FOLLOWING yesterday's historic events, which saw the York City Supporters' Trust finally take over the Division Three promotion-chasing club, the Evening Press today publishes in full a statement issued by the fans' body...

The Supporters' Trust's rescue package to secure a future for professional football in York was today being completed.

The formal completion of the agreement was expected today, whereby the Trust's new company, York City Football Club Limited, acquires the football club business.

Thereafter, the football bodies will move towards formally approving the transfer of Football League membership to the new club.

Speaking for the Trust, board member Paul Rawnsley commented: "The passion and commitment of City supporters has carried us through to save our club and to provide a real opportunity to develop a truly community focused club for future generations - a club owned and run by the fans for the fans."

Rawnsley added: "We have had to persevere and deal with a myriad of issues over the past couple of months to save the club.

"We now have something to treasure and protect for the future of the city of York."

The passion and commitment of all City fans has helped deliver the reality of a community-run club.

This has been organised and inspired by a dedicated group of people - not just some of the Trust board members, but many other fans as well - all with the desire to save City and see the club prosper.

Today's historic event is the culmination of 15 months of hard work for many City supporters.

It started with a meeting of a small group of fans at the Evening Press offices on December 29, 2001.

There followed the mandate to form a trust at the public meeting on January 7, 2002, and within 25 days the Supporters' Trust was formed with a celebratory launch night at the Barbican.

Membership numbers grew rapidly and soon totalled about 1,500.

At the inaugural annual general meeting in June 2002, the Trust board was elected and given the responsibility to carry out the activities of the Trust on behalf of the members.

Later that year, in September, York's Trust was awarded 'Trust of the Season' status for the work it had done.

Now, the Trust has overcome numerous challenges from various parties to put in place a rescue package to become the proud owner of its football club.

The club was in a shocking state financially and liquidation beckoned. While others have come and gone, the supporters stood strong.

As the 'phoenix rises from the ashes', it has to be recognised that the immense passion, commitment and unity displayed by City fans over the past 15 months needs to be maintained to now make a success of the new York City Football Club.

The new company now has a five-strong board of directors, charged with the responsibility of running the business. This is a hugely challenging task, made more difficult by the inherited financial legacy and the ground situation.

Clearly, it is great to see the team doing so well in the League this season and it is hoped that bumper crowds will cheer on the team in each of the last four home games.

In many respects, the York City journey is just starting.

It is hoped that more and more people will jump on board and support the club as it moves forward.

Be proud to be York City.

Updated: 10:03 Thursday, March 27, 2003