YORK City chairman John Batchelor today reaffirmed his commitment to the Minstermen with his pledge to give two seats in the boardroom to the Supporters' Trust on the verge of being realised.

Amid mounting tensions over the future of Bootham Crescent, a slump in attendances, some fan discontent with performances and even rumours over his own future, Batchelor insists he is going nowhere.

"I am here for the long-term absolutely," he writes in his regular Evening Press Inside the Crescent column today

"I will have to be dragged out of here in a box - although the pressure I'm under that may yet happen!"

Batchelor confirmed City's overdraft is not yet at the £500,000 mark - a figure previously speculated - and said he was hopeful of announcing a major sponsorship deal to help 'plug the hole' shortly.

But with Tuesday's home game with Wrexham generating the lowest Bootham Crescent gate, just 2,970, of the season, Batchelor has made a fresh appeal for fans to come through the turnstiles.

"Our net gate receipts from Tuesday night's match account for about a third of what it cost to stage the game. Clearly, that is not sustainable," said Batchelor.

He added: "Football is a great product and enjoys terrific income - it just needs to look at how it spends it."

The 1-1 draw and point garnered from the Wrexham game was enough to lift City up one place in the Division Three table.

However, it means City have now won just twice in their last 12 outings.

Despite that run, Batchelor insists there is no sense of panic.

"One goal either way in some of our recent games could have made a dramatic difference," he writes.

"All we have to do is concentrate on what we were doing at the start of the season and put away our chances."

Significantly, Batchelor confirmed he has now agreed with the Trust to give the fans' body their two seats on the board.

He said he is hopeful the issue of fan representation will be resolved in a matter of 'weeks or days'.

Richard Snowball, chairman of the Trust, said he was also hopeful the matter could be sorted very soon with the Trust able to play a decisive role in the club's future.

He said: "The Trust has continued to press for the delivery of various promises made by John Batchelor and we do hope to get the supporter directors on board within the next few weeks.

"For it to work effectively, John must actively engage the supporter directors in all issues facing the club. To help the club move forward, we need to be properly involved, not just there for convenience."

Batchelor also reissued his determination to try and buy Bootham Crescent from the ground's owners, Bootham Crescent Holdings.

But amid fears City could be evicted from their home at the end of the season, Batchelor states he is "confident categorically" that the Minstermen will be still playing there next season.

Updated: 12:27 Thursday, October 31, 2002