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City History

John Batchelor Q&A

In November 2002, the then City chairman, John Batchelor, took part in a question and answer session hosted by The Yorkshire Evening Press.

1.On March 19th this year, the Evening Press reported that you had announced a major sponsorship deal. You were quoted as saying: "It is a substantial three-year deal with Persimmon Homes - I approached them." However, to date as far as I am aware, not one single piece of branding has appeared at Bootham Crescent, on the shirt, in the programme or on any of the racing cars - something very much a pre-requisite for a substantial sponsorship deal I would have thought? In the light of the subsequent announcement that Persimmon have applied for planning permission to develop Bootham Crescent, please could you clarify the exact nature of this "sponsorship", and allay growing fears that this was simply a sweetener for you to help to push the planning through without causing any fuss?

2.Currently on the board of YCFC are two people remaining from before your takeover; Colin Webb and Barry Swallow, and until recently Douglas Craig, who apparently departed of his own choice a few weeks ago. These people also remain as directors (and major shareholders) of Bootham Crescent Holdings (BCH). As directors of York City, I would hope that they have a duty to act in the very best interests of the club. However, as directors of BCH, whose main business objective is to liquidise its assets and distribute the proceeds among shareholders as soon as possible, they are clearly NOT putting the best interests of the club first. Isn't this a clear conflict of interests, and does it not worry you at all?

3.You have spoken recently about your intention to buy Bootham Crescent as soon as possible. However, during the negotiations for the takeover, you were reported to have been buying the club AND ground at that time. Why did that not happen? Secondly, it is reported that BCH already have a legally binding contract with Persimmon for the sale of Bootham Crescent. What makes you think that they are likely to break that contract to sell to yourself?

4.Speculation is rife that York City will be evicted from Bootham Crescent at the end of this season - Persimmon's planning document has stated that the site will have the benefit of "vacant possession" at that time. Persimmon themselves appear not to wish to discuss this point, BCH are absolutely silent, and you yourself have only given limited assurances to supporters, in denying that a ground-share at Scarborough has been considered. Please can you confirm whether or not York City have a legally-binding contractual guarantee with BCH to continue to play home matches at Bootham Crescent until the proposed new stadium is ready? Or in simple terms John, can BCH give notice to quit to York City anytime they feel like it?

Ian Savage - York.

I think if people check any picture of the racing cars that they will find Persimmon adequately represented on there. The sponsorship agreement on the race team was a four year agreement.

I do not view it as a conflict of interest because the issues are separate now, at one point it might have been considered a conflict but what happens to this stadium and where the football club go are connected currently because we are at this ground but ultimately they are separate issues

If we have the opportunity to buy the ground, which we wonít get if it doesnít have planning permission because that is where its value is, then there is a possibility or a strong level of probability that the club can reach an accommodation with the developers and BCH.

At the moment the ground is worth, I donít know, pick a figure, four or five hundred thousand because if hasnít got planning permission. Once it becomes a piece of real estate with planning permission, its value is probably three or four million. If we can put sufficient money together to get a deposit and get a commercial mortgage we can own the stadium, so that is how that would work.

Any planning application for Bootham Crescent would rely on the club having an alternative venue to go to so that unless we have an alternative venue to go to, planning applications wonít proceed.

1. It seems to me that there is a massive advantage in owning the ground at present especially as property prices increase almost daily. If JB has the backing to build a 17.5 million pound complex why are those backers not interested in purchasing an asset which may reduce their investment later?

2. Going on from question 1 if they are not prepared to invest now does this mean that a fixed deal has already been done with Persimmon by BCH?

3. JB says he has ambition for YCSC why then do you persist with a manager who over the last 3 years has failed at the club?

4. Persimmon sponsored the club to the tune of 1 million pounds at the start of the season why then do we need to sell next season entrance fees cheaply? and where has that sponsorship money gone?

5 When we had the meeting at the opera house I asked what you would do personally if the council were not forthcoming with the required planning permission for a new stadium in line with your requirements......at the time you dismissed the question ......in view of the problems with the council would you now like to answer it?

