Part 3: York look ahead to 2020/21

YORK were back in action, funding had been promised and things were starting to look more normal. There was even hope for fans soon passing through turnstiles again.

York’s 2020/21 season kicks off amid positive Covid-19 tests and funding disputes

October 3 – York win their first competitive fixture of term, beating Warrington Rylands 1-0 in the FA Cup.

October 5 – Former York defender Ben Godfrey signs for Everton from Norwich City for a reported £25million. Since City included a sell-on clause into Godfrey’s 2016 deal with the Canaries, the Minstermen could have netted around £2.5m.

October 6 – York beat Chorley 3-1 in their first game of the 2020/21 National League North season, almost 14 months after the Minstermen’s 2019/20 campaign had kicked off.

October 9 – York City put seating from Bootham Crescent up for sale ahead of the Community Stadium move.

October 19 – £10million National Lottery funding is announced to help National League clubs through to December.

October 22 – A York player tests positive for Covid-19. Players and staff self-isolate until November 1. National League North games against Hereford and Kettering Town are postponed.

York City “seek further information” from the National League about the distribution of the National Lottery funds. The Minstermen claim the £36,000 per month they were to receive did not “meet the intended objective to compensate for loss of income from matchday ticket sales”. Teams in the National League were reported to receive either £95,000 or £84,000 per month, while National League North teams were to receive either £36,000 or £30,000 per month. York had a higher average attendance (2,705) in 2019/20 than one of the proposed top-earners, Torquay United (2,609), and an £84,000-earner Boreham Wood (724).

October 30 – Eleven clubs from Steps 1 and 2 ask the National League to reconsider “unsustainable” funding proposals. York did not sign the letter, which said: “We urge the National League board, or any independent panel otherwise instructed, to base their evaluation and decisions on the objective for the funding as per the DCMS press release: ‘Funding will be distributed to help cover lost gate revenue from the delay to fans being permitted to return’.”

November 3 – As an ‘elite’ competition, the FA confirms that the National League North will continue through the second national lockdown.

November 6 – York City’s scheduled return to action is postponed because of positive Covid-19 tests at opponents Chester.

November 13 – After returning to the field for a 3-2 win at Southport, York are again plunged into self-isolation following another positive Covid-19 test. This time, four games are rearranged.

November 18 – The Government explores the possibility of a post-lockdown, pre-Christmas return of fans in areas with low infection rates.

Nine National League clubs call for the resignation of the governing body's chairman Brian Barwick amid complaints over the proposed distribution of funding.

November 19 – The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announces a £300million ‘Sports Winter Survival Package’ to cover 12 sports. It “will be largely composed of loans” the press release reads.

November 23 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that outdoor and indoor venues in tier one and two areas would be allowed to admit spectators on a limited basis.

November 26 – York placed in tier two post-lockdown. City start preparations to host fans again.

December 10 – Four-hundred York fans watch City draw 1-1 with Spennymoor Town at Bootham Crescent.

December 17 – Ian McAndrew says York will be in the LNER Community Stadium by “early January”.

December 28 – York beat Guiseley 1-0 in front of 627 fans. It turns out to be the last game at Bootham Crescent as the LNER Community Stadium is declared ready for City to move in to.

Part 5: Uncertainty surrounds the National League North season