Issue 084. March 28, 2021.
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George Davidson (Bolton)

A message from a pal in Scotland sharing a tweet from a tiny football club that glories in the name of Fairydean Rovers. They’ve recycled some seats from BC and they look great!
Dan Tait (Poppleton)

Just thought I would point everyone to the last episode of the series. Not that Paul Barnes needs much of an introduction.

Certainly, the best striker I have ever seen at Bootham Crescent (I was too young for Big Keith) and one we have always had lots of requests for. In my humble opinion it doesn't disappoint as he discusses everything from scoring at Old Trafford to the four goal haul in the snow against Scunthorpe to the argument with Douglas Craig on the coach.

Paul Barnes loved his time at York City and sure Arthurites will enjoy listening.
Chris Crowcroft (Ludlow)

Dave Lilley’s post (TOOAB Issue 083) piqued me to look at YCFC accounts 2019/20 to the end of June.
Bootham Crescent (Holdings) £3.765m an unrealised asset, revalued 2012 from original cost £2.01m.

Income due from Ben Godfrey’s Everton transfer approaching £2.5m does not yet appear.

Presumably c. £6.265m due to be realised as income beginning FY 2020/21.
Creditors due within 1 year £9.961m, beyond 1 year + £2.425m = £12.386m.

Total creditors less current & fixed assets = net liabilities £8.092m.
Creditors beyond 1 year secured against Bootham Crescent, interest payable 0.5% above bank rate.

JMP loan £650,000 @ 11% interest described as ‘first tranche,’ whatever balance falling to 6%.

Loan mirrors £650,000 interest due on (JMP?) loan outstanding of £9.22m.
No accountant I, is JMP position £9.22m owed to it, £6.265m incoming less ongoing trading losses?

I cannot see what the playing budget is/how that compares to NL/N or EF Leagues 2 & 1.
Clive Parker (Glasgow)

Like David Lilley (TOOAB Issue 83) I smell a rat, or at least something I may have brought in on my shoes. My financial advisor has clearly been giving me the wrong advice recently.

I should have lent my savings to York City at 11% return on capital. I won't embarrass (or depress) myself by saying here what I'm getting at the Building Society!

The 11% figure for interest doesn't apply to all the debt. It applies to part of a recent loan made by JM Packaging, i.e. £650,000. The other part of that loan (not quantified in the accounts) attracts interest at 6%.

The accounts also say that interest on much of the debt is payable at Base Rate plus 0.5%. Base Rate is currently 0.1%. One has to ask why there is a wide discrepancy in these rates. 

Be that as it may, the accounts in question showed that total interest payments for last year were £650,000 - the equivalent of about 1,850 season tickets at, say, £350 a piece.

Interest payments have been, and may continue to be, a burden on the club. I ask myself if it is just a coincidence that the 11% loan from JM Packaging is the same figure as the interest payment (£650,000).

What seems likely is that the club was unable to pay the interest, therefore it has been clocked up as a loan at 11%, or 10.9% above Base Rate, a hefty rate for interest on interest.

In the context of 1,850 season ticket sales to finance it, it is somewhat sobering. (Why do sobering things often turn me to drink!).  

If the club has debt of £10.4m that would require the sale of nearly 30,000 season tickets at £350 each to clear. Ah yes - we have the sale of Bootham Crescent which will hopefully/presumably clear the debt.

Bootham Crescent appears to be valued in the accounts at £3.7m which is probably lower than it will realise when sold with planning consent for housing.

We have to hope there won't be too big a gap between realised value and the club's debt. Without the security of a stadium, the club will have to live within its means otherwise it will continue to pile up debt to JM Packaging, at interest rates which don't appear to be up for discussion.

Coming on here to discuss annual accounts isn't what I subscribe to TOOAB for - but in the absence of being able to analyse the playing abilities of our team, I couldn't help but delve into the accounts.

My final comment on these is that they show the club to be technically insolvent, and the "Going Concern" paragraph states that the "Directors have a reasonable expectation that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future although this ability is entirely dependent upon financial support being maintained by the parent company....who have provided an assurance funding would be made available for twelve months from the date of signing" (25th November 2020).

