BOOTHAM Crescent Holdings director Barry Swallow has refused to comment on whether he would be willing to invest any of the money he will gain from the selling of his shares back into the football club.

The ex-York City defender, captain, caretaker-manager and board member expects to attend Monday's BCH extraordinary general meeting when Minstermen managing director Jason McGill hopes to persuade shareholders to pass a resolution that will enable the club to acquire a 75.89 per cent controlling interest.

But Swallow, 61, insisted it was too early for him to consider handing back any of the £200,000 he will gain from the deal to the club he served for seven years as a player.

He said: "That's not debatable until we see what happens at the shareholders' meeting. I want to go to the meeting first before I talk about things like that and, if everything goes well, I should be there."

Leading BCH shareholder Douglas Craig will receive £1.2 million after the proposed switch in ownership with fellow directors Swallow and Colin Webb both pocketing £200,000 each.

The deal has been made possible after McGill persuaded the Football Stadia Investment Fund to issue the club with a £2 million loan.

Former BCH director John Quickfall has agreed to sell his shares back for £1 each and the club have also outlined their commitment to buying the remaining 8.6 per cent shareholding held by Craig, Swallow and Webb, which is the subject of a ten-year option agreement.

City will be able to acquire the shares at £12.10 each within the first three years of that agreement and, after then, at the same price taking inflation into account.

Swallow's 2,727 outstanding shares, the same amount as Webb, are therefore worth an extra £33,000 while Craig's 11,590 will realise a further £140,000.

When asked about the benefits of the deal to him, personally as a majority shareholder, and to the club, Swallow replied: "I've not had anything to do with the deal. It's been conducted between Mr Craig and Mr McGill so I have no views on it until I have heard more at the meeting."

Swallow did, however, talk about his distress over the Minstermen's relegation to the Conference.

He said: "It was terrible and I was distraught about it. It's a tragic thing to happen, it really is.

"I still have an affinity towards the club and I put a lot of work into it over the years so feel very sad we are going into the Conference."

City board member McGill will ask shareholders at Monday's meeting to approve a resolution to re-register BCH as a private company.

This will enable the football club to pay shareholders £1 for every share instead of the £12.10 accepted by Craig, Swallow and Webb.

Under public company law, a purchaser of 30 per cent or more shares would be obliged to make a mandatory offer to acquire the remaining shares on the same terms.

Transferring into a private company will remove that code requirement and, in a letter to all BCH shareholders, McGill said: "Unless the re-registration of BCH as a private company is brought about, BCH cannot grant a charge (or mortgage) over Bootham Crescent and The Football Stadium Investment Fund will not be prepared to grant their loan to us on an unsecured basis.

"As a consequence, if BCH remains a public company, the deal that will ensure the future of York City Football Club at Bootham Crescent will not be able to take place.

"Shareholders in BCH will be giving up the right to have an offer made for their shares to be acquired on the same terms as York City proposes to acquire its 75 per cent.

"However, I would like to make it clear that, given York City's finances, it would not be possible to make such an offer to all BCH shareholders.

"I believe that the transaction will be in the interests of all those who wish to preserve a successful professional football club in the city of York and I would therefore urge all of the shareholders in BCH to vote in favour of re-registration of BCH as a private company and the accompanying resolution to amend the memorandum and articles of BCH as the vital step towards ensuring this historic opportunity is not lost."

Updated: 11:03 Wednesday, June 30, 2004