York City put up for sale after Jason McGill loses fan vote

Jason McGill with City manager Martin Gray. Photograph © Ian Parker / Ice Photography
23 Mar 2018 @ 2.50 pm
| News, Sport

For sale: one football club. Many previous owners. Has seen better days.

Jason McGill has put York City on the market. And two parties are said to be interested in buying it.

The chairman has decided to sell the club after members of the York City Supporters’ Trust voted against transferring their 25 per cent stake in the club to McGill and his company J M Packaging.

At a special meeting of the trust on Thursday (March 22) the vote to transfer the stake was lost by 262 votes to 123 – a 68% majority.

In response, on Friday McGill said he was putting his stake up for sale – and the trust was welcome to buy it.

‘Immensely disappointed’

Testing times at Bootham Crescent. Photograph: YorkMix

In his statement the chairman pointed out that the trust has 910 members but only 385 votes were cast in the ballot.

This is his statement in full.

I was immensely disappointed at the decision last night by a majority of 139 members of the York City Supporters’ Trust to decline my offer of financing the football club until the opening of the new Community Stadium – which clearly has a wide-reaching impact upon the substantial loyal York City fan base.

It is therefore with deep regret I consider there is no alternative other than to offer the interests of J M Packaging Limited in the football club for sale to someone who is able to reconcile the Trust’s objective of operating on a breakeven financial position, whilst providing both the finances and aspiration necessary for any sporting entity to be successful.

Interested parties, including the York City Supporters’ Trust, in accordance with the 2006 Agreements, should contact my accountant, Steven Kilmartin at Hentons (York) Limited, 124 Acomb Road, York, YO24 4EY, with details of outline proposals and proof of their financial integrity to support a satisfactory outcome to negotiations.

Any submissions, meeting the minimum requirements mentioned, need to be registered by April 30 2018.

Player takeover?

Richard Cresswell playing for York in 2013. Photograph © Mattythewhite on Wikipedia
So with the deadline only five weeks away – and a new community stadium being built at Monks Cross – will there be any interest in buying York City Football Club?

Early indications are hopeful.

According to Dave Flett in the York Press “there are at least two parties interested in discussing a takeover”.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio York says that former York City striker Richard Cresswell “would would be open to offers in playing a part in taking over the club, with the right backing”.

Bridlington-born Cresswell played 95 times for City between 1995 and 1999, and 11 times for the club in 2013.

He also worked as head of football operations at City in 2014-15, and was briefly caretaker manager after the sacking of Russ Wilcox in March 2015.

Cresswell left the club in December 2015, a month after Jackie McNamara took over as manager.

Fan reaction

What now for the fans? Photograph © Ian Parker / Ice Photography

Are there any fans in Britain who have endured a tougher time than those of York City?

Now the club is once again imperilled, as well as being stranded two division below Football League status.

Here are just some of the reactions today.

Can we just clear all this up once and for all. It is extremely unlikely that the Trust will be called upon to run the club.

Jason McGill has NOT said he’ll quit. He’s said he’ll stop lending the club money, run a breakeven budget and try to sell up. So, yes he’ll need to run a tighter ship, but we’re not talking huge percentage cuts. JMP’s loans are only around 13% of annual turnover! Cut costs by 6.5%, increase income by 6.5%. Problem solved.

Unless he’s gone completely barking mad, he can’t and won’t just walk away from his legal duties or JMP’s money. He’s NOT going to relinquish control of the football club to the Supporters’ Trust in a million years. It’s just not in his interests.

Whatever the outcome, history tells us that the football club will prevail because the supporters can and will overcome anything in the face of adversity. But for now, we need to stop speculating and wait for Jason’s next move.

Mike Brown on Facebook

Teddy thrown out of pram. Clearly bitter as no where has he mentioned he would consider sitting with the Trust to work together.

Poor old Jason… hard done by!

Paul Farrar on Facebook

Great news. Maybe there is a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel. The end of abject failure, six figure losses and a complete disconnect between club and fans. Fingers crossed that we look back on last night as a turning point.

Robert Corker on Facebook