Alastair Smith

Alastair Smith - YCS Founder Member and York City CEO

Appointed City's CEO in July 2022, Alastair Smith committed to visiting YCS to give us an update on his role. Setting the date in October, little did anyone know what would happen before he came to speak to us on Decmember 8th 2022. Alastair gave a behind the scenes view of what it takes to be CEO of YCFC and some of the unexpected challenges he had faced and spent a good couple of hours enthralling us with his experiences over his first 5 months as City's CEO noting:

  • Overall, its been a frustrating time trying to unravel the club's contractual commitments, financial obligations and 3rd party relationships (including YCC and GLL)
  • This included chasing payments for invoices from 2021 and later, including loans fees due to City that (including from Buxton for Sean Newton) that had never been invoiced
  • He was disappointed that only 4 subs were named at Shrewsbury, citing the impression it makes on youth players who see no way forward and it can be de-motivational. The youth team players not out on loan could easily have been registered Friday afternoon for the game. He wants to encourage youth to first team progression.

David Webb's appointment

  • There were 60 applicants, one based on Football Manager experience, the rest were genuine. They included a number with recent Football League, National League and National League North experience including Lee Clark and Peter Taylor. No one with City connections applied
  • City set criteria, each director separately scored the candidates against the criteria and then they invited the top candidates for interview
  • The club understood the need to consider the candidates personal background (as well as football experience)
  • David Webb scored highly in everyone's ranking
  • Glen Henderson, Mike Brown, Alastair Smith and Jannie Henderson were on interview panel
  • David Webb's references were taken from Eddie Howe and Ian Burchnall (Forest Green Rovers)
  • With the players' Christmas do being the 2 days immediately after the Wrexham game, the players had had only one scheduled training session with David Webb and Micky Morton before Webb's illness, but initial feedback was positive and that they were "really organised".

John Askey

  • The Bishopthorpe cricket game saw Glen Henderon walking around the boundary chatting with the players and was probably the start of the differences between him and Glen Henderson
  • Alastair Smith, with hindsight, regrets maybe not doing more earlier to change John Askey's working practices from the McGill days to more towards what the new ownership expect from a manager. They were never able to arrange proper Askey / Henderson face to face meetings and they should have nipped the differences in the bud earlier
  • It was clear that Jason McGill and Glen Henderson had different ideas on how a manager / chairman relationship should work.

Glen Henderson

  • Alastair Smith believes that Glen Henderson "veers away from conflict"
  • Alastair first met Glen Henderson one week before takeover when introduced by Mike Brown.

LNER

  • Hosted "99 games in last year"
  • The 8,500 capacity includes all available seats, including dugouts
  • City don't sell the full capacity in the North Stand as the space in the concourse is very restricted
  • North Stand extension foundations are already in place and with that and filling in the corners, ground capacity could easily be increased
  • Expect a pitch re-turf within 10 years which will be costly
  • YCFC / YCK need to switch advertising boards for every game
  • SMC is wholly owned by YCFC and has 2 functions. They are to manage tickets sales and manage the stadium / pitch.

Budgets and Contracts

  • A number of 2022/3 squad have automatic extensions if they play a set number of games
  • City would like to extend the contracts of some players but need to work within budget
  • Scott Boden's wages available to bring someone in but City couldn't find anyone
  • For games shown on BT Sports', the home team receives £6,000 and away team £2,000 (both exc VAT)
  • Boreham Wood expect one overnight trip (Gateshead) this season, City about 15 based on a 2.5 / 3 hour journey criteria at a cost of about £4,000 per trip.

Also

  • Players donít like dark coloured kits (difficult to instantly pick out a teammate) nor do they like the chocolate / cream stripes. They like the blue. White shorts are hard to wash
  • The idea of pop up shop in York city centre with York Gin for the Xmas period had fallen through due to logistical challenges.