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Bootham Crescent - Monks Cross

Coming Soon - Promotion at Monks Cross and the completion of this page

Read: Where's The Bar? - How To Move 3 Miles In 20 Years

The Why

The wheels were put in motion for a new ground for York City in 1999 when Douglas Craig and his board of directors transferred City’s property assets, Bootham Crescent included, into a new holding company, Bootham Crescent Holdings (BCH). Effectively it split the ground and football club apart. Ostensively, it protected the club in case it fell out of The Football League.

The Land Registry noted BCH paid York City just £165,000 for Bootham Crescent.

For every share held in York City FC, the shareholder now also held a BCH share. Chairman Douglas Craig, being the largest shareholder, and the other directors held the vast majority of the shares.

At City's AGM in December 2001, Douglas Craig put a price of £4.5m on BCH for any potential buyer. It was a massive increase on the £165,000 paid for the ground just over 2 years earlier. He went on to say, alernatively, a purchaser could buy only the club, but would be forced to leave Bootham Crescent. He went on, "any parties seeking to acquire the ownership of the Football Club will be required to vacate the ground and premises at Bootham Crescent. BCH would give anyone buying just the club £1m towards paying off its overdraft and making Huntington Stadium, a local athletics ground, fit for football”. He went on, ”If no buyer comes forward by 31 March 2002, the board will resign the club's membership of the Football League on April Fools' Day as they cannot afford to keep the club going in the face of mounting debts”.

Thanks to the efforts of The York City Supporters Trust, and despite the best efforts of John Batchelor, the future of the football club was finally secured. The club secured a £2 million loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) to buy the ground in February 2004. The terms of this loan meant City needed to identify a site for a new stadium by 2007, and have detailed planning permission in place by 2009, to avoid financial penalties. Once plans for a new stadium were approved, the loan would turn into a grant to assist in funding the relocation. The loan was made on the proviso that a new stadium be completed within seven years, after which the £2m would be converted into a grant that will be the football club’s contribution to the new stadium.

Later Jason McGill, who assumed a majority 75 per cent shareholding in 2006 in return for providing £1m in funding to take York through to the new stadium’s scheduled opening date of 2011, said, "The FSIF have been fantastic throughout. If they hadn't provided the £2m loan then York City would have folded and probably had to start again somewhere else. Maybe even here at the old rugby stadium (Huntington), though the facilities would have been way below League standard. Without that lifeline, Bootham Crescent could have been sold. The Council probably wouldn't have given permission to build on the site while York City were still in operation. But who in their right mind was going to keep a club going and also put in what was needed with nothing on the horizon?" After the initial 2011 target date had been missed several other deadlines came and went to leave many in the city wondering if the stadium would ever be built, he added: “The FSIF could have been ruthless and said, ‘There is no sign of this being built, no matter what the Council say, and we want our £2m back. I didn't have £2m to give them. So we would have had to sell Bootham Crescent and give them the £2m back. We owe the FSIF a lot.”

As part of the agreement, Persimmon Homes had first refusal to buy the 4.4 acre Bootham Crescent site once York City leave, for 10% lower than its market value. Persimmon Homes intend to build a housing estate and the proceeds of the sale would go towards building the new stadium. In March 2008, Jason McGill noted "the annual cost of £60,000 for the maintenance and upkeep of a 1932 stadium with few commercial and income-generating opportunities" as the reason for the continued need to move to a new stadium.

The Where

The Monks Cross shopping estate dates back to the 1980s and is in Huntington, about 3 miles north of York city centre, just south of the A1237 and close to the A64 and York ring road.

Popular stores at the complex include Asda, Primark and Argos and a number of smaller outlets and restaurants, swimming pool and sports ground.

The multi purpose sports ground (Huntington Stadium) was the home of York’s rugby league side (in its different guises) between 1989 (when debts forced the sale of its Clarence Street ground) until 2014. It was never an ideal venue as it had a 6 lane running track and 2 open ends. However, it did host various regional athletics meetings (just 6 lanes prevented any significant national usage) and open air pop concerts.

In 1990, a York rugby league game saw the ground record attendance of 4,977 set, although in later years, the capacity was reduced. It must be noted that after the move from Clarence Street, there was a very short lived upturn in attendances before a steep decline, whether down to on pitch performances or location is debatable. The long standing York Rugby League club eventually folded in March 2002 due to financial difficulties which dated back to the 1980s and which had necessitated the sale of its Clarence Street ground. A new York City Knights rugby league side then played at the stadium, although they too struggled with poor attendances until moving to Bootham Crescent in 2016.

As well as Monks Cross, several other sites were considered:

  • York Central (behind the railway station) and Foss Island (the old gas works) were discounted due to their city centre locations
  • A64 to the west of York
  • A stadium as a part of a York University "sports village"
  • Bustardthorpe, by the racecourse, south of Terry's factory on Bishopthorpe Road
  • Fulford / Naburn maternity hospitals
  • Boroughbridge Road (British Sugar site)
  • Haxby Road (Nestle's Mille Crux).

An option to rebuild Bootham Crescent wouldn't go away. The preferred option became Monks Cross, the site of a 1980s multi purpose stadium.

The new York Community Stadium is built on the site of the old ground and is part of a new complex which includes a cinema, swimming pool and shops. The stadium will be owned by City of York Council and its joint tenants will be York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Football Club. The complex will also host various community concerns, including the NHS.

The capacity of the all seater stadium is 8,005 and is not dissimilar in style to many modern stadia of its size.