6 Mr Craig had a policy that if any fan did harm to the club they would be banned ,it seems to the fans that Craig has done more harm to this club than anyone in the history of the club. Therefore when the club have control over the ground is it your intention to place a life ban on Douglas Craig ?

Marcus Piggin 27 Oak Tree Road, Lepton, Huddersfield

The reason that we canít introduce people to buy the ground at this stage, who would subsequently be involved in assisting to build a new stadium later is the complication of the way the deal was done originally.

While in theory it sounds OK to someone to buy it now and itíll be worth more later, which would reduce the investment, actually getting someone to commit to that, logical though it is, is slightly harder to get someone to part with the level of money that you need to buy this place, on that basis.

The deal between Persimmon and BCH is not something I have any control over or direct knowledge of.

Persimmon didnít sponsor the club to the tune of a million pounds. The sponsorship money has been invested in the club, the club eats money at a rate of knots. Unless you are actually involved in football you probably donít realize how short a distance a few hundred thousand pounds will go.

The council, despite our occasional spats, are not anti the new stadium. If I have any problem with them at all it is probably more with planning law than with the council.

No it is not my intention to place a life ban on Douglas Craig and I think it is time we need to stop worrying about the past and think about the present and future.

The question regarding Terry Dolan has been answered in relation to other points made and will be posted at a later date.

What division do you think is a serious goal to aim for in the next 5 years?

What individuals in or around York City FC do you consider the most important ones to achieve this goal? (And please don't simplify it by referring to all "supporters")

You have now had your first months as a chairman of YCFC, on a personal level what is the most important thing you've learnt during these months, that you perhaps didn't know before?

Respectfully, Martin Alsiö, Norrköping (Sweden).

There is no point being involved in this unless you want to go all the way to the top.

Iím not going to simplify it by saying Ďsupportersí, but supporters are critical because they are the only form of income that the club realistically has. There are probably individuals outside of the club who are involved in other commercial ventures that are going to be key to our success.

I probably didnít understand the exceptionally fickle nature of the sport to the degree that perhaps I needed to, but I am fully aware of it now. Iíve watched games away from Bootham Crescent at other games and even clubs that are right at the top of the table, if they donít deliver they get an incredibly huge barracking in a very, very short space of time.

There is very little tolerance or long term thinking in the game at all levels. I think that people have to accept that for anything to happen at a football club it has to be done over a period of time and cannot be done overnight as much as we would all love it to. So they have to have patience with the players, with the management, and with every aspect of the team and the club.

We are starting from a very low base here and to get it somewhere reasonable we have to get the club stabilized and then itís got to be moved on and that wonít happen overnight. It wonít happen unless the supporters get behind it, which to date they have done a good job with.

I was very disappointed for two reasons after the game on Saturday at Bournemouth. Firstly the result didn't go our way and secondly only Lee Nogan (briefly) of the players came across to thank all the City fans for their support.

Thankfully this is the first time that I have noticed the players doing this. Hopefully it will be the last. Supporters spend a lot of time, effort and money to go to away games and the least they deserve is a bit of appreciation from the players. If there were no supporters, the players wouldn't be where they are today.

David Ward - London.

I think the players do like to show their appreciation to the crowd, I think probably at Bournemouth they were so upset with what had happened on the field that it possibly slipped their minds. They are usually very good at applauding the fans whose support they really appreciate, I think it was a one-off.

Do you have any plans to strengthen the squad. What are your long term ambitions for York City

What do you think to the overall standard of refereeing this season (Clean answers though).

David Reynolds - Easingwold

Long term ambitions are to see the club in a new stadium and as far up the league as possible. I do have plans to strengthen the squad but they will be unusual plans. I canít expand on that at the moment

I think we have had some lousy decisions from officials but more often than not it has been the linesman and not the referee.

