The Supporters’ Trust have been closely monitoring developments regarding the National League’s proposed resolution to end the season without completing the playoffs and only promoting one team from the North and South divisions.
We understand that the football club board have been working around the clock for the past three days to gain support from other National League clubs and put their case to the National League board. We thank them for working so hard in the interests of the club and its fans.
We steadfastly stand behind their proposed amendment that would see two teams promoted from both divisions on a points per game basis. The National League board should recognise that all teams entered the competition on the basis that two promotion places were available. It is only fair, sporting and equitable to conclude the season on this basis, despite the unprecedented circumstances. Any other outcome would call into question the integrity of the competition for many years to come.
At the time of writing, it seems that the National League board is unlikely to approve York City’s amendment, although we would call on them to carefully consider the full implications. We understand that an additional amendment to proceed with the playoffs now hangs in the balance.
It has been suggested that the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has determined that Level 2 of the National League does not constitute ‘elite sport’. Questions are now being raised as to whether or not such a determination has been made. We call on the National League board or DCMS to publish all relevant correspondence between the two parties.
In any event, the Government guidelines regarding the return of elite sport clearly state that an elite athlete means ‘an individual who derives a living from competing in a sport’. This test would apply to the vast majority of players at National League Level 2, albeit that many derive their living on a part-time basis. All senior players at York City Football Club are full-time professional footballers. They are no different to players working in the Premiership or English Football League.
We call on the National League Board to make a swift decision and fulfil their duty to bring the 2019/20 season to a fair conclusion that protects the future integrity of the game.
About York City Supporters’ Trust
Establish in 2002, York City Supporters Trust is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We were established to protect the long-term future of the football club and represent the interests of the fans. We are also 25% shareholders in York City Football Club Ltd.