YORK City Supporters Trust would consider selling their 25 per cent shareholding in the football club – but any such decision would be voted on by its members.

The Trust have been asked by City chairman Jason McGill for ideas on how to raise the £1million he feels will be needed for a competitive playing budget during the next two seasons, with the limit of his contracted financial commitment to the club having been reached.

But, at an East Riding Minstermen meeting, hosted by Malton Railway Club and attended by 30 people, Trust chairman Ian Hey admitted raising such money would be unrealistic without seeking outside investment.

Hey is set to meet McGill to discuss a way forward for the football club on Monday with plans for an open meeting to be held at a York venue soon afterwards.

City fan Hey, who has attended every home and away league game for the last 20 years, also suggested it would be his recommendation that the Trust do not surrender their stake in the club until the move to the community stadium is completed.

He said: “It’s a bit unrealistic to expect two or three thousand people to raise £500,000 in each of the next two years. Even if we raised £4,000 a week, that would still only be £200,000 so, if we want to keep the same playing budget, the ideal way would be to find outside investment.

“Otherwise, it’s our understanding that the playing budget will be reduced by two-thirds. The football club is not going bust and all the finances are straight, but the playing budget will suffer next season, because it’s the only place you can make significant cost savings.

“There have been rumours about all sorts of people who want to invest in York City, but I have received no approaches in respect to our 25 per cent. We would consider selling 25 per cent to an outside investor, but then it would be up to the members to decide and, if the feeling is we don’t want to sell in any circumstances, then fine.

“It would be my opinion that that we shouldn’t do that until we’re in the new stadium.”

If the Trust were to sell their interest in City before relocation, Hey also insisted that protections must still be in place to prevent the sale of Bootham Crescent before the move to Monks Cross is finalised, as per the terms of the deal that saw McGill’s Malton-based company JMP become 75 per cent majority shareholders in 2006.

“That protection is still there and there would be no reason for us to want to remove it,” Hey declared.

The Trust chief went on to suggest that the club’s relegation season had taken its toll on McGill and that fans should remain grateful to him for the club’s continued existence, saying: “Jason is extremely upset with where the football club finds itself and I was of the opinion he might be ready for quitting a couple of weeks ago, but he seemed a lot better at the weekend and, without Jason, there wouldn’t be a football club. Anybody who doubts that is wrong.”

Hey stressed, meanwhile, that the Trust were in no position to challenge their lack of representation in the club’s boardroom since the late Steve Beck stepped down in January 2009.

“We did have somebody on the board, but decisions were being made in Malton without the Trust’s board member being consulted,” Hey claimed. “Since then, two potential board members were put forward for consideration by the club.

“They accepted one and rejected the other, but the Trust felt it was wrong to have one person on the board without the other. We could challenge the lack of Trust representation on the board as part of the terms of the deal with JMP but, when you start paying for legal fees, it doesn’t take long to get into the realms of £15,000 or £20,000.

“The Trust received £300 in renewed memberships last year and it costs £350 to audit our accounts.”

While City’s vice-presidents raise more than £70,000 for the club every season, the Trust now have only 30 annual members paying a £10 yearly subscription.

The group’s last AGM, meanwhile, was only attended by 12 people – five of whom were committee members – with Hey admitting the body needs to be reinvigorated.

John Lacy and Martyn Jones are currently the only other Trust board members and Hey said: “It’s fair to say the Trust has struggled from a lack of support and we need ideas from members.

“They can’t just come from us three. We have no secretary, treasurer or anybody to work on the website and would welcome new bodies.”