What do you think of City's tactics of playing long ball game (long balls from the defence instead of midfield players passing and creating chances to the forwards) even though it is a well known fact that even in the 3rd division successful teams play passing football?

What's the correct way of writing the club's name? Is it York City SC, Yorkcity SC, YorkCity SC, YORKCITY SC or..?

Many thanks for your answers.

Tomi Honkanen, Myllyrannankatu 10, 15300 Lahti, FINLAND

We donít always rely on the long ball game, but really thatís a playing issue and I can only judge our quality of play by our results which are up and down a bit at the moment, but in comparison with last year, substantially improved.

YORKCITY SC is the way to correctly write the name.

Why does Douglas Craig drive a club sponsored car (blue Vauxhaul Corsa)?

Pete Brandon, York

Douglas does not drive a club sponsored car, you must have mistaken someone else for him.

How would you respond to fans, like myself, who are refusing to buy a season ticket for next season until they see some of the results you have promised (i.e. promotion, new ground, a better team in general)?

Keep up the good work.

Phil Howden - York

In terms of a better team in general I think we have that. I think whatever level of statistics you look at we have a better team than it was last year. Because we have a better team than last year I think we will achieve promotion. As far as the new ground is concerned, watch this space.

The idea of selling cheap season tickets for next season now will encourage a huge influx of money now, but surely there will be a massive cash flow problem next season. It stands to reason that less money will be coming through the turnstyles next season. 1) How are you going to manage the club on a day to day basis next seaon with this loss of revenue and 2) the fact that you are offering such generous discounts now indicates to me that the club is in a serious financial position, is this the case?

David Potter - Acomb, York

The club is in financial difficulty, every club is in financial difficulty. The reason for that is not only have we lost the television income, but what that has done is that it has completely decimated the market for selling a player. For example, players that were probably considered to be worth half a million pounds last year are lucky to achieve 5% of that this year. The Russell Howarth transfer is a perfect example. If there is one thing that has surprised me and hindsight is a wonderful thing, it is a lack of money out there in the transfer market to assist when the club is going through difficult times. That is the same throughout the league and until the Football League grasps it and the PFA grasp it and we get a fundamental change in the way football is run and that has to happen sooner rather than later. Until that happens you are going to have clubs in trouble.

There are plenty of first division clubs that have no money. Premier League clubs canít buy because the window is shut and none of the other clubs in the league have finished last season with sufficient reserves to be able to buy players. Not only that but they have lost a significant income stream with the ITV deal. If you take that much money out of the system and it means clubs are going to have problems because traditionally they have relied on TV income and selling players to be able to pay some frankly ludicrous levels of pay to players. The ultimate result is that when you have a business where the expenditure massively exceeds its income, unless you can find other sources of income, you are going to have a problem.

We canít significantly reduce the levels of expenditure because we are bound by the players contracts.

If all the things that we are looking at come to fruition, I think we will significantly be able to reduce our expenditure and simultaneously increase our income to the point where we are a club that actually makes a profit. The difficulty is getting from here until the end of the season, those are the problem areas that I am addressing as we speak, which is why I am away so much.

You've made lots of bold claims in your short time at City, here are a few:

You're going to buy ITV Digital Ė We did look at. If they had had a willingness to sell it rather than walk away from the problem we could have found a buyer

You're going to set up a new league Ė is still possible and requires the football league to let us know whether they are going to sleep walk into Armageddon or not.

We're going to be the most unusual club in Britain Ė Well I think we can lay claim to being fairly unusual.

We're going to sell knickers Ė and yes we still are.

The programme will be a magazine available in newsagents - in the fullness of time it will be. Unfortunately events have overtaken us, which has stopped one or two things really in terms of the amount of time Iíve got available.

BC is going to be full each week Ė Thatís one that I am prepared to give you. I think the only way we are going to fill this ground is if we knock two sides of it down! A flippant remark but not necessarily untrue. We absolutely, absolutely have to get more people in because the club will not sustain the costs that it has unless we do.