The What

The stadium will be all seated with a capacity of 8,005. The original plan was for a 6,000 seater stadium, but that was upscaled. An offer from Jason McGill to install safe standing, at a cost of £200,000+, was rejected by the authorities as they were unable to do the necessary in the timescales before building work started. Read More and see City's matchday programme from 1st January 2018. The content is re-produced below.

It will comprise four stands, imaginatively named the East Stand (Main Stand), the West Stand, the North Stand and the South Stand.

The 3 floored East Stand accommodated hospitality guests, players, officials and the media. It will be connected to the adjacent retail and community facilities.

The stands will stretch the length of the playing field, and each corner will host stadium facilities, including matchday emergency services, stewarding, groundsman accommodation, plant space and a fan zone. The seats will be a splatter of mainly red, blue, yellow and blue, largely a combination of the colours of both teams.

The pitch will use reinforced natural grass ("desso grass", incorporating some artificial grass on top of sand and is fairly standard these days), with provision to counter frost. The dimensions of the football pitch will be the standard 105 by 68 metres (115 by 74 yards), with 3 metre wide run offs on the sides and 6.5 metre wide run offs behind the goals, meeting FIFA recommendations. For rugby league, it will be 100 by 68 metres (109 by 74 yards), with 6 metre in goal areas, and 3 metre wide run offs on the sides and after the dead ball lines.

As well as York City and York City Knights, the community stadium project features a 13 screen cinema complex (including an IMAX screen), 5 restaurants and 3 retail units which will be run by Cineworld. Leisure facilities will incorporate a swimming pool, gym, dance studio, and a sports hall with spectator seating. NHS outpatient services will also be offered on-site from a community hub and there will be a new library. The council has also revealed (21st October 2017) that community partner agreements had been signed for the stadium complex with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and York Against Cancer, adding to the existing agreements with York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Club.

The equity left from the sale of Bootham Crescent after other creditors’ claims have been met will be used to cover the loans Jason McGill has made to the club on an interest free basis (foregoing what he was entitled to under his 75% shareholding purchase agreement) to bridge the gap until the move. With these outlays including £2m to the Council, £400,000 interest to FSIF and around £200,000 to the shareholders of Bootham Crescent Holdings, chances are McGill will end up out of pocket. “I would say I have contributed around £4.5m net. If I had left in 2011 as planned with the new stadium open that would have been it. Even a delay to 2012 when we won promotion to the Football League or 2014 when we reached the League Two play-offs under Nigel Worthington would have been fine. Then I could have walked away having delivered on my original pledge of York City getting a new stadium along with promotion back to the League. But things did not work out as planned and now, with Persimmon having a 10 per cent discount, the sale is unlikely to cover what I have contributed.”

The How

When asked what the future entails for someone who had initially planned to sell up in the wake of the scheduled move to a new stadium in 2011, Jason McGill, speaking in October 2018, replied: “Moving here will be a watershed moment for me. I would certainly want to have a season here, where I can enjoy the fruits of those labours. I am 52 and this saga has been a big part of my life, what with all the trials and tribulations that happened along the way. There was the lobbying of various parties, then the meetings with everyone from the Council to the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) and all the bodies that have been involved. It has been a lot of hard work, especially when I have been running my own business at the same time. I was spreading myself too thinly, and so there will be a year here. Then, after that, let’s see what happens. We all want to see York City benefit from increased crowds and the income this facility can generate. If we can dovetail that with success on the pitch, fantastic”.

It is hoped the traditional uplift in attendances at a new stadium, often around 30 per cent, will be repeated, not least because both York City and York City Knights rugby league club will benefit from all income generated when either is playing at home.

Jason McGill noted, “We hope fans will come down early, have a few beers and watch the Sky or BT game on a bank of TVs. We want to get the atmosphere going with local bands, but the original plan had no provision for a roof. That was no good as if it rains then the fans would have got wet. So, my company, and not the football club, has paid the money”. JM Packaging stumped up an extra £50,000 to cover the cost of a roof for the Fans’ Zone.

“The plan is getting to a position where the football club can wipe its face without needing extensive external investment,” McGill said about a club that lost £1.16m over the three years to June 2017, the last set of accounts available. “Personally, I feel it will be very tricky not to need some funding on an annual basis, at least early on after the move. But, certainly, the revenue this facility generates will reduce the money that will be needed. Be it JM Packaging (McGill’s company) or whoever. This will put the club on a stronger financial footing”.

It is expected there will be two non-matchdays a month, typically a Friday and Saturday night, when the Minstermen can stage events such as dinners or boxing bouts in the hospitality areas that will see all proceeds go to the club.

“The business plan is to increase the income of the football club,” added McGill. “Bootham Crescent has next to no facilities. For a start, the hospitality boxes face on to the car park. Here on the top floor there are three dining experiences. Left-hand side from the pitch is a room for 200 people, a pie and pea facility. The middle is more a carvery for 100. Then the directors dining room has scope for another 100. Something for everyone. We can also open up the whole area to make one large venue, catering for 400 at a time. At Bootham Crescent, we can probably do 50 maximum”.

Jason McGill went onto say, “The city of York is going to benefit immensely from this project. Not just the stadium, but the entire facility, from the leisure facilities to the largest cinema complex in Europe, swimming pool and a community centre with NHS Outpatients. The club couldn’t have carried on forever at Bootham Crescent. York City loses money there and has done for sometime. Of course it will be a wrench to leave. Bootham Crescent has been our home since 1932 and has some fantastic memories for all of us, good and bad. But by moving here we are safeguarding the club’s future. The original plan was to be in here by 2011. For a lot of reasons that didn’t happen. None to do with the football club. Now, though, as you look around at this magnificent facility going up you can see we are entering a new period in the club’s history. The club is protected by an agreement we have with the Council for 99 years. It means there can be no repeat of what happened in the past”.

