Following two seriously disappointing results at Harrogate and South Shields, the chairman at York City has lost no time in making wholesale changes to team management at Bootham Crescent. In little more than 24 hours following the final whistle at Mariner’s Park on Saturday afternoon, September 30th, the football club announced that ” tonight York City has terminated the contracts of Gary Mills and Darren Caskey with immediate effect”. On October 1st the following post appeared on the club’s official website: “York City Football Club has confirmed the appointment of Martin Gray as first team manager and Dave Penney as sporting director.”
The York City Supporters Trust believes most fans will be saddened by the departure of Gary Mills who achieved heroic status during his first spell as manager at Bootham Crescent. None of us will ever forget those Wembley days in May 2012 when Gary and his players brought trophies and triumph to York City, and restored pride of place back in the Football League. In every City fan’s scrapbook of memories, those images from Gary’s open-top-bus victory parade through the streets of York will retain a special place for ever. Thank you, Gary!
The Trust has no doubt that it was Gary’s sincerest wish to return York City to former glories when he returned to our once more struggling club almost 12 months ago. It was not to be. We are sure that Gary and Darren are as distressed as we fans are that it has ended in such bitter disappointment.
We thank Gary Mills for the special things he has done for York City, and we wish him and Darren Caskey all the best for the future.
The future at York City new belongs to a new management team of Martin Gray and Dave Penney. The Trust extends a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Martin and Dave. We wish them well and pledge our full support to their efforts. We know that they will be just as aware as our supporters are that, yet again, York City faces another critical period in its history.
On the field, player performance must improve and many more points must be won. Now is the time for every member of the playing squad to reflect and reward the supporters by matching the fans’ superb commitment and passion for the club.
Off the field, supporters anxieties about the increasing stresses and strains on finance are likely to increase. We respect Jason McGill’s determination to maintain York City as a “full time club, with one of the biggest spending budgets in this division”. But the Trust, as 25% shareholders in YCFC, is bound also to raise questions about the long term viability of such a high spending strategy. Continuing to maintain a full time, football league standard operation in the 6th tier is a very tall order. And still no signs of building at Monks Cross.
However, change has come and the Trust urges everyone to get behind it – together. Our new management team come with high profile recommendation and relevant experience. It is particularly encouraging to hear about Dave Penney’s “understanding of scouting and recruitment” and of his many contacts in the game.
A new dawn or a false one? Let’s all make sure, together that it’s a brighter future for York City.