Journalists have been telling us, lock-downs have enabled people to evaluate what's important in their lives.
Malcolm Long (NSW, Australia)

Dave Lilley (TOOAB Issue 083)  does have a point. Although pre covid debt was solely on JM.
No doubt Covid played a part, along with Watson’s plans being torn to shreds long before the playoffs last year and now the demise of the current season.

The National Leagues unfair distribution of Government funding certainly didn’t help either.
The 11% interest rate is unfortunately in line with current lending on unsecured loans, in other words, the club has no assets and would therefore be considered a high risk.

Despite the Bank of England’s base rate of 0.03% back in November 2020, which is now 0.02% that is one hell of a profit for someone who claims to have the best interests of the club at heart.

I don’t doubt that JM did his research and felt that if he has to put his company up as security he may as well loan the club the 650K it needed.
But @ 11%!
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A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.

Darlington chief exec David Johnston blasts 'incompetent' National League

By Scott Wilson

DARLINGTON chief executive David Johnston has spelled out the arguments he will be making when he appeals against the decision to impose a £2,000 fine and suspended two-point penalty for the failure to fulfil last month’s game against Boston – and has claimed the episode confirms the need for a radical overhaul of the National League’s governance.

Quakers called off their game against Boston after the National League announced it was no longer able to offer the Government-backed grants it had previously promised and was instead inviting its club to vote on whether the season should be declared null and void.

The National League North season was eventually scrapped, but the league’s executive committee have still decided to impose fines on 18 clubs they claim failed to fulfil their fixture obligations.

“I’m disappointed and flabbergasted,” said Johnston, who will lead the appeal, which will be heard by the Football Association. “We were in dialogue with the National League right from the start of the season, and right up to the point where we went into the voting process.

“When we decided not to play the Boston fixture, we believe we had what is termed ‘just cause’. Rule 8.39 states you must have just cause not to play a fixture. Our just cause was twofold. Firstly, financial. We lost £50,000 in January and £50,000 in February – we are therefore trading insolvent.

"If we brought in an independent financial auditor to justify whether we had just cause from a financial perspective to say we couldn’t afford to play, I think you’d find any financial auditor would say, ‘This club cannot afford to continue losing £50,000-a-month. It’s not in a position to play’.

“That’s the first point. Secondly, what’s disappointing is that in all of the correspondence we’ve received, there is no mention of health and safety and the Covid pandemic.

"We, as a club, have a duty of care to our players, staff, stewards and fans as well. We were putting our players and staff at risk with the travel and away games, without having the necessary testing regime in place.

"The league admitted this, responded to it, and was about to do it. But at the time we cancelled the Boston game, no such kit was ready to be deployed. The league’s promise to provide testing for the players wasn’t in place, and that again is just cause.”

Having previously told clubs they would be eligible for Government-backed grants, the National League was subsequently forced to admit it could only offer loans that would have to be repaid.

The league has described the situation as a “misunderstanding”, but has been unable to provide minutes from the meeting that was held with Government officials when financial arrangements were discussed.

Johnston clearly feels that is simply not good enough, and is calling for a complete overhaul of the way in which the National League is run.

“It’s more evidence of the need for increased governance within the National League,” he said.

“There’s a movement to look at governance in sport, and certainly at National League level, how meetings can be held discussing £11m of funding and no minutes be taken on what’s been agreed staggers me.

“It shows a lack of competence and a lack of experience and knowledge in terms of the individuals in those meetings. At times, I’m lost for words because you put your trust in the individuals.

"We are putting our trust in this board of directors, but to have no minutes and now say, ‘It was a misunderstanding’, that is just totally unacceptable. It reinforces my drive to push for increased governance once this whole sorry episode is behind us.”

Chesterfield bag £1 million Sport England loan but Chester denied

By Jon Couch

CHESTER have confirmed that the club’s application to the Sports Winter Survival Package for a loan has been turned down – while Chesterfield were granted a cool £1 million!

The National League North Blues were one of a number of clubs to request for financial help from the Government with revenue streams blocked by Covid restrictions.

