Hicks reveals what the drop would have cost

Sophie HicksSophie Hicks
Sophie Hicks
YORK CITY director Sophie Hicks admits relegation to the Conference could have forced the club to go part-time, writes Richard Sutcliffe.

An unbeaten six-game run to end the season helped the Minstermen to a 17th-place finish after having gone into Easter Saturday propping up the Football League.

Victory at Dagenham & Redbridge on the final day ultimately banished any fears of the drop as Aldershot Town and Barnet instead slid into the Conference, much to the relief of Hicks and her fellow directors at Bootham Crescent.

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She last night told the Yorkshire Post: “We desperately needed to stay in the League. Relegation would have meant losing around £750,000 from our income, which is a huge percentage.

“A restructuring of the club would have had to take place and a lot of difficult decisions would have had to be made.

“Included among those would have been the possible contemplation of losing our youth policy and maybe even part-time football. Things really would have been that bleak.

“Thankfully, we managed to stay up and, for that, Nigel Worthington deserves huge praise.”

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Worthington was appointed by York less than 24 hours after Gary Mills had been sacked in the wake of the home defeat to Bradford City on March 2.

An 11-game winless run meant the board felt action had to be taken, hence the dismissal of a manager who in the previous 12 months had led the Minstermen to promotion and FA Trophy success.

Hicks said: “As a board, we felt something had to be done. We had been through relegation before (in 2004) so knew the signs. That is why we couldn’t let the problems continue.

“It was a difficult decision to sack the manager who had got us promoted, but one that had to be made. I would estimate around 70 per cent of fans backed the decision with the rest being against.

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“But, as a board, you have to make the big calls and we felt there was no alternative. Obviously, now that people have hindsight, they say, ‘You should have done it earlier’.

“Nigel has done a fantastic job. Our survival can be traced back to his arrival.

“He turned the situation round to such an extent that only Rotherham claimed more points from the final six games than our 14. We were bottom of the form table when Nigel arrived.”