You're going to buy BC Ė That is still possible

We're going to get promoted Ė Well that is still possible.

The Trust will have 2 board members Ė Yes they will, if you speak to the Board of the Trust theyíll be able to give you some timing on that.

There is going to be a fans forum Ė Yes there will be.

We are going to have a great new ground with hotel, casino, shops, bars etc Ė Iíve been at a meeting on that very subject this morning.

You are going to run the planning application for the new ground in tandem with Persimmon's application on BC Ė We are doing, itís just that because the council have asked us to do various studies on various sites before we can submit it, itís just taking slightly longer.

We're going to attract huge sponsorship Ė Well we do. In one way shape or form we have already increased the clubs income from sponsorship by about 60%. There are other deals currently under negotiation but donít forget Iíve only been here 7 months. People wonít see the exposure here, theyíll only see it on the racing cars. There is no point a multi-national company putting up a board in Yorkís football ground. There is nothing else we can put on the football shirts

We're going to be huge in USA - hence Soccer Club Ė Yes we will be in fact we have had a discussion in the last week about the possibility of playing a game or a number of games over there. There is a tournament which is available to us next year.

We're going to have a shop in the town centre Ė Yes we will.

We're going to have a bar in the town centre Ė Yes we will.

The last two are held up by the availability of the site and by the clubs current financial position.

I think you can look at most of these and say they are happening or they will happen in the fullness of time.

I don't think that is exhaustive list but so far not one of those statements has come to fruition.

My questions are, why do you keep on making promises/claims that you can't/won't deliver upon? and how do the fans know when something you say will actually happen?

Thanks, and best of luck,

Pete Brandon, York

We have to have something to aim at and they have to know what kind of feel that we are going to have for the club. The problem is that you say something and people expect it tomorrow which is fine because that is natural. There are things that I want to do and itís going to take a while to deliver.

The club is still here after all, which it wouldn't necessarily have been if some of the changes of the last seven or eight months hadn't been made.

Were Terry Dolan to win the lottery this weekend and decide to retire into the lap of luxury, who would you want to take over the managerial reigns?"

James Kilvington - London

Thatís almost a hypothetical question as the odds on winning the lottery are 14 million to one. Iíll address it once he has won the lottery.

You have previously mentioned opening a Club Shop and Sports Bar in the city centre, please can you confirm the current situation regarding this.

Christine Marshall, York

Can you tell me if there is likely to be any significant progress before Christmas in any or all of the 'big three' enterprises which you are trying to establish. i.e the new ground, city centre bar/pub, city centre shop for City merchandise. I (and I'm sure many others) would feel much less anxious about the future of our club if there was to be some tangible progress in at least one of these three projects.

Brian Clark - Rawcliffe, York

The new ground yes we are progressing on, we are doing the site evaluation, see the previous question. Youíll see a lot more on that over the course of the next couple of weeks. The city centre bar and pub is unlikely before Christmas. We have had some merchandise in shops throughout the city, whether we get our own retail unit will depend on whether we can find a site and sufficient funds to make it happen.

Can you please clarify the exact nature of the relationship between YCSC, BCH and Persimmon Homes?

When will the YCST members be admitted to the board?

What makes you convinced that you can successfully leverage YCSC in the USA given all the efforts to establish Football over there over the years? I recognise and applaud your ambition, but would we not be better focussing on leveraging YCSC in North Yorkshire as a first step?

Simon Soothill, St Albans

Why are there strange articles circulating in the local paper. Confidentiality clauses? its like the KGB. Mr Craig and the other parasites have ruined this club and only the rallying of the fans together with your intervention has stopped closure. What the hell is going on?
I strongly believe that we will finish up at the freezing dump that is Ryedale Stadium with the rugby as time is quickly running out. Persimmons the country's leading builders did not get to this title by being nice to people they do not give a damn what is happening to their 'home' town team they want the land to build on full stop. Lets have some openness and honesty, nobody can fault your enthusiasm but we need to see action and quickly before all the hard work of the fans and yourself will come to nothing and you can simply walk away and we will have nothing left

Keith Hall - York

When do we have to vacate Bootham Crescent to make way for Persimmon Homes? Secondly, have we anything like a timescale regarding the new ground? And what would be the chances of holding an auction when we do leave the old ground, i.e. selling off such items as hoardings, turnstiles, turf, anything that would be of no use at the new ground .It would of course be a great way to raise large amounts of cash, and a unique opportunity to own a genuine piece of footballing history.