It was initially understood that assistance to clubs at Steps 1 and 2 would come by the way of grants but that was later denied by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with clubs urged to apply for a low-interest loan instead.

Despite their season at Step 2 being declared null and void last month, Chester filed an application through the £300 million Sports Winter Survival Package but announced this week they have been turned down as the club were deemed to be no longer at risk.

A club statement read: “Sport England has provided a detailed explanation of its reasoning, and while disappointed, we accept the decision of the assessment board and thank them for their consideration.

“We are pleased the assessment board acknowledged we have experienced a significant fall in revenues due to the impact of COVID and noted our prudent financial management.

“Chester FC operates as a financially-sustainable football club without debt and maintains a special reserve, so therefore, we were not considered to be at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year.”

In contrast, however, Chesterfield – who are still playing behind closed doors in the National League at Step 1 – say they have been approved for a loan of just under £1 million.

Chairman Mike Goodwin told the club’s website: “We are one of the first clubs to receive the loan, which will be used to underpin our operational costs.

“It will make a significant difference to us during these challenging times and we would like to thank the National League and Sport England for their valued support.”

Celebrating the heritage of our club ...
Classic match programmes - it happened this weekend

On March 26, 1965, York City hosted Tranmere Rovers in a top-of-the-table clash watched by 13,444 at Bootham Crescent. Both clubs were pressing for promotion and York City won this vital game 4-0 with a Derek Weddle hat-trick and a fourth goal by full back Gerry Baker. York City won promotion, finishing third in the league, while Tranmere faded to fifth and missed out.

Thanks to Richard Snowball, Neil Rank, Terry Espiner and Paul Bowser for their help in building our archive of digital match programmes.

Click here to read the York City v Tranmere Rovers programme >>>>

Click here to visit our archive >>>
Click here to watch videos from the largest York City archive online >>>>

Please submit your City-related ads by emailing the editor here.

York City retro shirts series

York City FC retro shirts are available from
Following the success of our 1930s Chocolate & Cream striped shirt, we are adding to our YCFC range.
Now available is our iconic 1983/84 Fourth Division championship shirt as modelled by the legendary Keith Walwyn.
All sizes are available from Babygrow to Adult 7XL. Shirts are £31.50 junior and £35 adult including delivery and are available in both long and short sleeves. A name and/or number can be added free of charge.
More City shirts are available by visiting
Please contact World Retro at for further information.

Collector's item - Y-front beach towels

The Supporters’ Trust is pleased to announce the arrival of our Limited Edition, Bootham Crescent Y-Front Beach Towels in classic maroon.

Made in Britain in a combination of microfibre on the front and 100% cotton on the reverse they are now available to buy for £25 (plus £3 postage and packing) from
We will be running a ‘towel selfie’ competition next summer and invite everyone to send in their pictures from the far-flung corners of the world.  The winner will receive a special prize. Further details to be announced shortly.
Photographs wanted
Jonathan Raine (Gloucester)

Since I started supporting City in 1977 I have always been interested in photos of the club. I am currently attempting to collect a team shot from each season since 1922. If anyone has any pre-1970 City team shots, whether photos or from programmes, magazines etc, then I would be interested in obtaining a copy. In particular, I'm after images from the following years - 1923/24, 1925/26, 1928/29, 1930/31,1936/37,1938/39. 
Please contact me here.

Photographs for sale
Pete's Picture Palace currently has more than 70 York City photographs availablefor sale. Click here to see them.

have a number of York City photo prints available for sale. They can be viewed here.
City publications

Bootham Crescent: A Second Home
The first book in a two-part club history entitled ‘Bootham Crescent: A Second Home’ is now available to buy. Published in A4 hardback format, it consists of 280 pages and includes over 240 rare images including the cover shot of the original entrance gates to the club car park.   

Part one covers the period to 1960, with part two (1960 onwards) having a target release date of late 2019/early 2020. York City FC and Bootham Crescent have been intrinsically linked since 1932, the year in which the club vacated its previous ground at Fulfordgate. The move was completed in only a few months over that summer, which is a story in itself, but this book also provides history and context of those early years for the club and its two grounds. The book describes how the club struggled through the 1930s, yet then came through the war years in a much stronger state, enabling the ground to be bought. The surprising residency of baseball in 1937 gets its own chapter, as does the logistics of packing the ground during the cup runs of 1938 and 1955.

