A VOTE will decide whether York City Supporters Trust relinquish their 25 per cent shareholding in the football club next month.

The Trust have announced that a special general meeting will be held at Millthorpe School in Nunthorpe Avenue, York on Thursday, March 22 to decide on a proposal that has been agreed with the Minstermen’s 75 per cent majority shareholder JM Packaging, owned by club chairman Jason McGill.

Under a “Golden Share Proposal,” the Trust would still retain one share, which would protect new special rights and some that exist in the current agreement that saw JM Packaging take over ownership from the supporters’ body back in 2006.

As part of the new proposal, McGill has legally committed to utilise any proceeds from the sale of Bootham Crescent for the benefit of the club, of which he would be the 100 per cent owner minus the one golden share.

The Malton-based businessman has also agreed that JM Packaging would receive no more from the sale of Bootham Crescent than the aggregate amount that has been put into the club by his company since 2006.

That means he would contractually waive the interest payments he is entitled to under the existing agreement with the Trust, as per his previous verbal pledges.

JM Packaging’s financial support for the club since July 2006 currently amounts to £4.3million, excluding the £50,000 McGill subscribed for shares in 2003 and the £300,000 paid as per the takeover agreement – both of which would not be redeemed on the move from Bootham Crescent to the new Community Stadium at Monks Cross.

The Trust’s contribution to the club during the period since becoming 25 per cent minority shareholders amounts to £28,000, although that figure was donated rather than loaned.

JM Packaging will also provide additional funding of a minimum of £0.5 million through to at least the time when the club is operating in the new Community Stadium, which is anticipated to be from June 2019, while the new proposal guarantees too that McGill will continue in his leadership role as club chairman on an unpaid basis.

The Trust’s 25 per cent stake would be transferred back to the body, meanwhile, in the unlikely event that the club does not play at the new arena.

Other conditions, enforced by the “golden share,” forbid transfer of ownership of the club to any of the former Bootham Crescent Holdings directors Douglas Craig, Colin Webb and Barry Swallow and anybody connected with the trio or the late John Batchelor and protect the option for the Trust to acquire shares if McGill wishes to sell any or the entirety of JM Packaging’s stake in the future

There would also be new special rights protecting the City’s name, colours, badge and home stadium location, along with a commitment for meetings to be staged every six months between the Trust board and the club’s “leadership” for a structured dialogue about management, funding, operations and relationships with the fans and local community.

But the Trust would lose their current contractual rights to receive management accounts and authorise future additional borrowing, as well as surrender their entitlement to representation on the club’s board.

Commenting on McGill’s commitment regarding any potential equity from the sale of Bootham Crescent, Trust chairman John Lacy pointed out: “The amount of proceeds from the sale of Bootham Crescent will only be known once the sale has been completed.

“Therefore, the residual amount (after settlement of certain liabilities including the £2 million loan from the football bodies) available to make repayments to JMP is uncertain. However, the proposed arrangements will cap any amounts to be repaid to JMP at no more than the amount contributed to York City Football Club since 2006.”

More than 50 per cent of members must vote in favour of the proposal for it to be approved.

Before the vote, there will also be a discussion on the club’s ownership, financial and management situation.

Doors will open from 7pm and entrance will be on a first-come basis, with an early arrival recommended where possible.

People will only be admitted if they bring ID and Trust membership details.

To be able to vote, you must also be a lifetime or current paid member of the Trust as at Wednesday, March 7.

For those unable to attend on the night, meanwhile, there is the option of a postal ballot.