Dave Stanford looks at the history of Bootham Crescent.

YORK City were formed on May 6, 1922. A bid to join the Football League failed, but City were elected to the Midland League in June.
In 1929, City, playing at Fulfordgate, were finally elected to the Football League.

When the chance of moving to Bootham Crescent, home of York Cricket Club, became available in 1932, City's directors believed it to be a perfect venue in the heart of the city centre.

In those days, Fulfordgate was fairly remote. Within a mile radius the population was just 3,000 - whereas 30,000 lived the same distance from Bootham Crescent.

The main stumbling block to a switch was that City owned Fulfordgate, but would only be tenants at their new home. Despite some opposition, shareholders voted 115 to 37 to go ahead with the move.

Fulfordgate was sold and developed as a housing estate - the same fate which Bootham Crescent was facing until today.

The official opening of Bootham Crescent took place on August 31, 1932, when Stockport County were the visitors.

Club president Sir John Hunt formally opened the ground by cutting a ribbon in the club colours of chocolate and cream ahead of the game. Some 8,106 saw City and Stockport draw 2-2.

The honour of scoring City's first goal at their new home fell to Tom Mitchell, who later became manager and a director of the club.
In September 1948, City's directors announced the club had bought the ground.

It was bought for only £4,075 and the buildings, which cost £7,444, had depreciated so that the ground and equipment was listed at £7,204.

To celebrate the purchase, a dinner was held at the Royal Station Hotel.

City's supporters and directors felt they had secured control of the ground's future.

And so it proved, for the next 50 years, until July 1999 when, after more than seven, eventful years as chairman, Douglas Craig asked shareholders for approval to transfer Bootham Crescent to a new holding company, Bootham Crescent Holdings (BCH), from whom the club would rent the ground.

Craig explained the transfer would avoid an FA ruling, which states if a club goes into liquidation any surplus funds must be donated to charity.

The prime purpose of the FA rule is to deter people from taking over clubs, winding them up and then selling off the vacant ground for millions.

Craig's interpretation of the rule was different, to say the least, but the proposal was duly approved by shareholders. With Craig and his fellow directors, Colin Webb, Barry Swallow and John Quickfall, who later resigned, holding the majority of shares, the transfer was in any case inevitable.

The ground was actually transferred to BCH in June 2000, the price officially stated in the Land Registry to be just under £166,000.

So life at Bootham Crescent went on until in December 2001, with debts on the horizon, the directors put the club up for sale.

Any purchasers could have the club for only £1, but anyone wanting to buy the ground as well would have to stump up £4.5million.

The result for York City and its fans has been two years of turmoil and heartache, only for today's announcement to finally lift the threat of eviction once and for all.