor 1, Johnson 1.
The Press Player of the Month for January standings: McGurk 5, Potts 5, C Smith 3, Blair 1, McLaughlin 1, Parslow 1.
Goals: Chambers 8, Walker 7, Blair 5, Coulson 5, Reed 4, McLaughlin 3, Potts 3, own goals 2, Parslow 1, Rodman 1, C Smith 1.
Assists: Walker 7, Chambers 5, J Smith 5, Blair 3, Kearns 3, McLaughlin 3, Carlisle 2, Coulson 2, Parslow 2, Rodman 2, C Smith 2, Challinor 1, Fyfield 1, Kerr 1, Reed 1.
Bad boys: Chambers, C Smith both 4 yellow cards; Kerr 1 red, 2 yellow; Fyfield 3 yellow; Ingham, McLaughlin, Parslow all 2 yellow; Carlisle, Challinor, Coulson, Doig, Johnson, Potts, J Smith, Walker all 1 yellow.