The relationship is that YCSC is a separate entity and occupies the ground rent free from BCH, who own the major asset, which is the ground. Iíve no idea what the relationship is between BCH and Persimmon Homes because that is the subject of their own confidentiality agreement.

Persimmon is nothing to do with the Football Club Ė there was a sponsorship deal at the start of the year which has been largely invested in the club.

Trust members will be admitted to the Board imminently.

Soccer in America: If we pick the places we play at, there is money to be made. We need to look at the relationship between York and New York and look how we can expand that, which is something that I donít think York as a City does much of, but secondly soccer is only big in certain parts of the States, particularly where there is a big Hispanic community, thatís what we need to work on.

We do plan to have an auction of some of the items when the time is right, which is not yet!

If the sponsor is on board, why don't they want my thanks for allowing me to have a cheap season ticket? It is strange behaviour and that worries me.

Why sell season tickets so cheaply, now? The only explanation that I can come up with that makes any kind of business sense is that the club is in financial trouble now and needs the cash. Is there another explanation?

I live, work and watch football in York. Jeremy L. Jacob.

The club has a cash flow problem, so it helps. The sponsors will be announced in line with their own marketing strategies rather than be driven by the club. They will announce what their involvement is within football and motor sport when they are ready.

Why did you change the club name from York City Football Club to York City Soccer Club?

I can live with the other changes to the club from the silly kit to the dull club crest but this one really irks me. I can't believe that it is to appeal to the American market because I don't believe there is an American market out there for us. I appreciate it makes the club stand out a bit more in this country but this is not necessarily good. It reinforces the perception other supporters have of the club at the minute: from the people I speak to we are somewhat of a laughing stock. Friends of mine say, 'Our club is in financial trouble but at least we're not a soccer club.' in a cheesy American accent. Its other things as well such as the initials YCSC - is that not York City Supporters Club and then look at the internet site - YCFC.net. (Old website - Ed) Anyway, rant over, up the city and lets get promotion.

Thanks for taking the time to read these comments,

Mat Wood - York.

Mr Batchelor - for goodness sake we are not in America - When are you going to drop the ridiculous YCSC ?

Chris France - Tiverton, Devon

You need to look at this in light of what I have said about making it work in America but the other thing is that people may not like the name Soccer Club but sometimes its just good to be different. We need to set ourselves apart in as many different ways as we can, so that when we are speaking to sponsors they can see that we think differently to other clubs and we certainly do that and that is one of the reasons behind the name change.

You can call the club whatever you like. The fact that we promote it as Soccer Club is just to be different.

I think it would be fair to say that since the arrival of Mr Dolan at York, the club has achieved nothing that could be classed as success. Its now three years gone with Mr Dolan at the helm and although this season has seen a reasonably good start for York, it's now apparent that the old style hoof play that has become trademark Terry Dolan, is back on the field. Further frustration is given to fans when it's clear to see a good healthy crop of young players that never seem to be given suitable opportunity to become apart of the first team. The final nail in the coffin for me personally is the non-signing of the Argentine player Mazzina. When the present squad contain players way past their best and on high wages, why on earth lose a young and promising talent as Mazzina. York have been crying out for a winger since the days of Jon McCarthy. When one finally comes along he's not given the opportunity because he does not suit the direct type of play that is losing you the fans you crave and any chance of ever getting out of the third division.

