YORK City managing director Steve Kilmartin has confirmed that the new Community Stadium will NOT have any rail seating.

The football club and York City Knights Rugby League Club are to share the 8,000-capacity ground at Monks Cross when it opens later this year, and fans of both have campaigned for 'safe standing' areas.

Last year, City's board of directors said the possibility of rail seating would be explored, while Knights chiefs supported the idea, but Kilmartin has now explained it is a no-go and the stadium will be all-seater as originally expected.

It was previously understood that if a stadium project received a Football Foundation grant, as this one has, then FF rules state the ground must be all-seater as per their safety requirements.

Writing in his latest matchday programme notes, Kilmartin said: "Behind the scenes, there has been a considerable amount of work undertaken by the board of directors in relation to the desire for rail standing to be introduced behind one of the goals at the new stadium as we were aware this would, undoubtedly, be a popular, although expensive, decision with supporters.

"Potential sponsorship, in this respect, was pursued - although not ultimately forthcoming within the available time frame and the chairman generously decided that he would fund the provision which had been determined to have a cost in excess of £200,000.

"There were then a considerable number of additional obstacles to be overcome as written approval was required from the Sports Ground Safety Authority and all statutory parties needed to formally reach an agreement allowing rail seating within the new stadium.

"Ultimately, despite the intervention of the Shadow Sports Minister and passionate pleas from the chairman, approval was not forthcoming and an order was therefore placed for conventional seating within the stadium only hours before the deadline imposed by the intended suppliers expired.

"We, therefore, move forward and having seen simulated visual displays of the ground with the projected seating and lighting installed these are, without doubt, quite spectacular with modern technology being utilised within the seat design to project a greater overall image that will be to the benefit of all concerned.

"The intensity of these negotiations - which often resulted in flurries of emails, telephone calls, and letters each day attempting to reach agreements with various authorities - only demonstrated (if proof was needed) that with the new stadium now reaching an advanced stage of development, this would not have been achieved without the vision, determination and tenacity, together with substantial funding, from the chairman over the last 15 years.

"Every day, we are able to see, more clearly, the progress of exterior development with the drone coverage providing spectacular views of the internal aspects including proximity of the pitch area to supporters which should provide an atmosphere that football fans will enjoy."

Kilmartin added: "However, success on the field is so important in conjunction with the provision of modern facilities, and manager Sam Collins is working extremely hard to achieve this, with loan signings having been successfully integrated into the team.

"As in business, pressure is ever present in the desire to be successful and, with the advent of the new year, the board of directors is looking for a strong performance from the team during the second phase of the season."

On the confirmation that safe standing areas would not be provided at the new stadium, Knights chairman Jon Flatman said: "We have publicly stated our support for the concept of rail seating but without full knowledge of the rationale behind this decision, we simply look forward to July 2019 and our big opening game at the Community Stadium against Bradford Bulls.

"Whether the stadium is all-seater or not, the Knights will endeavour to create the best fan experience possible."