York City remains optimistic about its future – despite ‘dramatic’ financial hit

A deserted Bootham Crescent. Photographs: Richard McDougall
4 Jun 2020 @ 11.38 am
| Sport

York City remains upbeat about the future, even in the wake of the crisis which has cost the club a small fortune.

In the words of a club spokesperson, “the financial impact of coronavirus has been, and continues to be, dramatic”.

Since 13 March, when the pandemic first affected fixtures and York’s game against Altrincham was cancelled, the club estimates that it has lost upwards of £250,000 in revenue, from income streams including

  • gate receipts
  • merchandise and hospitality sales,
  • and premiership player appearance fees.

Despite these losses, chairman Jason McGill has further invested in the club to try to mitigate the financial pressures of staff and players, by ensuring that each staff member has been paid 80% of their wage, over and above the HMRC Job Retention Scheme salary cap of £2,500 where necessary. 

New stadium ‘uplift’

The LNER Community Stadium

The delayed move to the LNER Community Stadium has added to the club’s challenges.

City had expected to benefit from a ‘new stadium uplift’, with a rise in ticket sales for the upcoming season and reduced costs associated with a stadium tenancy, as opposed to the antiquated 1930s home of Bootham Crescent.

Delays to the start of the 2020/2021 season and/or opening of the LNER stadium “will undoubtedly worsen the club’s already tenuous position”, the club says.

But it issued a statement today saying, despite the uncertainty, “the club remains optimistic about its future”.

The statement said: “Our fans have remained engaged and the club has been overwhelmed with support and kind gestures, not least from the Vice Presidents who are currently crowdfunding specifically for Steve Watson’s team development.”

Challenging situation

Club chairman Jason McGill. Photograph: York City / YouTube

Meetings of the English Football League and National League are scheduled to take place in the coming days, which the City board hopes will provide it with some clarity.

Club chairman Jason McGill said: “The situation is very challenging indeed but we are not the only ones who find ourselves impacted.

“Other businesses across the country will find themselves impacted and changed, but it remains to be seen who will come out the other side.

“Those who can still work on behalf of the club are doing so, without associated dates, planning for a move to the new stadium and return to football, hopefully after promotion.”