Issue 050. February 18, 2021.
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Andrew Rogers (Selby)

Never before have I felt so far removed from the football club I have followed and loved since the late '70s as I do now.

Growing up remembering Smith, Busby, Jones, Ford, Pollard, Walwyn and Byrne, and in later years, Tutill, McMillan, Barnes, Kiely and McCarthy, into the 2010s with Foyle, Brodie, McGurk, Ingham, Parslow, Blair and Walker and not forgetting Gary Mills.

We felt like a club, a community, a togetherness; roll on to 2015 and an appointment of Jackie McNamara seemed to signal the end.

The club do not communicate anything worthwhile; they employ a media manager who enjoys putting videos and graphics on social media with no real meaning.

Clubs with less than a quarter of our fan base regularly outplay us, and the attitude of the club staff hierarchy is, to put it bluntly, a disgrace.

Every time I bump into a City fan around town, or even non-City fans, they always ask, what the hell's going on at City?

Finally, the match on Tuesday was pointless (in more ways than one). The season's finished.

Why not wait for a grand opening when crowds are allowed back in?

Do it properly, or is that asking just a little bit too much?
Steve Crawshaw (Staffordshire)

Neil Jacques (TOOAB, Issue 049). I was on the way to watch that Swansea game too with a couple of mates from Sutton Coldfield, driving.

We heard on the radio that it was off and high tailed it across the Pennines and watched Oldham v Burton Albion in the F.A. Cup!
John Uttley (Howden)

I'm all for a bit of constructive criticism but the poison and bitterness that was spewed from Neil Jacques (TOOAB Issue 049) was neither constructive nor accurate.

He states he felt sorry for Gabby McGill and has his "suspicions" why he played.

He refers to him as being "relatively small" which is fairly inaccurate for a start. 

Gabby has been playing for Edinburgh City in the basement of the Scottish League against some wily old pros who were no doubt built like brick outhouses!

He has also managed a couple of goals during that spell. Being English will also have made those battles a lot tougher. Believe you me, there's no class in Scottish League Division 2 but it certainly makes a man of you. I've watched several games in that league. 

I actually felt sorry for both Gilchrist and McGill. I thought we lacked guile and determination in midfield. We've signed these players because our strikers were misfiring. Surely we have to play them? 

Neil's history is very much anti-McGill and very much pro-Trust so I shouldn't be surprised at his rant. 

To say he would rather have seen the club go bust is ridiculous and is rather a bitter remark and an insult to those of us who attend week in week out. 

He refers to the Ben Godfrey money. Jason had already stated that the club would complete the season with or without that money. 

Personally, I think it's a great deal. The club benefitted financially and both Norwich and Everton are happy. Most of all, Ben can develop his career. 

He refers to the Trust all the time, but most of the clubs relying on lost income at present that are wanting the season to be null and voided are either fan or trust owned. 

I'm sorry, Neil, but you can't keep the club afloat and viable with curry nights and pig racing alone. You need real investment unless you really do want to go bust. 

We are in a new ground now (playschool seats included) and hopefully we can move on without all this negativity. 

We've lost one game and yet you think it's the end of the world. It's your choice to stay away. Nobody is forcing you to attend. We're all having to stay away at present! 

Watson must be given a chance but the fans are constantly on his back. 

Some of the social media comments have been disgraceful and God help you if you defend the club! 

I have absolutely nothing personal against Mr Jacques or Mr Beaumont (who is always outspoken on these things). They have a right to an opinion but does it warrant going this far? 

Halifax Town play on but York City, Bradford (Park Avenue), Farsley Celtic and Guiseley's seasons are over

By Stuart Rayner

Bradford (Park Avenue), Farsley Celtic, Guiseley and York City have had their season declared null and void, but Halifax Town will play on after the National League announced the results of their votes on the competition's future.

With the deadline for clubs to give their view not until February 28, two in the Conference were yet to vote, but enough have been cast for a clear outcome.

With clubs voting to decide the fates of the Conference and the two regional divisions below, North and South, individually, the top division voted 13-7 to complete the season but 15 Conference North and nine South clubs felt it was not right to continue, meaning the sixth tier will be abandoned for the season.

Park Avenue, Farsley and Guiseley were all in favour of abandoning the campaign, whereas York wanted to play on. They and the six like-minded teams in their division could now look into playing a mini-league.

Meanwhile Halifax, seven points outside the play-offs and nine above the relegation zone, will play their 23 remaining matches.

The reason clubs were against continuing is that they were supported by £10m in Government grants for the first three months of the campaign, which started late in October under the dashed expectation that limited number of supporters would be allowed into the grounds by that stage.

