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Issue 052. February 20, 2021.
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Chris Forth (Harrow)

Donald Horsfield asks (TOOAB Issue 051) whether an Ipswich team has ever visited Bootham Crescent.  

The answer is yes, for an FA Youth Cup Round 4 replay in early 1999.  

Having taken a coach load of supporters to Ipswich for the original tie, City progressed with a 2-0 replay at Bootham Crescent to earn a Round 5 home draw with West Ham.  

City lost an Upton Park replay to a star-studded Hammers side.  At the time, the only 2 of the 92 Football League clubs never to have played at Bootham Crescent. 

That Youth Cup run is documented on the reserve and youth teams page of the York City South website ( www.yorkcitysouth.co.uk/xdb-randy.htm ) and is illustrated with press and programme cuttings including recalling how City’s youth team ate Manchester United’s dinner and Jack Pinder, York’s first schoolboy international lining up for England.  

In total, across the “City History” web pages over 500  pages and 600+ photos/cuttings illustrate many varied aspects of City’s history. 
Malcolm Long (NSW, Australia)

Does anyone else find it rather odd that the club have gone back on their agreement to allow Hull City U23's side to not play at Bootham Crescent, simply because fans have objected?

It is safe to say that there would at least be some income coming into the club, plus if I recall YCFC have implied that a proper farewell to the Crescent is planned, even if a time cannot as yet be set.

So what’s the big deal?

The club has disappointed fans so often anyway so it would be no surprise if the club came up with another excuse not to have a farewell. I realise that may sound cynical but also close to the reality of our club's history of disappointments. 

So clubs have elected, or at least the professional clubs have put up a submission to the National League for a new revised competition of 18 teams and 34 games with promotion/demotion with the National League. I think professional clubs will probably lose far more than the part-timers with the season now voided completely. I say go for it. 

With the roll-out of vaccinations now covering 25% of the population, there must be renewed hope that fans will be allowed back into grounds on the proviso I suspect, that they can prove that they have been vaccinated.

I don't know and haven't looked up what the Governments timeline is regarding the percentage of population that will be immunised over time is. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Regarding young McGill, I would be one of the first to admit to jump to a negative conclusion to his inclusion in the side with judgemental comments regarding his scoring prowess and nepotism.

Even feelings of deja vu to a managerial appointment. However, while playing in Middlesbrough’s under 23's he scored 19 goals in 18 appearances. which is why Dumfermline, a club playing in a division level equivalent to the National League in UK, snapped him up.

Sadly he didn't perform particularly well, scoring only once for the first team and then twice when on loan to Edinburgh City in eight games. 

The question we need to ask is this, "what was present at Hull that allowed McGill to score so freely that made him a potential transfer target?"

We have seen it in the past with Ted MacDougall, who went on to score almost three times as many goals per season with Bournemouth when partnered with another York City player, namely Phil Boyer. Ted or SuperMac as he was called scored 126 goals in just 165 appearances, 10k pounds well spent by Bournemouth.

MacDougall is now coaching the Atlanta Silver Hawks in the US, in case anyone is interested. 

I am not saying that McGill is that good as I have never seen him paly. But maybe he too had a Phil Boyer capable of feeding him with spot on passes that allowed him to get passed defences and score. Perhaps worth investigating, as can also be said for another youngster in the ranks named Rob Guilfoyle who was also scoring regularly at Hull.

Out with the old, in with the new and why it is hard to say goodbye to our favourite grounds

By Sue Smith

Having tried for the best part of 20 years, York City finally moved into a new stadium this week, and I imagine for a lot of fans it would have been a sad experience.

For them not to have been able to go to the first game at the new LNER Community Stadium on Tuesday must have been horrible, but so must knowing they will not be back at Bootham Crescent to watch football again.

It is something supporters of clubs like Huddersfield Town, Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City and Middlesbrough have been through, and something I as an Everton fan might have to face up to in the next few years.

For those clubs fortunate to be able to stay where they are and redevelop, as Leeds United plan to in the fullness of time, that is the ideal situation but many do not have that choice.

Like York, Everton have been looking for a new home for years and it could finally move a step closer on Tuesday when planning permission for a stadium at Bramley Dock is discussed.