Using rare photographs, news cuttings, and memorabilia, all the ground changes are captured in rich detail. From ticket pricing to cup-tie allocations, turnstiles to floodlights, dugouts to disciplinary notices, canine pitch invasions to five-minute flags, the glass bridge, the history of the City programme, finances, contracts, rent levels and leases, crowd disorder, ground developments – all this, and more besides. It provides a fascinating insight of bygone days, and the wider events which impacted on York City’s fortunes. There is also a chapter which reflects on the brief history of the first York City club that existed between 1908 – 1917 which, ironically, also had two grounds. 

The book has been four years in the researching and writing and costs £25.
It is available in one of three ways:
- From the club shop over the summer whilst stocks last (please note, cash sales only)
- On-line via the following link
- Direct from the author via cheque or bank transfer  - in the first instance contact Paul Bowser  at 
Thanks for your support.

new frontiers  and York City Quiz Book
Available from Chris Forth and York City South.

The last few copies of new frontiers (Issue 33, October 2019), a York City fanzine, featuring Dean Kiely, Daniel Parslow, Big Brother, Bootham Cheers, When City’s Decline Started, Dan Maguire, Quiz and more are still available by post (£2) with all profits shared between Daniel Parslow’s testimonial fund and YCS.

“Great read as usual, when s the next one out", “great article on the Bootham Crescent book”, "loved the Dean Kiely interview”, “I enjoyed and did well in the rugby quiz” and “the piece about Kempster driving the coach in the last issue was very funny” was just some of the feedback received over the weekend.

Also available are new frontiers (issues 1 – 14 (from the 90s)) and recent issues 22 – 32 in very limited numbers.

Meanwhile, the 2016 “York City Quiz Book and Brief City History” remains a must for City fans everywhere.  Laid out in 27 separate quizzes, as well as taxing the memory, the book is a fascinating City history told in bite-sized chunks.  

Readers of every age will recall long-forgotten players and games.  It brings back numerous happy memories of City’s many glory days. 

Priced at £5 (please add £1 for overseas postage).  Also still available, written in support of the Roof Appeal, are a very limited number of the 1988 York City Quiz Book (£2) and 1990 York City Quiz Book - Volume 2 (£2).

Cheques payable to Chris Forth at 80 Manor Way, Harrow, HA2 6BY or via bank transfer to bank sort code 40-47-83 / bank account 94-86-64-95 with your name as reference and send an email to Chris ( quoting your reference and address.  50% discounts available for bulk purchases.

See for further information. 

Book: A Tale of Two Great Cities
Autobiography of former York City striker and radio pundit Chris Jones. You can buy this book online through Amazon here.
Book: York City Fighting Back
York Press writer Dave Flett reviews the nerve-wracking 2012-2013 season. The book is published by Amberley and costs £14.99. Buy it here.
Book: Bicycle Kicks
You can now buy Bicycle Kicks, a book by York City fan Simon Hood about his crazy season following the team by bicycle. Bicycle Kicks is now only £2.99 for the Kindle edition which can be bought here.
Book: City Are Back
Paul Wilson’s 220-page chronicles the double Wembley season of 2011-2012. More details here.
Book: York City Memoirs  
First published in 2001 this unique collection is now available as an ebook for Kindle. It contains a multitude of memories, both happy and sad, from behind the scenes at Bootham Crescent providing a unique insight into this wonderful football club and recalls some of the characters who have walked through the gates.
The links for purchasing are:
Paperback £5.99
Ebook £1.99

Tickets wanted
Paul Bowser (Thirsk)
Please contact me here.
Wanted: City match tickets from any season, the earlier the better. Especially after the following from 2011/12 to complete the set. 
Home – Luton, Braintree, Ebbsfleet, Stockport, Gateshead, Tamworth, Southport, Fleetwood, Newport, FGR, Hartlepool (FR), Bolton (FR)
Away – Kettering, Southport, Hayes, FGR, Telford, Mansfield, Bath, Alfreton, Cambridge, Wrexham (FAC), Solihull (FAT), Salisbury (FAT)
Thanks for checking.

