YORK City are circulating a shocking slideshow of photographs to councillors and MPs illustrating the need for new sporting facilities to replace their decaying Bootham Crescent home.
The pictures highlight the struggles currently endured by the football club in maintaining a crumbling arena that dates back to 1932.
Communications director Sophie Hicks has compiled the PowerPoint presentation, entitled Bootham Crescent The Reality, with the help of photographer Tommy Outing and it will be distributed to all the key decision makers ahead of next month’s City of York Council meeting to discuss Oakgate’s planning application to build a new stadium at Monks Cross.
The dossier confirms the club spend £50,000 annually on ground repairs which, in the words of stadium development director Ian McAndrew only provide an “Elastoplast” solution to perennial problems.
Included in the eye-opening album are shots of condemned areas of the away end, unhygienic changing facilities and the rusting directors’ box.
Mention is also made of the limited disabled facilities and the lack of any baby changing provisions.
The view, meanwhile, from the club’s infamous three hospitality boxes, which look out on to the car park and terraced houses rather than the pitch, is used as further evidence of how the club’s income generation potential is presently stunted.
Explaining the purpose of the slideshow, Hicks said: “It is to show people unfamiliar with the ground the current state of our facilities and why a new community stadium is so desperately needed. The dressing room facilities are unsuitable for our own players but also for those of the opposition.
“The facilities we provide for opposing team’s directors, as well as local dignitaries such as the Archbishop of York, are also a poor reflection on the city as a prime tourist destination and Bootham Crescent does not lend itself to attracting a family audience either. This means it is a struggle to develop the next generation of support.
“Bootham Crescent represents sport in York and we feel our premier stadium reflects badly on the city and gives visitors a poor impression of York, while smaller towns and cities with arguably less national importance than York, such as Chesterfield, Telford, Burton, Colchester and Swansea, all have modern sports stadia they can be proud of.
“Statistics show that a new stadium leads to a 30 per cent increase in attendance figures and usually sees an uplift in success on the field, which benefits the morale of a city.
“Surely York deserves better than a decaying Bootham Crescent and the out-of-date Huntington Stadium?”