YORK AND MCGILL ON THE ROCKS
THE York City Supporters Trust and owner Jason McGill are at a standoff after failing to reach an agreement over their shareholdings, which could leave the club’s future in doubt.
After financial problems with Hartlepool, Chester, Dagenham and Torquay have come to light, now another club is understood to be at risk if the two parties can’t come to terms.
McGill, whose company JM Packaging has been majority shareholder of the National League North club with 75 per cent since 2006, asked for the Trust’s 25 per cent share if he is to continue covering the club’s losses until moving to their new community stadium in the summer of 2019.
The Trust, cautious for history to not repeat itself after they saved the club from liquidation in 2003, rejected and instead offered McGill 20 per cent, leaving him with 95 per cent of the shares.
The deal also included a clause that would see the Trust receive a payment if McGill sold his shares within two years of moving to their new Monks Cross stadium, as well as 21.35 per cent of any equity from the sale of their current Bootham Crescent ground once the club’s creditors have been paid.
However, at the Trust’s recent annual general meeting, they revealed McGill had rejected the proposal. Bootham Crescent has previously been valued at £4.5m by the City of York Council which is understood to be enough to cover the money McGill has loaned into the club through JMP.
The club’s auditor, Steve Kilmartin, speaking on behalf of McGill at the meeting, claimed the land would not receive offers of more than £3m after the Trust stated they would seek a new, independent valuation of the land.
Kilmartin also said that the club going out of business is a real possibility if the Trust vote against any further offers, although did not intend the statement to be a threat.
The auditor believes acquiring the Trust’s shares would be a “reward” for McGill’s efforts at York. However, those shares currently have no value and if there isn’t a surplus from the Bootham Crescent sale then McGill wouldn’t stand to gain anything, raising questions behind his motives.
Supporters have urged McGill to be open about his vision for the club, which made a significant six-figure loss last season, by providing business plans and management accounts for the past two years, and the next two, so Trust members can make an informed decision on any future vote regarding the shares.
SHAREHOLDER: Jason McGill