The When / Timeline

Feb 2004 City secure a £2 million loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) to buy Bootham Crescent. The terms of the loan mean City need to identify a site for a new stadium by 2007 and have detailed planning permission in place by 2009, to avoid financial penalties

April 2007 York City FC identified a preferred site for a new stadium but due to confidentiality clauses its location was not disclosed. By March 2008, plans with the preferred site had stalled

May 2008 City of York Council committed to building a community stadium in for use by York City and York City Knights

June 2009 City of York Council's outline business case approved. It was hoped to open by 2012. The search for a site was on

June 2010 4 sites shortlisted, a 6,000 Monks Cross stadium being the preferred option, although already the opening date was now stated as 2014 at the earliest

Sept 2011 Developers Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd submit a planning application for the community stadium and retail park

May 2012 After much debate, the council finally granted planning permission (it was the Thursday before Luton), with the stadium expected to be ready during the 2014–15 football season. The council debate was lengthy, some arguing the development would damage the city centre economy and others that the projected £50m development costs could be better spent

Nov 2012 Construction delayed until June 2014, for a completion date of July 2015

Jan 2013 A further delay to the construction of the shopping park caused by the discovery of protected breeding newts at the site caused the stadium completion date to move to January 2016. Read More

Aug 2014 Greenwich Leisure (GLL) named as the preferred bidder to deliver an increased 8,000 all seater stadium, leisure complex and a community hub with construction was now due to start during spring 2015, for a completion date of July 2016. York City were given responsibility for operating and managing the stadium on an initial 13 year contract

March 2015 Planning application for the GLL plan (submitted to the council in December 2014) passed. By now, the cost of the complex, including a replacement athletics track at another site was £37 million

July 2015 Construction again delayed as contracts are not yet finalised and the new completion date was moved to during the 2016–17 football season

August 2015 Construction was once again delayed. Work was now due to begin in February or March 2016, for completion due by May 2017

March 2016 With construction costs increasing due to more detailed design work, construction inflation and delays, the cost was now put at £44.2 million. The start of construction was delayed to the summer of 2016, for completion in early 2018

Oct 2016 A judicial review of the development was launched by Vue Cinemas who objected to an extra screen being approved at the site. Later in 2016, the principal contractor ISG withdrew, citing rising costs and the judicial review which was settled in the City of York's favour in January 2017

Dec 2016 ISG, the main construction partner, withdrew from the project citing the ongoing uncertainty over dates

May 2017 Still no sign of construction starting and no new contractor been found. The Buckingham Group were eventually appointed as main contractor on 11th October 2017

Nov 2017 The council stated that work would begin on the stadium before the end 2017, to be opened for the start of the 2019–20 season

04-Dec-17 Construction begins. Listen to City director Ian McAndrew as work starts and Read More

30-Oct-18 Yorkshire Post reports the fanzone will have a roof thanks to a £50,000 donation. Read More. Plus Jason McGill interview

05-Jan-19 Safe standing timed out. Managing Director Steve Kilmartin has confirmed that the club's bid to introduce safe standing or rail seating at the new Community Stadium has been unsuccessful. Earlier in the season, City's board of directors confirmed that the possibility of safe standing or rail seating was being explored with key stakeholders, however, writing in the official match programme, Mr Kilmartin said: "There has been a considerable amount of work undertaken by the board of directors in relation to the desire for 'rail standing (seating)' to be introduced behind one of the goals at the new stadium as we were aware this would, undoubtedly, be a popular, although expensive, decision with supporters. Potential sponsorship, in this respect, was pursued, although not ultimately forthcoming within the available time frame and the Chairman generously decided that he would fund the provision which had been determined to have a cost in excess of £200,000. There were then a considerable number of additional obstacles to be overcome as written approval was necessarily required from the Sports Ground Safety Authority and all statutory parties needed to formally reach an agreement allowing rail seating within the new stadium. Ultimately, despite the intervention of the Shadow Sports Minister and passionate pleas from the Chairman, approval was not forthcoming and an order was therefore placed for conventional seating within the stadium only hours before the deadline imposed by the intended suppliers expired. We, therefore, move forward and having seen simulated visual displays of the ground with the projected seating and lighting installed these are, without doubt, quite spectacular with modern technology being utilised within the seat design to project a greater overall image that will be to the benefit of all concerned. The intensity of these negotiations - which often resulted in flurries of e-mails, telephone calls, and letters each day attempting to reach agreements with various authorities - only demonstrated (if proof was needed) that with the new stadium now reaching an advanced stage of development, this would not have been achieved without the vision, determination and tenacity, together with substantial funding, from the Chairman over the last 15 years. Every day, we are able to see, more clearly, the progress of exterior development with the drone coverage providing spectacular views of the internal aspects including proximity of the pitch area to supporters which should provide an atmosphere football fans will enjoy during games”

Early 2019 With plans already set for the end of the closure of Bootham Crescent in April 2019, a further delay, to later in 2019, of an unspecified length was announced

Aug 2019 New planning application sees Monks Cross' capacity increased to 8,512 (East (Main) 3,632; West 2,296; North (away) 878; South (home) 1,706; Total 8, 512)

Autumn 2019< Confirmed that construction would be completed by the end of 2019, however, at the time of writing (7th January 2020), construction work is still ongoing, albeit well advanced with both York City and York City Knights making plans to move into the new stadium within weeks