Unless you are a sports fan, I do not think you would understand.

If just about any other organisation moves, people just get on with it.

I say “sports” rather than just football because my mum often used to watch rugby league at Knowsley Road. Since St Helens moved away in 2010 she has only been to the new stadium once.

She does not really like it. Lots of other people, not just her age but younger, say it is just not the same.

I used to go as a youngster and it was brilliant. It was pretty much all standing and you knew if you stood in a certain part, that was where all the singing started.

The toilets were horrible and the queues were massive but I have lovely memories and the new state-of-the-art stadium where the facilities and the food are so much better just does not have that for me.

My really special place is Goodison Park. I do not want the club to leave but I know it has to happen to keep up, especially if Everton have Champions League aspirations.

It holds so many memories of going with my dad and my brother, and the first time I was allowed to go with my friends and we all got on the train together.

It sounds really stupid but it is the little memories which make you form an emotional attachment with your football ground. They are never going to go but you always want the stadium to be there. Goodison Park has lots of obstructed views and the facilities are not as good as at other clubs but it will still be sad when it goes.

When my local Marks and Spencer’s moved, I did not feel a sense of loss. I had shopped there for years and would go for a coffee there, but there was no attachment.

I am pleased York are making efforts to preserve Bootham Crescent’s memories. I like to move with the times but remember history too.

I imagine Tuesday would have been a bit surreal for the players, and York lost their opening game against Fylde.

I have never played for a club who moved into a new stadium during a season but at Tranmere Rovers our home games were at Bromborough and occasionally we played at Prenton Park. It was brilliant to play in the men’s stadium and we would get more fans in but it had a different feel.

We played Liverpool one season when we were having a really good time. We had beaten them at their ground but lost at Prenton Park, and maybe it took away a bit of our focus playing there. It was not our “fortress” because we only played there every so often.

Players love routines and I would always sit in the same seat in the home changing room so when you are in a different one it can put you a bit out of sorts.

Fans have their routines too – they go to the same chippy, the same pub, stop at the same place – and when that changes it can be uncomfortable. All those other places will be lost to them too.

York’s new stadium is on the outskirts of the city, whereas the old one was a short walk from the train station.

Teams seem to take a while to get used to a new ground, so now the Conference North season has been voided, a proposed mini-league between the clubs like York who wanted to carry on could help the transition.

Hopefully in time people will say the facilities are much better and think it was the right thing to do but they will always miss the old place.

York City among 18 clubs calling for a Step 2 mini league

By Jacob Kilbride

YORK City are among the 18 Step 2 clubs to have laid out a proposal for a ‘mini league’ in order to complete the 2020/21 season.

The collective have issued a letter to the National League outlining their willingness to continue playing, despite the season being declared null and void after a vote by National League clubs on Thursday.

24 clubs across the North and South divisions voted for the season to be ended after it was revealed that financial support would come through loans rather than grants.

However, the Step 2 clubs who voted for the season to continue, some of whom have begun or are considering legal action against the league, say that the outcome is not satisfactory.

York City chairman Jason McGill, who is one of the letter’s signatories, said: “We need to keep playing consistent, competitive football in order for the team to operate with the ultimate aim of promotion.

“While we understand that some teams have to protect their own interests, it’s encouraging that others have united as a group to fight for the continuation of Step 2 football.

“The integrity of the league and that of the leagues above is in doubt if this suggestion is not considered and promotion and relegation is not honoured.”

The letter to the National League, which has been signed by 19 clubs as part of their #LetUsPlay social media campaign, stated: “We feel the options presented in the resolutions did not provide an alternative solution to a Null and Void scenario and the result of Resolution 3 was very closely divided with a very small majority determining that the season will be ended with immediate effect.

“However, as a league of members (66 clubs) the vote delivered a majority result in favour of continuing the season albeit you chose to adopt the four votes each rule for NLN and NLS as opposed to one each for the NL.

“We believe that the 19 clubs at Step 2 that wish to continue, should be afforded an opportunity to do so, with playoffs and promotion, as per normal.”

The campaigning clubs went on to list a number of reasons why they believe the season should resume in the form of a ‘mini league’.

