FORMER York City goalkeeper Paul Crichton is considering legal action after he was sent packing from the football club.

Crichton, 35, was released by the Minstermen after an argument with City supporters during the 4-0 defeat at Gravesend & Northfleet.

The ex-Norwich, Burnley and West Brom stopper was only on a week-to-week contract and he was informed that his position at the club had become "untenable".

But Crichton is still seeking advice from solicitors and the players' union, the Professional Footballers' Association.

He said: "I received a letter from the club telling me I was sacked. As a result, I have gone to the solicitors but can't say too much at this stage as they are looking at my case.

"The club have been told that I'm speaking to my solicitors and I'm also being advised by the PFA."

The board decided to suspend Crichton after hearing witness accounts of the argument from supporters and stewards at the Gravesend game.

City's communications director Sophie McGill said: "After discussing the issue with Paul Crichton after the game and after hearing reports of the incident from several supporters, including a Supporters' Trust board member, as well as a Gravesend steward, the board of directors concluded Paul's position as goalkeeper was untenable.

"We acknowledge Paul received provocation from a small minority of fans during the match but, as a supporter-owned football club, it is imperative our players conduct themselves professionally and reflect the club's status in the community.

"The incident was reported to the media by supporters who witnessed the proceedings and, after the high-profile coverage this incident has attracted, it would be impossible for Paul Crichton to continue his goalkeeping role without the support of our fan base. There were also important safety issues we have had to consider.

"Paul was on a week-to-week contract with the club and was, last week, informed in writing that his services were no longer required. To date, we have not received any written correspondence from either Paul or his advisers."

Crichton was also acting as a goalkeeping coach during his brief spell at Bootham Crescent and today passed on his congratulations to teenage shot-stopper David Stockdale.

The Leeds-born youngster has performed impressively in the last two matches after Crichton's departure and a red card for Chris Porter gave him an unexpected chance.

And Crichton said: "I am pleased for 'Stocky' although I'm sure Chris Porter would have done a magnificent job if he had not been wrongly sent off. Both of them trained very hard during my time at York."

Updated: 10:29 Wednesday, September 08, 2004