When yet another delay to the opening of the community stadium emerged this week, York City FC made its frustrations clear.
After years of postponements – including forlorn hopes a few weeks ago that City would be in by the start of this season – another setback proved to be the final straw.
The York Press reported on Friday that the ground wouldn’t now be available until Christmas due to ‘drainage problems’. York City decided to break its silence – and took to Twitter.
Signs on the panels which surrounded the construction of the stadium carried colourful posters declared that the stadium complex would be open in ‘Summer 2019’.
On Twitter the club published a doctored version of that poster, complete with crossed-out promised opening dates that have come and gone, from 2016 to 2019 and then ‘Definitely New Year’, ‘Covid Soz x’, ‘October 2020?’ and ‘December 2020?’.
The tweet also said ‘for radio silence’ people could follow the official social media accounts for the stadium – @yorkstadium hasn’t tweeted since January.
York City’s caustic response got a lot of support, with 202 retweets and 1.5K likes.
But leading York councillor Nigel Ayre was not among the supporters.
The community stadium is a City of York Council-led project, and Cllr Ayre tweeted this, alongside the LinkedIn profile of the club’s PR person, Emma Peel:
No stranger to social media conflict, Cllr Ayre – who, as the finance and performance portfolio holder, is intricately involved in the delivery of the stadium complex – would have expected a robust response.
And he got it.
There is only one disgraceful episode in this debacle that is YCC inability to hold anybody, especially itself to account, 5 years late and continues to get worse, Nigel get a grip, start to communicate and get on the radio and justify everything that’s wrong, you can’t and wont— Yorkshire_kk (@yorkshire_kk) October 17, 2020
Where’s your sense of humour? Seriously. If you’re genuinely annoyed by this then it’s probably because you know that the club have a point. The whole project has been a shambles and quite frankly we’re fed up.— Tom Ibbott (@tibbott99) October 17, 2020
‘Disgraceful’ is the word for the management of this project. There are weeds growing and cobwebs hanging in the stadium and we haven’t even moved in yet. We deserve a huge apology from all involved.— Bobb (@iatrogenesis) October 17, 2020
The council (all four parties) has been taking York City FC, York City Knights, and the fans of both clubs for mugs since 2007, and you’re outraged because a little bit of satire comes your way? 🤦🏻♂️— Frank Ormston (@Grovesred) October 17, 2020
Several commenters asked Cllr Ayre to respond to their concerns, and YorkMix asked him too, but we haven’t yet had a reply.