27-Nov-19 The York Community Stadium will be renamed the LNER Community Stadium after naming rights were approved at a City of York Council session last night. A Council statement said: "The approval from the Executive Member for Finance and Performance, authorises Ian Floyd, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Corporate Services to progress the Stadium Naming Rights Sponsorship Agreement." York City Football Club are to be handed the keys to the complex once construction is complete, with test events taking place thereafter before a competitive fixture can be played in the new stadium. November 2019 - Progress video

08-Jan-20 At the club's Q&A, the panel noted Monks Cross was still very much a building site and that they were still awaiting the council's date for completion. Dave Penney went onto say that the test events, arranged by GLL are pencilled in (subject to stadium completion) for Jaunuary 15 (a dinner for 200 people to test ticketing, toilets and evacuation), January 19 (a junior football event for 2,000 supporters) and 26th January

11-Jan-20 The Council released a statement which stated, "The stadium is due to be handed over on 4 February. For this to happen GLL and Buckingham need to have held a minimum of 3 test events. These are reliant on completing adequate commissioning and certification". Earlier on the same day, confirmation from one of York's junior football leagues that due to lack of any confirmation they wouldn't be able to attend and support the planned junior football event (January 19) and from elsewhere that the dinner on January 15 wouldn't be going ahead

04-Feb-20 The Council announce test events to be staged within the next 2 months

03-Mar-20 As City's last scheduled evening league game under the lights at Bootham Crescent kicks off, rumours mount of further delays until November for Monks Cross due to problems with the steepness of the terracing. A couple of days later, GLL told YorkMix there were no structural problems, no issues with CCTV (they said there are over 180 cameras), exit routes are fit for purpose and floodlights are of the required specification. Meanwhile, they said, "We share everyone's frustrations at this news, and are disappointed that GLL and Buckingham have not made sufficient progress to hold the required test events to enable the planned matches on 22 March. We have stressed to GLL the need for this matter to be concluded as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we continue to work with all our partners to make a success of what will be a fantastic place to support our clubs and a real asset for the community". Read Early March 2020 articles on MX stadium delays (YorkMix) and YCST Due Diligence

09-Apr-20 The City of York Council confirmed work is still continuing at the Community Stadium saying, "A small number of trades people are carrying out 'snagging' work. The York Community Leisure Complex is still a live building site but with a reduced workforce. All staff are following social distancing rules, along with enhanced cleaning regimes including hand washing, in accordance with government guidelines. The build is almost complete, but we have a small number of self-employed trades people still working (mostly on the external works) to progress the final stages of minor works, known in the industry as 'snagging'. This will continue for as long as it is government guidance to do so. This includes Buckingham's project managers. A set of test events are scheduled to be held once the stadium is complete, but these can only be held once social gathering restrictions are lifted. All certification and testing will recommence once Government allows the gathering of people to resume, but only at that point. When all contractors and partners are able to return safely to the site to fully complete the works, they will." Its good to know its "almost complete", a state its been in for a number of months

03-Jun-20 Jon Flatman, YCK Chairman noted, "We've been having regular conversations with contractors. There are no defects at the stadium but there have been some small snagging issues that need to be resolved. We've been informed that practical completion is a matter of days and weeks away. There are then some protocols around testing to obtain a safety certificate, both for playing behind close doors and having attendances at matches"

19-Jun-20 Having visited the stadium earlier in the week, Jon Flatman, YCK Chairman noted, “The stadium was close to practical completion, as it stands, clearly the builders need to hand the building over to GLL and to the Council. Once that building is handed over, the building requires test certificates. Those test certificates require numbers of people to be able to use the facilities. At this current stage, that isn’t the case”

29-Jul-20 Minutes, presumably from a City Of York council meeting, state Monks Cross, although "practically complete ... remains a building site. ... The construction is almost complete ... people still working ... to progress the final stages of minor works, known as 'snagging'. All certification and testing will only recommence once Government allows the gathering of people to resume"

22-Sep-20 CoYC advise City that the stadium will not play host to York City Football Club games until after 9th October (presumably 2020 although the year wasn't stated). This follows a day after GLL, the stadium operator, announced they were suffering financial difficulties. Its believed there is no link between the statements. 3 days after the date passed (October 12th), rumours of a further delay to mid November due to drainage problems began circulated. The rumours were confirmed on October 17 th with a new completion date of Christmas. Read More

16-Dec-20 City of York Council and GLL released news that the LNER Community Stadium has been completed. City noted, “This is really positive news. After a long wait, we’re now very close to moving into our new home. We’re aware that there are some final checks and approvals which need to be completed before we can take to the pitch but we’re looking forward to our first match at the LNER Community Stadium. We hope to be able to share more news about that soon. Watch this space!” Read More. On Radio York, Councillor Nigel Ayre said that all the statutory testing had taken place during the latter stages of construction and that no more ‘test events’ are needed. Buckingham will hand the keys over to GLL on Saturday (other reports quoted Friday). On December 18, the York City Supporters Trust, as a 25% shareholder in the club, granted its consent for the move to MX. Read More

08-Jan-21 After a wrangle over staff parking, it is announced that City's first game at Monks Cross will be on Tuesday January 19 against Gateshead with City expected to take up residency in the offices from January 11. However, even as the move was being announced, Steve Watson was laid low with coronavirus, when another player went down with symptoms overnight, the Boston game (January 9) was postponed. As the dominoes fell, Tuesday's last game at Bootham Crescent (January 12 v AFC Fylde) was postponed with the Gateshead game in doubt (it was formally postponed on January 13). With the NLN / NLS suspended for a fortnight on January 22, the "next" first MX game due on January 30 against Curzon Ashton was off

16-Feb-21 Football finally arrives at Monks Cross with a 7pm kick off against AFC Fylde. The game ends in a disappointing 3-1 defeat for City. Going 2 down, a Sean Newton penalty briefly gave City some hope. Fylde's Alex Witmore scored the first goal at the ground. Covid restrictions meant the game was played behind closed doors although City chairman Jason McGill was able to watch his son Gabby make his City debut. City's captain Sean Newton made sure 91 year old Bruce McIntosh, a lifelong supporter, was able to attend as a "virtual mascot", bringing him out the of tunnel via zoom on his iPad. Later, with the season voided, the game was expunged from the record books.

