York City has been told that the LNER Community Stadium won’t now be ready for the start of the new football season.
It has received information from City of York Council which “confirms a further delay” to the opening of the much-awaited stadium.
Previously City had said they were hopeful of kicking off the season in their new home.
The season will begin with FA Cup matches on Saturday, 3 October, with the first league games starting in the week beginning Monday, 5 October.
But officials have been told that there’s no chance for the club to play at the new ground until after 9 October.
In a statement which clearly shows the club’s unhappiness, City said: “To say that the club is disappointed and frustrated would be an immense understatement and we know our fans will be feeling the same.”
No fans either
The statement goes on: “This is followed by government advice today which suggests that plans for fans to return to sporting events will not go ahead.
“We’re aware of this and we are seeking official information and guidance from the National League before confirming to fans how this will impact the start of the season.
“Should fans not be allowed to attend games, the club has made it a priority to find new ways in which to connect with fans remotely, by introducing new digital content.”
City hopes to livestream home games “and will launch the York City Football Club Podcast in the coming weeks”.
The statement concludes: “We thank fans for their ongoing support and patience during what has been a challenging time for the club.”
A City of York Council spokesperson said: “We note following recent announcements it seems likely that the national league season will not go ahead from the start of October.
“We will continue to work with the clubs to enable them to occupy the stadium as soon as possible.
“While aware of the club’s ambition to start the season in the new stadium at no point was this option confirmed. It is incorrect therefore to assert a further delay.”
We continue to work with all our partners to make a success of what will be an incredible asset for the community and hope to make a formal announcement soon.”