YORK City were today rocked by the loss of star goalkeeper Alan Fettis, who joined basement rivals Hull City after calling the current crisis at Bootham Crescent 'a shambles'.

The man, who has won every player-of-the-year award at the Minstermen these past two seasons, signed a two-and-half-year deal with the Tigers - his first English club - after reportedly handing in his notice at York today.

As the City players have not been paid for two months it is understood Fettis was, in effect, out of contract. It also means that there will be no fee paid to York.

The only bright spot for manager Terry Dolan was that a stipluation of the deal is that Fettis will not play in this Saturday's clash between the two sides at the Tigers' new Kingston Communications Stadium.

Northern Ireland international Fettis said today: "I am glad it is all sorted out.

"I don't really want to leave but it's a shambles because of the mess the club is in. It's like a slow death.

"I've got to think of myself - it just happens to be Hull. I am looking forward to getting started."

The Evening Press understands Hull's approach for Fettis may have been done through the club's administrators.

The loss of Fettis, who is one of York's highest wage-earners, is a massive blow for City, with second-choice goalkeeper John Collinson still to make a first-team appearance for the Minstermen and the club still operating under a transfer embargo.

But it is understood salvation could come from City's close relationship with Sunderland with Michael Ingham, whom Dolan targeted earlier in the season, believed to have agreed to come to Bootham Crescent on loan.

Sunderland recently signed Mart Poom from Derby and with Danish international Thomas Sorensen, Austrian Jurgen Macho, Jon Kennedy, Ingham and Craig Turns on their books the Black Cats are well-blessed in the goalkeeping department. Meanwhile, City's current loan ranger Michael Reddy is looking to leave on a crest of a wave after helping the Minstermen to their first win of 2003.

The Sunderland striker scored and earned a penalty as City brushed aside their off-field torment to beat Swansea 3-1 at Bootham Crescent.

Reddy's spell with the Minstermen will end following this Saturday's game at Hull after City's request to extend his loan deal was turned down by Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson.

Having bid farewell to Bootham Crescent in fine style, Reddy admits he would love to sign off in just the same way at the Tigers' new Kingston Communications Stadium.

"I was on loan at Hull last season so it would be nice to get a goal and put one over on them, especially with it being at the new stadium," he said.

Reflecting on the win, which lifted City to eighth in the table, manager Dolan was delighted. He said: "I'm just pleased we have been able to put a smile on everybody's faces again."

Updated: 16:27 Monday, January 20, 2003