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No approval for safe standing

2nd January 2019

Managing Director Steve Kilmartin has confirmed that the club's bid to introduce safe standing or rail seating at the new Community Stadium has been unsuccessful.

The club is due to leave Bootham Crescent at the end of the current season and will re-locate - along with the York City Knights Rugby League club - to the new 8,000 all-seater stadium provided by the City of York Council at Monks Cross (pictured).

Earlier this season, City's board of directors confirmed that the possibility of safe standing or rail seating was being explored with key stakeholders.

However, writing in yesterday's official match programme, Mr Kilmartin said: "There has been a considerable amount of work undertaken by the board of directors in relation to the desire for 'rail standing (seating)' to be introduced behind one of the goals at the new stadium as we were aware this would, undoubtedly, be a popular, although expensive, decision with supporters.

"Potential sponsorship, in this respect, was pursued - although not ultimately forthcoming within the available time frame and the Chairman generously decided that he would fund the provision which had been determined to have a cost in excess of £200,000.

"There were then a considerable number of additional obstacles to be overcome as written approval was necessarily required from the Sports Ground Safety Authority and all statutory parties needed to formally reach an agreement allowing rail seating within the new stadium. 

"Ultimately, despite the intervention of the Shadow Sports Minister and passionate pleas from the Chairman, approval was not forthcoming and an order was therefore placed for conventional seating within the stadium only hours before the deadline imposed by the intended suppliers expired.

"We, therefore, move forward and having seen simulated visual displays of the ground with the projected seating and lighting installed these are, without doubt, quite spectacular with modern technology being utilised within the seat design to project a greater overall image that will be to the benefit of all concerned.

"The intensity of these negotiations - which often resulted in flurries of e-mails, telephone calls, and letters each day attempting to reach agreements with various authorities - only demonstrated (if proof was needed) that with the new stadium now reaching an advanced stage of development, this would not have been achieved without the vision, determination and tenacity, together with substantial funding, from the Chairman over the last 15 years.

"Every day, we are able to see, more clearly, the progress of exterior development with the drone coverage providing spectacular views of the internal aspects including proximity of the pitch area to supporters which should provide an atmosphere football fans will enjoy during games.

"However, success on the field is so important in conjunction with the provision of modern facilities and manager Sam Collins is working extremely hard to achieve this, with loan signings having been successfully integrated into the team. 

"As in business, pressure is ever-present in the desire to be successful and, with the advent of a New Year, the board of directors are looking for a strong performance from the team during the second phase of the season."


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