COMMUNICATIONS and community director Sophie McGill is stepping down from York City’s board after 13 years in the role.

McGill has not been seen in the Minstermen’s directors’ box since the turn of the year and has chosen instead to watch matches from the Popular Stand at Bootham Crescent.

She has also sat with supporters at away grounds during that time, leading to speculation of a rift with her brother and City chairman Jason McGill.

Neither sibling has confirmed or denied such rumours in separate media releases and, announcing her decision, McGill said: “It has been an absolute privilege to have been a director of York City Football Club for the past 13 years. There have been many struggles along the way, but also many memorable moments, which I feel fortunate to have been part of.

“I am proud of the good things which I have been involved with at the club, in particular the growth of our community activities, which led to the formation of the York City Foundation and I know our community team will continue to make a real difference in the York area with the great work they do. I am sorry my departure follows such a difficult season, which has been challenging for all my family, as well as all York City fans.

“However, I know everyone at the club will be determined to regain our Football League status as soon as possible. I will definitely be continuing to support the club in the next campaign and will be buying a season ticket in the Popular Stand, where I watched matches before I became a director.

“I would finally like to thank my fellow directors, all the staff at the club, the supporters, the local media and the many good people and friends I have met and worked with over the years.”

Jason McGill joined his sister in the boardroom when the Supporters Trust took over ownership of the club.

He was initially managing director before becoming chairman and the family members continued in their roles on a reduced board after the Trust’s membership agreed to sell 75 per cent of their shares to Jason McGill’s Malton-based business JM Packaging in 2006.

The Press understands that Sophie McGill is also no longer employed by that company.

On his sister’s departure from the football club, McGill said: “I would like to thank Sophie for her contribution to York City as a director for the last 13 years. We have had both successes and failures during this time, but we must now look to the future and ensure the club reaches the objectives set out in my recent statement.”

City’s board now only consists of three people – Ian McAndrew, Jason McGill and his father Rob McGill, who has also not been seen at Bootham Crescent since the turn of the year.