York City will move to a new 10,000 capacity all-seater stadium in ten years time, the club's board of directors revealed today.

The club's £8.5 million relocation is a requirement of a £2 million loan, which has allowed the Minstermen to strike a deal to buy Bootham Crescent.

The new venue will be within the City of York boundary and the club will work with the council to find a suitable site.

No location has yet been decided for City's new ground, but possible sites could include land at either Naburn, York University or in the Green Belt.

City's board of directors unveiled their future vision, after revealing details of the deal which means the club can stay at its current home.

The loan, granted by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), has given the club the cash to buy a majority shareholding in Bootham Crescent Holdings (BCH).

Under the deal, York City own 75.89 per cent of BCH shares, and have bought all of the 20,000 shares which were owned by Persimmon Homes.

Former chairman Douglas Craig and his BCH director colleagues Barry Swallow and Colin Webb will retain a combined total of 8.5 per cent, but will have no involvement in the football club, and limited rights.

Mr Craig had previously been the majority shareholder and could have evicted the football club this summer when their ground lease ran out - until this deal was secured.

The conditions of the FSIF loan require that City identify a site for a new stadium by 2007, and have detailed planning permission by 2009, if they wish to avoid paying financial penalties.

Persimmon Homes will be given first option on buying the Bootham Crescent site when the club eventually relocates.

City spokeswoman Sophie McGill revealed that they planned to submit a fresh planning application with Persimmon Homes "in due course" in order to secure the FSIF loan. She said they hoped to increase the value of Bootham Crescent with the deal and wanted a fresh start, after the original application received a record number of objections.

Jason McGill, York City managing director, said: "It has been a long, hard journey to get to where we are today.

"It has involved a lot of sweat and tears, but we have succeeded in our aim to secure a home for York City now and for the future.

"This is perhaps the most significant day in our club's history and indeed for sport in the city of York. The prospect of a new stadium in ten years time is very exciting."

Coun Steve Galloway, City of York Council leader, said: "I believe the deal the club negotiated is the best available and has guaranteed the football club.

"The council and myself will continue to co-operate fully with the directors of the football club in fulfilling the terms of the loan."

Ian Hessay, managing director of Persimmon Homes, said: "We're pleased to have been able to co-operate with the club in their aim of securing a home now and in the future."

Ian Savage, of the Friends of Bootham Crescent (FoBC), said: "Although FoBC is disappointed that York City will be vacating Bootham Crescent in ten years, the group has always stated we would accept a move away only to a new home superior to Bootham Crescent. We fully expect a new ground would fulfil this wish."

"Throughout last season York City faced the threat of eviction from Bootham Crescent. A very complicated series of agreements with a number of parties appear to have been made which will secure the long-term future of York City and where they will play."

The club will repay the loan for the next ten years, but, after that period, the club can apply to convert it into a £2.5 million grant from the FSIF for the relocation and development of the new ground.

Updated: 14:29 Friday, June 11, 2004