08-Mar-21 Hull City’s Under 23s make their LNER debut drawing 0-0 with Barnsley's Under 23s in a league game

11-Mar-21 York City Knights make their LNER Community Stadium debut going down 22-28 to Hull FC in a pre-season friendly

17-Mar-21 Leeds United’s Under 18s make their LNER debut beating MK Dons Under 18s by 8-2 in the 3rd round of the FA Youth Cup

03-Apr-21 York City Knights make their competitive debut at the LNER Community Stadium going down 6-21 to Toulouse Olympique XIII on the oepning weekend of the Betfred Championship season

09-Apr-21 Injury ravaged York City Knights go down 0-26 to Wigan Warriors in Round 3 (last 16) of the Challenge Cup in a hard fought and enthralling game at the Community Stadium

22-May-21 LNER Community Stadium hosted both semi finals of rugby league's Women's Challenge Cup. Broadcast live on the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website, York City Knights comfortably overcame Castleford Tigers (runners up in the last 2 competitions) by 32-4 in the first semi final. Holders Leeds Rhinos beat St Helens (20-12) in the other game. Fans were not allowed

06-Jun-21 Paying spectators are admitted to Monks Cross for the first time and see York City Knights beat Swinton Lions by 36-22 in the 1895 Cup Semi Final. With 2,000 tickets for sale, the attendance was quoted at 1,400. Matchday experiences varied as some noted teething problems like car park vouchers and turnstile scanning not working. Perhaps, more worrying was some fans reporting being over policed by over zealous security with taped off sections where people couldn’t get to their seats and being told to put their masks on whilst eating their food and drink. All fans were expected to wear masks throughout the game and CCTV allowed security staff to pick out individuals deemed to be breaking regulations. Its unclear whether the security staff are employed by the stadium or York City Knights. Others enjoyed the experience, including drinking in local pubs and strolling to the ground whilst kerbside parking was available. It is hoped that teething problems are sorted by the start of the football season

08-Jul-21 City unveil a “wall of honour” in the fanzone at the LNER Community Stadium recognising the outstanding support of the club during the Covid-19 pandemic of the 1,097 (97%) of season ticket holders who left their money in the club, opting out of a refund to help the Minstermen at the beginning of the pandemic. A club spokesperson said: ”We were deeply touched by the efforts of our supporters to help the club in our time of need and amongst the uncertainty of the pandemic last year. The supporters are the lifeblood of this club and to show our appreciation we wanted to honour their names individually for all to see at our brand-new stadium”

05-Jul-21 Companies House filing posted stating City have changed their registered office address from Bootham Crescent, Newborough St, York, YO30 7AQ to York Community Stadium Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Drive Huntington York YO32 9AF

11-Jul-21 Over 1,000 fans attend Cty's open training session at LNER Community Stadium. Refreshment pricing seemed to be a major talking point. This was the first of 4 events (3 pre-season friendlies to follow) that the City Of York Council named as 2,000 crowd limited test events prior to certification for a full capacity stadium

18-Jul-21 Supporters watch City for the first time at The LNER Community Stadium and beat Newcastle United 1-0 with both sides fielding strong first squads (Newcastle's plan to mix their first and Under 23 squads between games at Harrogate and York were scuppered due to coronavirus). Given the complex covid restrictions, the capacity was limited to 2,000 and visiting supporters were excluded. Most came away impressed City’s composed display against a strong Newcastle side. Due to covid restrictions, masks and social distancing were mandated inside the ground. West Stand ticket holders were barred from the Fanzone which was segregated with metal barriers to divide the South Stand and Azuma Stand for the fixture. Physical programmes were not available to buy at the ground but were available to buy online. Concessions bars were open, but no alcohol was sold. It is unclear how coronavirus is transmissible via alcohol but not other drinks and refreshments (by the next game, alcohol was available). The team sheet listed York’s number 10 as “Don Trialist”, it transpired Clayton Donaldson is still contracted to Bradford City until the end of July. However, the programme featured him on the cover, 2 other full page photos and another full page interview with him. Over 44,000 fans passed through the virtual turnstile and witnessed Rebecca Welch become the first (female) referee at our new stadium

05-Aug-21 Apparently a CoYC meeting fails to give LNER a capacity crowd safety certificate meaning City's opening day fixture will be played in front of a limited, all - ticket, crowd, believed to be 2,000 although some general public and away team sales (10% of capacity) will be available

07-Aug-21 LNER hosts a behind closed doors 2-2 friendly between Leeds and Villareal. Cllr Nigel Ayre tweeted, "Premier league, Europa League quality facilities right here in York", just a shame the game was played behind closed doors so that the York public got absolutely no benefit