Without them, the only support on offer for the first three months of 2021 was £11m of low-interest loans, and many felt it would be irresponsible to go into debt (or more debt in some cases) when there was no revenue at the gates or bar. What funding, if any, will be available beyond March, is unclear.

The clubs and the league had been under the impression the second tranche of funding would also be in the form of loans, but the Government insist this was never the case.

Those that wanted to play on argued they had a responsibility as football clubs to play football – and many of those in the Conference had the incentive of possible promotion to the Football League.

Whereas when last season's campaign came to a premature halt the league was sufficiently advanced to decide promotion on a points-per-game basis, with play-offs for the second spot, that is not the case in 2020-21 and the season will simply be written off, as all levels below were last season.

Without the incentive of promotion, there is now expected to be a domino effect of voided seasons down the pyramid.

The Northern Premier League, which feeds into Conference North, is just one league to have asked the Football Association to void its campaign.

Those clubs are not allowed to play during the lockdown as they are not classed as “elite”. Originally, Conference North and South were not either but York – a full-time club in a largely part-time division – lobbied successfully for the definition to be extended to the sixth tier so they could hold end-of-season play-offs, where they were beaten in the semi-finals.

The decision of those divisions not to play on might be taken as a sign that the Government was right to classify them as “non-elite” all along.

York City's National League North season is null and void

YORK City's Vanarama National League North season has been declared null and void.

A majority of Step 2 clubs voted to end the 2020/21 campaign with immediate effect after it was confirmed that financial support would come in the form of loans rather than grants.

In total, 24 clubs in the North and South divisions opted for null and void while 19 voted for the season to continue - it being understood that York City supported the latter.

In the North division, 15 clubs backed null and void and seven wanted to carry on, while, in the South, 12 clubs wished to remain playing and nine wanted an immediate end.

The National League (Step 1) have voted to continue with their season.

A National League statement read: "The Board will take the resolution outcome to The Football Association for ratification. This will include dialogue regarding promotion and relegation."

National League North season declared null and void - breakdown of results

By Joe Richardson  

YORK City’s National League North campaign has been declared null and void and will cease with immediate effect.

The results from the National League’s resolution to consider the end of the season has found 24 clubs across Step 2 (National League North and National League South) in favour of ending the season prematurely and 19 against.

As the vote required only a simple majority of more than 50 per cent, the resolution has passed.

The league will take the result to the Football Association for ratification and “dialogue regarding promotion and relegation”.

The large part of the Step 2 sides wanting to end the season were in National League North, which had 15 teams in favour and seven against.

It is anticipated that York will have voted for the season to continue though they did not make their voting position public.

Only seven National League clubs voted to end the season at Step 1, with 13 against and two yet to cast their ballot, so their campaign continues.

Here follows a breakdown of the results:

Resolution One proposed that Steps 1 and 2 be split in deciding the outcome of 2020/21 playing season. As a ‘special resolution’, a minimum 75 per cent majority was required.

National League: 21 for, 0 against. National League North: 16, 6. National League South: 9, 12.

Result: Passed. Resolution Four is disregarded.

Resolution Two proposed that the National League 2020/21 playing season (Step 1) be declared null and void. A minimum 51 per cent majority was required.

National League: 7 for, 13 against.

Result: Not Passed. The National League national division will continue for the remainder of the season.

Resolution Three proposed that the National League North and South 2020/21 playing season (Step 2) be declared null and void. A minimum 51 per cent majority was required.

National League North: 15 for, 7 against. National League South: 9 for, 12 against.

Result: Passed. The season at Step Two is null and void.

With the voting procedure now closed, National League North and South fixtures will cease with immediate effect.

The board will take the resolution outcome to the Football Association for ratification. This will include dialogue regarding promotion and relegation.

York City happy for immediate chance to bounce back

By Joe Richardson

ASSISTANT manager Micky Cummins has said York City are grateful to have the chance to make immediate amends following Tuesday’s loss.

In midweek, the Minstermen suffered a 3-1 defeat to AFC Fylde in their inaugural outing at their new LNER Community Stadium home.

Afterwards, York boss Steve Watson said: “I was really disappointed with the first half.

“We weren’t brave enough on the ball, we couldn’t get the ball into the front men or control possession.

“We were stretching for things and seemed to panic.

Tomorrow, City make the trip over to Lancashire for their third match against Chorley this season, and for what is just their third match since the turn of the year.

The Magpies sit just one spot above eighth-placed York in National League North with one point more to their name - and a -4 goal difference.

Watson will be looking for a strong performance.

It is the first of two back-to-back away games the Minstermen face, and thus two games until after which York will have to wait for another crack at getting their first three points at Monks Cross.