“Our feedback and experiences week to week leave us in little doubt that the majority of our communities and supporter base are under extreme strain within the current lockdown conditions. Looking forward to better times and more normality is a large part of keeping people positive.

“We believe that a Null and Void scenario would negatively impact the mental health of our supporters and communities.

“Our supporters, season ticket holders and commercial partners have demonstrated a huge amount of goodwill and faith by retaining their season tickets and accepting that their interaction with their club will be remotely and digitally rather than what they signed up for and attending matches.

“A Null and Void season would require either substantial refunds or carrying over the commercial and ticketing revenue into next season.

“This would have a huge impact on future commercial revenues.

“With the outcome of the vote being Null and Void in Step 2, the ability to have promotion and relegation between Steps 1 and 2 is lost.

“Promotion and Relegation within the National League system is a fundamental value which the league has worked hard for over the years and which was the motivating driver in reaching a sporting conclusion to last season.

“We feel it important for our relationship with the EFL that both promotion and relegation be retained at Step 1 and Step 2.

“Last year, although the clubs voted to curtail the season, the playoffs and automatic promotion places were sanctioned, and we believe a similar approach should be adopted this season to maintain the integrity of the overall competition.

“All clubs have accepted financial support from the National Lottery for the months of October, November and December and also FA grant funding in order to prepare and proceed with league matches behind closed doors.

“Those conditions remain and we feel we have an obligation to proceed and complete the season having already accepted that funding.

“We have all invested considerable sums, by entering into contracts and taking on liabilities on the basis the season would progress to a full conclusion whether behind closed doors or not.

“How are we expected to now reconcile this investment and commitment? Numerous clubs are entering dialogue with Sport England regarding grant and loan funding to continue operating and are exploring every option to fulfil this season.

“In summary, we respectfully request that the league strongly consider that the two divisions at Step 2 continue playing their seasons, either separately or as one.

“We believe that this is in the best interests of all National League members allowing the league to cater to the needs and drivers of all clubs in a sympathetic manner, allowing those who wish to continue to do so, and those who cannot or do not wish to continue to end their season.

“Promotion and relegation can be maintained between the National League and National League North and South in order to recover a full National League of 24 clubs next season, as well as maintaining the integrity of our relationship with the EFL.”

The other clubs to have signed the letter are AFC Fylde, Gloucester City, Boston United, Havant & Waterlooville, Chelmsford City, Hemel Hempstead Town, Chorley, Hungerford Town, Concord Rangers, Kidderminster Harriers, Dartford, Oxford City, Dorking Wanderers, St Albans City, Eastbourne Borough, Welling United and Ebbsfleet United.
A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.
Chester

Defensive midfielder Declan Weeks (25) has agreed a new contract for the 2021-22 season. 

Chorley

Chorley have signed midfielder Regan Booty (22) after his departure from Bradford Park Avenue. Booty joined Avenue from Notts County in December after previous spells with Aldershot Town and Huddersfield Town.

Gloucester City

Coventry City have recalled loan pair Jordan Young and Jack Burroughs from Gloucester City. Forward Young (21) and midfielder Burroughs (19) had been loaned till the end of the season.

Kidderminster Harriers

Harriers have signed a new contract with winger Sam Austin (24), securing his commitment till at least the summer of 2023. He's played more than 135 games for Harriers since joining them in 2016.
Please check with the club's official website for late changes to fixtures before committing to travel.
Pre-season friendlies

September
Sat 5 Newcastle United U-23 1, York City 4 (Trialist, Olly Dyson, Rob Guilfoyle (2))
Tue 8 South Shields 3, York City 0 
Sat 12 Whitby Town 2, York City 0
Sat 19 York City 0, Stockport County 1
Sat 26 Notts County 0, York City 3 (Wright, Cassidy, Wollerton)

2020-21 season

York City joined the FA Cup in the 2nd qualifying round and the FA Trophy in the 2nd round proper.

Note: Midweek fixtures are 7.45pm kick off unless stated otherwise.

