York City chairman Jason McGill has asked fans to provide ways of finding £1 million of funding to help the club remain free of financial turmoil in the National League over the next two seasons according to the York Press.
The chairman’s desperate plea comes just 24 hours after the club’s relegation to non league football was confirmed following a 3-0 defeat at promotion chasing Accrington Stanley.
The short term financial situation at Bootham Crescent looks bleak with The Minstermen set to lose over £500,000 a season in the National League while the club’s seemingly never ending wait for their new stadium at Monks Cross is set to rumble on for at least two more years. The club’s operating costs over the past decade have been covered by Jason McGill’s business JMP Ltd but that funding is set to cease this summer leaving the club’s immediate stability under a cloud.
McGill recently approached the Supporters Trust to ask for their views on how the club could raise an additional £1 million to remain competitive in the National League and the City supremo is awaiting their feedback. Without this additional income there is a real danger of the club falling further down the footballing pyramid with some fans concerned that City could slide straight into the National League North should the club’s on and off field position not be improved over the summer.
York City have confirmed that current manager Jackie McNamara will oversee a change of footballing structure at the club over the summer with an emphasis on City signing hungry young players who have a desire to represent the club while also improving the academy structure at Bootham Crescent.
McNamara’s stay as York City manager has been met with mixed views from supporters with some hoping that a good summer of recruitment and pre season will provide the club with a tonic to fight back next season while many question the Scot’s lack of knowledge of the English game while being hugely critical of his poor record during the five and a half months already spent in charge of the club.
With many income streams including season ticket sales set to reduce this summer, The Minstermen face a huge battle to stay afloat and put up a solid fight for promotion next season. There is a realistic concern that the club could suffer similar non league financial problems as seen at the likes of Darlington, Hereford United, Kettering Town and Weymouth in previous seasons. This uncertainty could hit attendance figures with some fans unwilling to commit large sums of money towards season tickets with a fear of the club becoming financially crippled mid-season while some have no desire to attend non league football matches.
The reality of the situation is simply that a huge fundraising task lies ahead should the club wish to at least remain a respected member of the National League. In previous seasons, cash strapped clubs have used various initiatives to raise additional funds such as Crowd Funding, selling shares, sponsorship and bucket donations however it will take some significant other investment streams to raise anywhere near the £1 million figure requested with these kind of fundraising initiatives rarely generating more than £250,000.