IF anyone needed a break, it was York City. For four years the club has been battered from pillar to goalpost.

City endure thanks to a remarkable set of fans. At first they appeared to be alone in their fight to salvage the club, save for the support of this newspaper. The cry regularly went out: where was the council? What were York's big businesses doing to help?

The council answered that first question more than a year ago by backing City's bid for a Football Foundation grant.

Now Nestl Rowntree have answered the second. The confectioner's £100,000 sponsorship package ensures the club finally gets the keys to its stadium.

Traditionalists will say that the price is too high. Renaming the ground KitKat Crescent is sacrilege.

Of course the club's history is important, but what is the past without a future? Today's deal ensures City's survival. It is the way of the football world: look at the McCain Stadium, Scarborough, the Walkers Stadium, Leicester and the Reebok Stadium, Bolton.

Some would have preferred that Bootham Crescent became Rowntree Stadium. But the KitKat is as much a part of York as the Minstermen. It is also a world-beating brand - a positive association that should inspire the team.

When Rowntree's was taken over by Nestl, York feared the worst. By saving the Christmas lights and now donating cash and expertise to York City, the company has firmly re-established its role as a community benefactor.

Updated: 10:55 Wednesday, January 19, 2005