14-Aug-21 First competitive game at LNER sees City go down 2-1 to Kidderminster. Kiddy's Ashley Hemmings opened the scoring. Mackenzie Heaney equalised just after half time to become City's first scorer at the new ground before a late Sam Austin goal saw City go home empty handed. The crowd was stated at 2,019 despite numbers being reportedly capped at 2,000 (all day tickets were sold out although season ticket and hospitality tickets were stil believed to be available). There were some reports of failures with the new ticketing system and that the roof elevation left many front rows of seats open to the elements

24-Aug-21 Safety Advisory Group announce a 4,000 capacity for Sunday's (August 29) York City Knights double header game v Bradford Bulls (men) / Leeds Rhinos (women). An announcement from City followed a day later to confirm the 4,000 capacity for the Brackley game (August 28). A day earlier (August 23), in a club statement, City had said that the SMC, along with GLL, the Council and SAG, are continuing to "work closely... to facilitate the increase in capacity at the LNER Community Stadium from its current level of 2,128", it broke a virtual wall of official silence and quelled speculation which had included reports of problems the new ticketing system (seats being double sold, purchasers receiving 2 additional free tickets when buying one, problems accessing the computerised system and being unable to contact the club), delays in issuing season ticket cards, problems with turnstile access / tickets not being accepted at the turnstiles included. Given York City Knights had been admitting paying spectators for around 6 weeks before City’s first game, it was disappointing that so many problems persisted as the season kicked off. The Knights evidently had to resort to opening the gates to let folk in, something that was reported at early City games.

28-Aug-21 Ground record 2,375 crowd saw City go down 2-1 to 2 late goals. With crowds streaming back to games across the country in the post Covid world, City’s restricted capacity cost the club in the pocket. Given the 2,375 ccrowd for the second home game, it is not unreasonable to think 3,000+ might have attended the opening game, maybe costing City £12,500 in lost gate money

29-Aug-21 Bradford Bulls beat York City Knights by 36-18 at LNER. There were few reports of the attendance figure, although one stated 4,000 which would make it a sold out record crowd (given the then current safety limit) and would be in line with the crowds The Bulls drew at Bootham Crescent in the recent past

04-Sep-21 City record their first competitive win at LNER, beating Farsley Celtic 4-2 in front of 2,591, a club record attendance for the ground

08-Sep-21 Leeds Under Under 23 hosted Wigan at LNER in their first match of the 2021/2 Premier League Cup (Group E). It was the first Leeds game played at the stadium in front of paying spectators. The side split their home games between Leeds' Thorp Arch, LNER and Elland Road this season. Tickets were priced at £6 (adults) in The East Stand in advance or from the North Ticket Booth on the night. Car parking (4 Hours, Free) was available at the Supporters park in the north car park or Vangarde. The game was streamed on LUTV for LUTV subscribers

28-Sep-21 A first LNER league game under floodlights saw City lose 1-0 to bottom of the table Hereford, a well organised side. A subdued, but City record attendance crowd of 2,483, many huddled towards the back of the stands away from the elements on a bleak, wet and blustery night saw City fail to capitalise on a strong start. A missed Donaldson penalty was compounded by calamitous defending which gifted The Bulls their late winner

02-Oct-21 Announced earlier in the week, City’s new partnership with YO1 Radio which sees them become the club’s Official Radio Partner sees YO1 Radio takeover the club’s newly named YO1 Radio Fanzone on matchdays, equipped with a branded stage that will host live acts, DJ sets and further entertainment. Read More. On the pitch, Whitby fielded a side containing 6 ex York players, Nathan Dyer, Bradley Fewster, Jon Burn, Dan Rowe, Lewis Hawkin and Jassem Dyer. On their bench were ex City players Jameel Ible (albeit very short lived) and Coleby Shepherd (a former City youth player). Their bench also included Lee Bullock (manager) and Jeff Miller (physio). The game was watched by 2,238 (including 371 away supporters)

09-Oct-21 City host Southport at the LNER and help to promote First Bus' 500 'day codes' promotion which offers free unlimited bus travel on the day across all First Bus routes in York noting the #9 route runs to and from The LNER Community Stadium from the city centre. City win 3-1 in front of a crowd of 3,199 (including 145 away supporters), a new City record for the LNER

23-Oct-21 Despite high hopes of a record crowd, only 3,154 (including 417 Chester fans) see Ciy win 1-0. Anecdotal evidence from several sources point to a much reduced bus service, both before and after the game, apparently due to covid / lack of driver issues. Inside the fanzone, shelving and tables made their first appearance. On arrival, City's fans were greeted with a protest leaflet

02-Nov-21 York Stadium Management Company granted an ‘unrestricted’ certificate by York’s Safety at Sports Advisory Group which will allow a full 8,500 capacity LNER crowd

06-Nov-21 City go down 1-0 to Buxton in Round 1 of The FA Cup in front of 3,791, a record LNER crowd swelled by 1,050 Buxton fans. Long queues in the city centre and even longer queues at the turnstiles were reported. The fixture was designated as City’s Remembrance Day fixture and there was a minute’s silence before kick-off. 2 wreaths were laid, on the pitch and underneath the war memorial in the South Stand. On the 9th minute, there was a minute's applause to honour the legendary striker who wore the number 9 shirt for the 7 season's he played for City. Alf's family were invited to attend the game

20-Nov-21 City give a dire performance and go 1-2 to Kettering in John Askey's first game as interim manager. The matchday programme featured the recently deceased Barry Jackson on the front cover and there was a minute's applause in his honour before kick off. The crowd was just 2,616 (including 115 Kettering supporters)

27-Nov-21 The FA Trophy comes to LNER for the first time, the fans didn't on a bitterly cold and snowy afternoon, it was a record low of 1,184 (including 53 away fans). City players showed their mettle, not one outfield player wore gloves, some wore short sleeved shirts

