ONLY three of York City's out-of-contract senior professionals have been offered new deals at KitKat Crescent.

Dave Merris, Lev Yalcin and Graeme Law have been offered one-year deals and survived a cull that means Kevin Donovan, Paul Groves, Shaun Smith, Paul Robinson, Kyle Armstrong, Sean Davies and Matthew Coad will all be seeking new employers.

Loan players Lee Grant and Ben Jackson have also returned to Aston Villa and Doncaster Rovers respectively while contracted players Steve Davis and Paul D Robinson, whose current deal was previously believed to expire this summer, have both been put on the transfer list.

Manager Billy McEwan was meeting youngsters David Stockdale, Bryan Stewart, Kane Ashcroft, Adam Arthur and Stephen Baynes this afternoon to discuss their futures.

Midfielder Darren Dunning has also been asked to take a pay cut during the second year of his contract next season and, if he declines, will be placed on the transfer list with Davis and Robinson.

Goalkeeper Chris Porter and Andy Bishop, both under contract next season, will remain with the club on the same terms and teenagers Byron Webster, Michael Staley and Robbie Haw will continue to serve their three-year apprenticeships.

But McEwan admitted that he cannot imagine how the club will continue to pay player-boss Chris Brass for the next two years.

He said: "Chris Brass has got two years to run on his contract. He has declined two financial settlements made by the club in January and February.

"He's a big earner - far too big for this football club and astronomical for this level. I don't know how we will pay him over the summer with no money coming in."

About his decisions over the other players, McEwan said: "I wish all the ones that are leaving the club well. It is never easy to make these decisions.

"Steve Davis and Paul D Robinson have been put on the list because of economics. We can't afford them.

"Dave Merris has been steady and always given us effort and commitment. Graeme Law and Lev Yalcin are second-year professionals who have got a lot to do still as far as development goes.

"I have asked Darren Dunning to stay with a view to taking reduced terms. If he does not accept them, he might go on the list as well."

McEwan will now discuss his future with the board this week and his possible budget for next season.

He joked wryly: "I think we will need to get McAlpine in for the rebuilding job that needs to be done."

Left-winger Stewart seems likely to be offered a new deal after scoring his first senior goal against Farnborough on Saturday in another encouraging display.

But McEwan will be looking for more progress if he does stay at KitKat Crescent next season, saying: "His goal was a fantastic strike. Now he's got to fulfil his potential because I know plenty of players who didn't and went out of football.

"He's on the bottom rung of the ladder and has got to make that next step up. He has a tough summer ahead of him but he won't be sitting at home.

"He's got to get himself in contention and be ready for the start of the season if he wants to get in the team."

Updated: 14:32 Tuesday, April 26, 2005