The Supporters’ Trust is extremely disappointed to hear that Buckingham Group have failed to make sufficient progress in the build phase to enable test events to go ahead. This is not only frustrating for fans, but also has serious and unacceptable financial implications for the football club.
Representatives of the Supporters’ Trust were given a tour of the stadium and wider complex in mid-January and were assured that completion was imminent. We were incredibly impressed with the standard of the facilities and were excited by the prospect of the club moving in at the earliest opportunity. We recognise that the build must be completed to a high standard, but are disappointed that unnecessary and inaccurate public announcements about completion dates have been made in recent months.
As required by the football club’s constitution, the Supporters Trust are conducting due diligence in respect of various aspects relating to the move to the new stadium. In 2019, the Trust agreed a process with City of York Council and the football club for reviewing the lease. Assuming that the lease meets our criteria, we would then provide the club board with the necessary consent to sign the lease. As such, the Trust have had solicitors (including commercial property specialists) on standby for some time.
City of York Council initially indicated that we could expect the relevant documents before Christmas 2019. We have since been given two further dates which have been and gone. It has been agreed that all parties will have one calendar month after receipt to review the documents. Given the agreed timetable, it now seems extremely unlikely that any of this seasons fixtures will be held at the new stadium.
The Trust calls on all partners to redouble efforts to ensure that both club’s and the wider community can begin to enjoy the fantastic facilities at the new stadium well before commencement of the 2020/21 football season.