11-Dec-21 City draw 1-1 with Chorley in a game played in front of a record 4,512 crowd (including 156 away fans) thanks to a special entry price of £5 (£3 concessions and free for Under 5s). The crowd witnessed a brief stoppage in the 10th minute after a tennis ball protest, a sending off for Matty Brown and a Yorkie on a bike. The game also marked the first appearance of an enhanced City Wall featuring portraits of Norman Wilkinson and David Longhurst alongside the original Keith Walwyn portrait

20-Dec-21 City issue a Stadium Management Company statement reminding fans of ground regulations amid reports of a number of broken seats at the Chorley game. No mention was made of tennis balls. Read More

28-Dec-21 City beat Alfreton 1-0 at the LNER on the day that the club announced the Nfinnerty branding of the South Stand. The locally based, family run Nfinnerty Electrical & Plumbing have signed a long term agreement for the sponsorship of the South Stand, it will be officially renamed the Nfinnerty Stand with red and blue branding adorning the rear sections and includes a tribute to David Longhurst in the artwork as well as a ‘We are York’ section which is central to the design. Read More

25-Jan-22 City went down to an abysmal 3-0 defeat to lowly Bradford PA under the lights despite enjoying the vast majority of posssession and allowing the visitors only 3 attempts on goals. Bright spot? Most of the City faithful continued to show their support for the team during and after the game. However, many leaving the ground noted a lack of First Group buses back into the city. Due to a technical issue with the turnstiles, City had asked for season ticket cards holders to arrive early so their cards could be manually scanned whilst anyone trying to use the website to buy tickets on the night might have seen unusually large amounts of tickets in their basket. After the game, Jason McGill issued an apology which in full read "As Chairman of the Football Club and on behalf of the board of directors, we would like to issue an apology to our loyal fanbase. We know our supporters are hurting and we are too. I have been a supporter for 48 years, attending my first match when I was 8 and have stayed with the club through thick and thin, donating £50,000 when the club was on the brink of extinction in 2003 and providing funding to the club as Chairman since 2006. The majority of current board members are also lifetime supporters of the club and work in a voluntary capacity. The fans deserve better from what has happened since season 2015/2016 and this season the results on the playing side have hit new lows. I think back to the recent highs of winning at Wembley twice in 2012 and reaching the League Two playoffs in 2014. We need that feeling back at the football club and I am determined to steer the club in the right direction and out of the rut we are in. I am still passionate about York City Football Club. Having sat down individually with each staff member across all departments over the past few weeks, I have seen first-hand the work and desire to improve our situation. It was the correct decision to change Manager in November because it showed on the pitch that the results and performances were not good enough and we were falling behind what we consider acceptable with the level of our playing budget for the division. A change was needed sooner rather than later. The Sporting Director, Dave Penney and I are in constant communication with John Askey to support him with the playing side with John having the final say. The signs have been positive with players leaving and fresh blood coming into the club who have been identified, analysed, and trialled behind closed doors before signing. Further investment into the playing squad has been approved and supporters can expect changes in the coming weeks to allow us the best chance of promotion this season. We believe John is the best man to take this football club forward in the second half of this campaign. It has proved to be a difficult task to recruit new players whilst the transfer window is open, hopefully, this will improve next week. I must also highlight that your support throughout this period has been incredible. The fact that we can still bring 2,800 through the gates on a Tuesday night against Bradford Park Avenue and average an attendance some Football League clubs would dream of, is remarkable. This is a testament to your loyalty and the bond you have with the club. I ask that every section of the fanbase gets behind the team on the pitch for a big game this Saturday against Gateshead, whatever your concerns are about the current board of directors, it is in everyone’s interests that our great club wins the on-pitch battle and progresses in the right direction. Thank you for your continued support. Jason McGill, Chairman, York City Football Club, on behalf of the Board of Directors".

29-Jan-22 An improved performance saw City draw 1-1 with top of the table Gateshead in front of 3,578 (433 away supporters) and an increased number of stewards, some reports suggested 100. Prior to the game, City reported 3,000 tickets sold and 1,000 free tickets given to local schoolchildren, a great effort considering the previous home game. Post match, more reports of a lack of buses

31-Jan-22 A new season of rugby league kicks off under the lights at the LNER with York City Knights going down to pre-season title favourites Featherstone by 12-30 in front of a crowd of 3,602 (including about 1,000 away fans) with all adult tickets at £10, half the usual price

15-Feb-22 A one minute's silence was held for John Lacey, the former YCST chairman who sadly passed away 2 days earlier. A 4th home game in 3 weeks saw the crowd dip to 2,402 (42 away fans)

24-Feb-22 York Community Stadium Management Company Statement issue a statement to advise that as part of the agreement to host the deferred Rugby League World Cup 2021 at the LNER Community Stadium in November 2022, drug and explosive detection dogs will be around the stadium for several matches for the dogs to become familiar with the stadium and the surrounding area. The dog handlers are fully qualified and are licensed to work at the stadium.

24-Feb-22 Finally. City announce that all TVs in the Azuma (East) Stand are now linked up and will show Sky Sports in the concourses and hospitality areas and expect similar in the Nfinnerty (South) and West Stands next week

08-Mar-22 City beat Darlington 3-1 under the lights in one of the best games of the season in front of an attendance of 3,579 fans (including 616 away supporters). After the game, Kingsley James noted, "It's created such a good atmosphere for the players."

