York City to pick up tab if play-off matches take place says chairman Jason McGill

Chairman Jason McGill is hoping the way is paved for York City to pick up a £120,000 to £150,000 bill for a farewell play-off at Bootham Crescent.

Chairmam Jason McGill pictured in the new York City Stadium at Monks Cross, York...25th October 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Chairmam Jason McGill pictured in the new York City Stadium at Monks Cross, York...25th October 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Chairman Jason McGill is hoping the way is paved for York City to pick up a £120,000 to £150,000 bill for a farewell play-off at Bootham Crescent.

At 5pm the National League, which administers the Conference Premier, North and South, votes on whether to hold play-offs involving local sides the Minstermen, Harrogate Town and Halifax Town.

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They were off the table for Conference North – York’s division – until a U-turn on Monday.

“I think the resolution will pass,” McGill told The Yorkshire Post. “It’s been a tough old time since the National League said the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) didn’t believe elite football dropped down to National League North and South (preventing a resumption).”

The league has not said what happens if the motion fails, and MacGill is unsure if all six Conference North teams qualifying will want to play-off. For the owner of a club in the Football League for 80 of their 98 years, turning down the chance is unthinkable.

“I think we’ll have to issue warranties and indemnities,” he explained. “It will probably cost us £120,000 to £150,000 to bring the players off furlough and test them (for Covid-19) but it would be doing a disservice to our supporters, manager, team and staff if we didn’t try for promotion after 80 per cent of the season.”

York were top of Conference North when matches were suspended, but second on points-per-game. They would play-off against the winners of fifth versus sixth in a home semi-final. Their new Monk’s Cross stadium cannot get a safety certificate until tested by a mass gathering.

“The semi-final is scheduled for around July 25,” said McGill, who mothballed City on April 2. “It would be an opportunity to say a fond farewell to our home since 1932, albeit without supporters.”

Even if today’s motion passes, York will not unfurlough players immediately.

“The National League said ‘if the play-offs can legally take place (they will)’,” warned McGill. ”That’s quite ambiguous.

“I think they were on the right path and then came off that path.

“Where did it come from that the DCMS ruled National League North and South teams were not elite? The Government are saying it’s down to the sporting bodies and the sporting bodies are saying it’s on Government advice.”

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