The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS -

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.


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