15-Mar-22 After the highs of Dagenham, City drew 0-0 against Curzon in front of 2,678 (including just 15 away) supporters. Curzon parked the bus, unfortunately it left dead on the final whistle as City supporters were left stranded at the ground as no service back into the city centre was available. The more First Buses tweeted their case, the bigger the hole they dug as suggestions they weren't aware of a match, provided pre match buses and sold return tickets were made. It would appear that YCFC / SMC did inform First Buses who didn't forward the email to the appropriate person as no buses were seen after 9:30 (i.e. after the final whistle)

15-Apr-22 City beat Spennymoor by 1-0 thanks to Maziar Kouhyar's last winner, his first City goal, in front of a healthy 3,797 (277 away fans) Good Friday crowd. Post match, Spen boss Anthony Johnson noted how loud the crowd was in that second half and how they made Spennymoor feel under pressure even from throw ins.

21-Apr-22 City staff arrive at the ground to see freshly painted graffiti. In a statement, City said, "This act of mindless vandalism has not only cost the club money but has taken time out of our hardworking staff's day to clean up. The individual has now been caught on CCTV along with their numberplate recorded from the car park cameras, both images have been passed onto the police. Once formally identified and prosecuted, we will seek to sanction the individual with a lifetime stadium ban". A grainy CCTV image of a potential suspect was released about 3 weeks later.

23-Apr-22 For the penultimate league game of the season City invite 1,100 key workers and up to 1,500 children from various groups in York to the game, given recent form, the take up was disappointing with an attendance of 3,695 (including 75 Gloucester fans). The game saw the return of a flag display which were supplied by the Supporters Trust. Both teams were greeted by a wall of noise as they entered the pitch through a flag display ahead of kick-off, with City fans flying the new set of flags with pride behind the goal at the Nfinnerty South Stand end. The biggest flag was a massive 3.5m x 2.2m with 4m hand waving poles. Half time saw the first mascots race at the LNER, it was won by Nanda.

02-May-22 City beat AFC Fylde 2-1 in the last home game of the season to clinch an end of season play off spot watched by 4,387 (153 away fans), apart from games where there has been mass discounted tickets, the highest crowd of the season.

04-May-22 LNER hosts the North Riding Senior Cup Final as Scarborough Athletic beat Guisborough Town 3-0 (with goals from Brad Plant, Will Jarvis and Ryan Watson). Past and present City players Ryan Whitley, Simon Heslop and Will Jarvis were in the winning side. The crowd was 1,387 with over 1,000 Scarborough fans, segregated in the main (East) stand (the only open stand), and about 150-200 supporting Guisborough plus a few neutrals. Seadogs fans no doubt hoping they're be back at the LNER next season.

11-May-22 City beat Chorley by 2-1 in the NLN play off eliminator (quarter final) in front of a ground record crowd of 6,394 (including 314 away fans). Jason McGill was reported to be in attendance. Tickets had gone on sale on the previous Sunday morning for season ticket holders only, anecdotal feedback was that seats were not reserved and season ticket holders could buy any available seat. By close of play Monday (when tickets went on general sale), 4,300 seats had been sold and a day later it was 5,800. The crowd was double the season's average of 3,116 and the highest since 6,660 saw the 2007 play off game with Morecambe. The crowd was believed to be the second highest ever in the sixth tier and more in one night than 3 NLN teams mustered all season. Before the game there were reports of bus chaos in the city centre and long queues outside the ground that resulted in stewards opening the gates. Inside the ground, many celebrated the "final whistle" with a pitch invasion, initially before the final whistle, a small number of fireworks were thrown between the 2 sets of supporters at the end and there were a number of seats damaged in the South Stand. York Stadium Management Company statement and YCFC directors response.

21-May-22 City beat Boston 2-0 in the National League North Play Off Final in front of an all ticket restricted crowd of 7,500 (the actual attendance was a ground record of 7,448, the highest home gate since Boxing Day 2003 when 7,923 saw City play Hull). A York City statement read, "We would like to make supporters aware that after a meeting with the York Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which comprises of the City of York Council and Fire, Police and Ambulance services, we have unfortunately been restricted to (a) 7,500 capacity due to the damage to the stadium, pyrotechnics and pitch encroachment on Wednesday night (Chorley play off game). The SAG have stated that North Yorkshire Police will be at the ground and that any pitch encroachment either during or after the game will result in arrest. Detection dogs will also be present inside and outside the stadium. Some areas of seating, including the front rows of the stands, will be sectioned off and not available to sit in. The club's fanzone will also be segregated. Allocated seating has been introduced to the South Stand and all tickets must be purchased in advance. Season ticket holders have a priority window which closes at 5pm tomorrow, when the general sale begins. Ticket prices have been set by the National League at £20 for adults, £15 for concessions, £7 for under-16s and free for under-5s". Tickets went on sale to season ticket holders on the previous Monday (limited to 2 per person with over 2,500 sold) before being opened to everyone at 5pm a day later (no limit on number of tickets per person). City’s allocation (approx. 6,700) was sold out by 6:18pm that day. There was anecdotal evidence that some Boston fans had bought tickets in the City sections and City subsequently stated that these had been cancelled and re-allocated to City supporters. Boston’s allocation of 878 tickets went on sale day later. The front 5 rows across the whole of the South Stand and the small, lower, outer sections of the East and West Stands were unsold. The game was livestreamed at £10. No arrests were reported despite the presence of around 50 policemen inside the ground (mostly forming a shoulder to shoulder cordon at the Boston end at the final whistle), a couple of pitch invasions and a number of flares.

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Monks Cross Delays: LNER: An Apology.


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