TERRACING could still be included in York’s new community stadium.

But fans of standing face a race against time to discover whether the Football Foundation and government are ready to relax their rules ahead of the first bricks being laid at Monks Cross next spring.

A condition of the £2 million Football Stadia Improvement Fund grant that will help pay for the home of York City and rugby-league cousins the Knights, from 2016, is that the ground is an all-seater venue.

That criteria has been in place since the Football Foundation’s launch in 2000, following recommendations made in the Taylor Report following the Hillsborough disaster.

Fourteen years on, though, a growing number of clubs and their supporters are seeking to challenge that legislation to enable teams to include terraced areas in any new stadia, part funded by the Foundation.

So, even though the plans of preferred bidder Greenwich Leisure Ltd, displayed this week at Bootham Crescent and viewed by an estimated 500 people, featured no provision for standing, that could change in coming months, according to City’s communications director Sophie Hicks.

“The issue is under discussion in Parliamentary circles and there is a strong case now for safe-standing areas in football,” the City board member explained.

“I think it’s 50-50 whether that will be decided upon in time, but it’s not in our hands. It’s up to football’s governing bodies and the government.”

Hicks has also revealed that the stadium’s current proposed capacity of 8,000 could be increased to 10,000 by adding an extra tier to one of the stands behind a goal, as well as potentially filling in two of the open corners - the other two would need to be kept as they are next to leisure facilities, such as the swimming pool and gym.

She added that expansion would not necessarily depend on the club reaching the Championship and might be merited by a boost in the Minstermen’s base.

“If there was the demand for a bigger ground, outside of the Championship, then you would put a business plan together to cost it up,” Hicks explained. “Our aspirations as a club, in the short and medium term, are establishing ourselves as a League One club, with the possibility of Championship football then a clear possibility.

“I think moving to a new stadium could have a dramatic impact because, as the operators, we will have access to non-match day income and we can reinvest those funds into the team.”

It is believed, however, another potential revenue source - naming rights - will not go into the football and rugby league clubs’ coffers.

That deal will be brokered by City of York Council and GLL’s management company with the subsequent money likely to be used to trim the stadium running costs.

The Press understands, however, there might also be commission or a finder’s fee available to either club should they recommend a business that leads to a successful agreement. City’s current shirt sponsors benendenhealth are expected to declare an interest.

Hicks is also excited by the cash-generating prospect of establishing the new arena as a popular business and entertainment venue.

She said: “Conferencing will form a big part of our non-match day income. It will be a venue that businesses can use.

“Weddings can take place, along with comedy evenings and tribute acts similar to what is offered by the (York) racecourse now. I think that’s something York needs.

“The racecourse is a great facility but this will be on the other side of the city, so we’re not in direct competition.

“We can also host our own events - like the end of season presentation night - rather than hiring the facilities from the racecourse at a cost.”

There will be double the number of executive boxes than currently at Bootham Crescent and they will face the pitch rather than the car park as at the Crescent.

Hicks stressed hospitality is changing in football, adding: “Boxes were not a priority for us from a match-day perspective as the trend in football now is for larger rooms before people take their seats in an area of the stand. The Knights did want them included though and there will be six.”

That provision, along with a predicted renaissance in rugby league interest over the next two years, should offset concerns expressed this week by Knights owner John Guildford over the loss of their Bar13 income at the soon-to-be demolished Huntington Stadium.

In comparison to the £1m annual wage bill for a professional football club plying its trade in League Two, the Knights’ part-time salary commitments are believed to be in the region of £100,000 and Hicks is looking forward to a future when both clubs prosper, starting with next year’s ground-sharing arrangement at Bootham Crescent.

She said: “We can’t really comment on rugby league but, in football, you can expect a 30 per cent uplift in your supporter numbers when you move to a new stadium. I also believe the Knights’ crowds will increase during the time they play at Bootham Crescent.

“I know there will be a lot of interest in the Knights from our own supporters just by speaking to them.

“We are seeing that period as an engagement when we get to know the Knights’ fans and their requirements, which will then bode well for a happy marriage.”

Under the plans, there will be no social club to replace Bar 13 or the football club’s Pitchside bar, but the hospitality area, including two bars, will have one room to hold 200 people and two more areas each with a 100 capacity.

Walls can also be removed to fit 400 people in at any one time and supporters’ groups from both clubs will be able to use the facilities on available evenings.

Alcohol will also be served before, at half-time and after games in the concourses of all four stands, where television screens will be mounted on walls.

Hicks also said the response to GLL’s plans from City supporters had been “overwhelmingly positive” but the club would welcome suggestions about any aspect of the project by emailing supporter liaison officer Dave Stanford at dave.stanford@yorkcityfootballclub.co.uk

Recalled McCombe on advance

JOHN McCombe has jumped to the top of The Press Player of the Year leader-board.

The 29-year-old centre-back has marked his recall to the City side with back-to-back The Press man-of-the-match awards for his performances during last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Wycombe and Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss at Johnstone’s Paint Trophy hosts Barnsley.

Those accolades saw McCombe pick up six points towards the standings.

Defender Marvin McCoy (two) and captain Russell Penn (one) were also rewarded with points at Oakwell as our second and third-highest rated performers respectively.

Against Wycombe, goalkeeper Michael Ingham (two points) and McCoy (one) earned recognition for their efforts.

The first The Press Player of the Month prize for the season, meanwhile, will be shared between attacking duo Michael Coulson and Anthony Straker.

They scooped the August honours after Lindon Meikle received the remaining two bonus points on offer towards that contest by polling the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website and followers of the @daveflettpress Twitter account.

Luke Summerfield was our readers’ choice for the Barnsley clash.

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month for September with a framed photograph at Bootham Crescent, vote for your man of the match from today’s game at Stevenage on this website or by tweeting @daveflettpress

The Press Player of the Year standings: McCombe 8, Straker 7, Summerfield 6, Coulson 5, McCoy 5, Penn 5, Lowe 3, Ingham 2, Ilesanmi 1.

The Press Player of the Month for August final standings: Coulson 7, Straker 7, Summerfield 6, McCombe 5, McCoy 5, Meikle 4, Penn 4, Ilesanmi 3, Lowe 3, Hyde 2, Ingham 2.

The Press Player of the Month for September standings: McCombe 3, McCoy 2, Summerfield 2, Penn 1.

Goals: Hyde 2, Lowe 2, Fletcher 1.

Assists: Coulson 1, McCoy 1, Meikle 1, Straker 1, Summerfield 1.

Bad boys: Penn two yellow; McCoy, Platt both one yellow.