Memorabilia for sale
Anyone interested in the following items?
Match day ticket – Saturday 25th November 1950 
FA Cup 1st Round Proper – Kingsway Ground, Bishop Auckland 
Bishop Auckland v York City

York City AFC – FA Cup semi-finalists 1955
Full Team Autographs + Trainer

Please email – – with your best offer and contact telephone number.
Programmes For Sale
Gordon Neale (York City Programme Shop)
York City programme shop is still in business and operating from my home until we move to the new ground, please email me at  for any requirements. We do our best to help.

Mike Thompson
I have the following programmes available at £2.70 each including postage:
Tranmere Rovers 60/61 FA Cup 2nd Rd Replay
Northampton Town home 69/70 Div 4
Mansfield Town home 73/74 FA Cup 1st Rd
Bury home 82/83 FA Cup 1st Rd
Rochdale 82/83 home Div 4
Doncaster Rovers 84/85 Freight Rover Trophy 1st Rd 2nd Leg
Chesterfield 92/93 League Cup 1st Rd 2nd Leg
Please contact me via email here.

Jon Longman (Tiptree, Essex)
I have the following City home and a handful of away programmes from the 1950s that I would like to sell and would be interested in receiving sensible offers for:

1948-49 Chester
1952-53 Mansfield, Grimsby (away)
1953-54 Gateshead, Chester, Barrow, Grimsby
1954-55 Workington, Southport, Darlington, Crewe, Chester, Barnsley, Gateshead, Notts County (FAC away), Chesterfield, Accrington, Rochdale, Newcastle (FAC SF at Hillsborough).
1955-56 Chester, Gateshead, Mansfield, Scunthorpe (p-p Jan 14), Sunderland (FAC), Workington, Southport, Barrow.
1956-57 Tranmere, Chester (away), Hull, Crewe (away), Darlington, Barrow, Derby (away).
1957-58 Hull (away), Bradford PA, Gateshead, Hull, Birmingham (FAC), Darlington (p-p March 15), Oldham, Accrington, Gateshead (away March 8), Rochdale, Carlisle, Southport, Scunthorpe, Crewe.
1958-59 Southport, Chester, Walsall, Southport (away), Millwall (away), Port Vale.
1959-60 Bradford City, QPR (away), Halifax, Bournemouth (away Oct 7), Mansfield, Bournemouth, Shrewsbury (away), Tranmere.

I also have a selection of City programmes home and away from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Please contact me via email here

Mark Eccles (York)

During a recent clearout of my loft, I unearthed a substantial number of programmes dating back to the late 1980s. The bulk of my collections pans the seasons 1989/90 to 1994/95 with a few from seasons either side. I have a few away programmes and oddities that don't involve City (such as a rugby league programme when our team was known as Ryedale York). I'm not wanting to personally profit from any sale but if they were to be sold, I'd rather any income go to charity or our club. I can provide an inventory, if required.

Please email me here.

Malcolm Long (NSW, Australia)
I have a few programmes from the 1984/5 season I am trying to finish scanning, including the FA Cup programme against Arsenal. Other programmes are the division 3 tie, 2/2/85 v Wigan Athletic and 12/2/85 v Plymouth Argyle, the FA Cup ties versus Liverpool, home and away.
If anyone would like them for their collection, I will be only too happy to post them to you in return for postage costs from Australia.

Please contact me via email here
Programmes Wanted
Patrick Crowley
I would really like to get hold of a copy of the home match versus Wrexham played on November 5, 2011. If you have a spare I will be happy to take it off your hands...just name your price! If you can help please contact me at

Terry Espiner (Appleton Roebuck)
I am looking for the following match programmes. Please contact me here.
Carlisle United 58-59(a)
Cheltenham Town 00-01(a) pp 30/12
Hartlepool United 62-63(a)pp 29/12
Northampton Town 58-59(a)
Plymouth Argyle 73-74(a) pp 26/1
Editor: Subscribers are welcome to use TOOAB to trade York City programmes and memorabilia and for off-topic messages of interest to readers.
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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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