That is not the major concern for Cummins, though. “Just the fact that we have a game straight away, regardless of being home or away, is all we can be happy for really,” he said.

“It would have been nice to be at home - it would have been nice to have fans in. But you can’t have everything your own way.

“We’ve got a game to bounce back quickly, to wrong a few rights, then we’ve got another quick turnaround to midweek of next week (at Boston United).

“In terms of location, we’ll play anywhere as long as there’s a game for us.

“We’ve got a squad to pick and we’re going to go there to try and win.”

Akil Wright has been training all week and is back fit, reported Cummins. The midfielder had picked up a muscle strain over the Step 2 suspension period.

Defender Josh King, a longer term absentee, was back in training on Thursday.

Hull City U23s hire Bootham Crescent

By Joe Richardson

HULL City Under-23s have hired out Bootham Crescent.

The young Tigers are set to play at the ground the Minstermen recently vacated for four games over February and March.

Hull played Wigan Athletic U23s last night at the ground.

They were due to play Nottingham Forest U23s on February 1 but a frozen Bootham Crescent pitch saw the game postponed to March 25.

York have said they still plan to "provide a dedicated farewell opportunity for supporters".

A statement on the club's website reads: "The club would like to keep supporters updated with a Commercial hire deal for Bootham Crescent, which will bring much-needed income into the club.

"Hull City U23s will hire Bootham Crescent for four matches over February and March.

"It is still the club’s intention to provide a dedicated farewell opportunity for supporters, when it’s safe to do so and we will share further details in due course."

The games are: Thursday, February 18 - Hull v Wigan; Monday, March 22 - Hull v Ipswich Town; Thursday, March 25 - Hull v Nottingham; Monday, March 29 - Hull v Crewe Alexandra.

National League North season declared null and void

By Dan Simmonite

The National League has released the following statement, declaring the National League North and South null and void.

Earlier this month, The National League distributed four resolutions for Member Clubs to consider the outcome of the 2020/21 season.

Further information can be found here.

With relevant voting thresholds now met for each resolution, The National League can confirm the outcome of this process as follows. 

Resolution One

In summary: Step One and Two to be split in deciding the outcome of 2020/21 Playing Season. As a Special Resolution, a voting percentage of 75% or higher was required to pass. 

National League: (for) 21- (against) 0
National League North: 16-6
National League South: 9-12
Result: Passed 

As a result, Resolution Four is disregarded. 

Resolution Two (National League only)

In summary: The National League 2020/21 Playing Season (Step One) to be declared null and void. A minimum 51% majority was required for Resolution Two to pass.    

National League: 7-13
Result: Not Passed

As a result, the National League National Division will continue to operate for the remainder of the season 

Resolution Three (National League North and South only)

In summary: The National League North and South 2020/21 Playing Season (Step Two) to be declared null and void. A minimum 51% majority was required for Resolution Three to pass.  

National League North: 15-7
National League South: 9-12
Result: Passed

Resolution is passed and consequently the season at Step Two is null and void. 

Note – There are 2 votes from the National Division that have not yet been cast, however, the outcome of the resolutions cannot be affected by these votes, however they are cast. 

With the voting procedure now closed, National League North and South fixtures will cease with immediate effect. 

The Board will take the resolution outcome to The Football Association for ratification. This will include dialogue regarding promotion and relegation.

Hull City U23s hire Bootham Crescent

The club would like to keep supporters updated with a Commercial hire deal for Bootham Crescent, which will bring much needed income into the club. 

Hull City U23s will hire Bootham Crescent for four matches over February and March: 
  • Thursday 18th February - Hull City U23s vs Wigan Athletic U23s 
  • Monday 22nd March – Hull City U23s vs Ipswich Town U23s 
  • Thursday 25th March – Hull City U23s vs Nottingham Forest U23s 
  • Monday 29th March – Hull City U23s vs Crewe Alexandra U23s 

It is still the club’s intention to provide a dedicated farewell opportunity for supporters, when it’s safe to do so and we will share further details in due course. 

Chorley game cancelled

By Dan Simmonite

The National League has declared both the North and South divisions null and void, therefore the game against Chorley this weekend will not go ahead.

Click here to read the full statement.
Matchday experience: York City 1, AFC Fylde 3. Courtesy YorkCityFC via YouTube.
A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.

Darlington have confirmed they have been charged by the National League for not fulfilling their Tuesday fixture with Boston United. In a statement, the club says it had cause to not play, staying: “We estimate that we have lost approximately £50,000 in January, and probably another £50,000 in February. We therefore believe that we have just cause (under league rule 8.39) in not playing the game on Tuesday."
Please check with the club's official website for late changes to fixtures before committing to travel.
Pre-season friendlies

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.

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

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

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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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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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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