October
Sat 3 Warrington Rylands 0, York City 1 (Newton) - Emirates FA Cup 2Q (City receive £3,375 prizemoney)
Tue 6 York City 3, Chorley 1 (McLaughlin, Barrow, Woods)
Sat 10 Farsley Celtic 1, York City 1 (Newton)
Tue 13 Chorley 1, York City 0 - Emirates FA Cup 3Q (Losing club receive £1,875)
Sat 17 York City 0 Brackley Town 0

November
Tue 10 Southport 2, York City 3 (Newton (2), Bunn)
Sat 28 Leamington 2, York City 1 (Dyson)

December
Wed 2 Blyth Spartans 0, York City 3 (Woods, Bunn, Cassidy)
Sat 5 York City 2, Chester 1 (Bunn, Wright) 
Tue 8 York City 2, Kettering Town 0 (Newton (2)) 
Sat 12 York City 1, Spennymoor Town 1 (Woods)
Tue 15 Ashton United 3, York City 3 (City lose 3-2 pens) - Buildbase FA Trophy 2R (Dyson, Woods, Redshaw)
Sat 26 Bradford Park Avenue 4, York City 2 (Redshaw, Guilfoyle)
Mon 28 York City 1, Guiseley 0 (King)

January
Tue 5 Kidderminster Harriers 2, York City 2 (Woods, Newton)
Tue 26 Hereford (a) - postponed

February
Tue 2 Bradford Park Avenue (h) - postponed
Sat 6 Alfreton Town (a) - postponed
Tue 9 Darlington (a) - postponed
Sat 13 Farsley Celtic (h) - postponed
Tue 16 York City 1, AFC Fylde 3 (Newton)

SEASON DECLARED NULL & VOID - No further fixtures to be played

Sat 20 Chorley (a)
Tue 23 Boston United (a)
Sat 27 Hereford (h)

March
Tue 2 Gloucester City (h) 
Sat 6 Brackley Town (a)
Tue 9 Gateshead (h) 
Sat 13 Southport (h)
Sat 20 Chester (a)
Tue 23 Gateshead (a)
Sat 27 Kidderminster Harriers (h)

April
Fri 2 AFC Fylde (a)
Mon 5 Leamington (h)
Sat 10 Spennymoor Town (a)
Tue 13 Blyth Spartans (h)
Sat 17 Kettering Town (a)
Sat 24 Darlington (h)

May
Sat 1 Guiseley (a)
Mon 3 Boston United (h)
Sat 8 Gloucester City (a)
Tue 11 AFC Telford United (a) 
Sat 15 AFC Telford United (h)
Tue 18 Curzon Ashton (h) 
Sat 22 Curzon Ashton (a)
Sat 29 Alfreton Town (h)

June
Promotion play-off series
Sat 5/Sun 6 NLN play-offs 1R
Sat 12/Sun 13 NLN play-offs semi-final
Sat 19/Sun 20 NLN play-off final
CLICK HERE to check out our collection of classic York City match programmes at the TOOAB archive >>>>
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PLEASE CLICK HERE
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About TOOAB

There’s Only One Arthur Bottom was first published as an almost-daily email newsletter in July 1997 and has been distributed continuously since. Subscriber numbers peaked at more than 1,100 when the club’s future was threatened by potential closure in 2001 but more than 800 subscribers, living in more than 30 countries, will receive this edition. Editor Josh Easby started the newsletter from New Zealand (where he lives today) but has variously produced and distributed it from the United Kingdom, Australia and (briefly) Italy.
 
Over the years, TOOAB subscribers have variously supported the club in many different ways, using the newsletter at times to share ideas that have helped the club and to raise money which has been used to buy much-needed equipment (for the physio room), sponsor members of the youth team and to sponsor senior players’ kit. Subscribers (who often call themselves ‘Arthurites’) often meet up for pre-match/post-match drinks and have arranged functions together.

Editorial policy

The opinions expressed in There's Only One Arthur Bottom do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher, nor is this newsletter endorsed in any way by York City Football Club.  Wherever possible, the contributions by subscribers are published unaltered.  However submissions will be rejected or amended if they are potentially defamatory or contain language likely to offend other subscribers. Unless good reasons are given, anonymous submissions are rejected. The publisher reserves the right to reproduce contributions to this newsletter on any website associated with the newsletter.



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