I've never rated Terry Dolan. He has no track record of success in management and it's clear to see has no respect from the players at all. I have always been the first to say that if Mr Dolan turned things around and gained the club promotion, then i would be the first in line to pat him on the back and say i was wrong and he's the man for the job.

His contract must nearly be up. I would say and i'm sure i'm not the minority that this club will never go forward with him in charge. My questions is simple. Will you be terminating the contract of Mr Dolan after three years of dreadful football? I obviously appreciate you won't be able to answer this question but i'm hoping that the answer is yes.

Respectfully - James from Leeds

When will you "review" the coaching staff at City? Yes I know you have to give every person their due chance to show what they are worth. But we've had nearly three seasons of this now.

Dave Nichols, London.

When are we going to start this new era of football, when are you going to get rid of Dolan. My patience is running out. I have a season ticket as I have had for many years, though I can't even be bothered to go to the games now. I would probably think that this will be my last season unless things change. I am not in a minority. I don't want cheap season tickets, the chance to win a car at half time. I want good football run by a good manager. If you want the fans to rally round the club we need to be listened to, show us that you care and there is something to fight for.

Dan Barnes - Bridlington

If failure is not an option as you have stated then why do we continue to slide down the table and the body language of many of the players suggests that all is not well. It is fairly obvious to me that problem lies with the Management Team and if you do not make changes sooner rather than later then failure will be the only option. Sorry John but why not change before its too late.

Keith Hall, York

There is a saying "put your money where your mouth is". I like many City fans have put our money, both with season tickets (this season and next) and at the bookies, where your mouth is. On the pitch things are not improving and as a result attendances are dropping. What do you as Chairman intend to do to back up your claim that next season we will watching 2nd Division football. At this stage of the season I, like many other City fans, are looking to see how many points we are off the bottom not the top.

Neil Rooney - Catterick Garrison

I heard from a friend who has a contact in the Supporters Club that you have set the goal that only promotion this season will be acceptable. This is probably a higher expectation than most York fans who are just glad that you came in and saved the club we loved. Is this is true that this is the target you have set Terry Dolan and if we don't make it, does this mean that you would look to replace the manager?

Regards - Stephen Wood, York

Prior to the takeover of YCSC, I felt supremely confident of Yorkís coming season and relayed that confidence to the doomsayers of the Arthur Bottom newsletter. Now after a great start to the season we are 10 points off the bottom and 11 off the top, middle of the road so too speak. The stats on the other hand indicate a downwards trend, ergo my question is and I can only base my question upon what I read on Arthur Bottom, as I'm based in Australia, is "How confident are you now that TD will achieve the goals you set for the club and promised the fans"? Our future is based upon what he does, and to be quite honest for someone of your calibre relying on second best doesn't compute.

Malcolm Long

I am a firm believer in what you pay for is what you get and I am getting fed up with what I am paying for at Bootham Crescent lately. Terry Dolan keeps coming out with the same old excuses game after game its time we had a change. So come on Mr Chairman Give the fans what they want a new manager and first team coach, because if you dont fans are going to vote with their feet and stay away.You say you want success for York City, well we aint going to get it with Terry Dolan and Adie Shaw that is for certain.

Mark Loveley - Acomb, York

As far as Terry is concerned, it is not really for me to discuss on this forum things like that in some senses. I think you have to look at what Terry has done and what he inherited and sometimes it takes a lot of time to turn that round. He inherited a squad that was frankly populated by a lot of donkeys, and got rid of those. He has brought in players of substantial class and calibre like Chris Brass and Alan Fettis.

This season is the first season he has had the opportunity to put the team out that he wants, or he wants within the budget that we have. A great start to the season and we are still not far away in terms of points from being back in the action.

We had a 0-0 draw at Hartlepool the other night and I donít think there are many clubs that can go to Hartlepool and come away with a point. Given that we have had a good start, he has won manager of the month once and the club is not far away from being very much in contention, I think he is doing an OK job.

I still believe that we can achieve promotion.

Do City have any plans to further reduce the price of tickets for young supporters accompanied by parents?

[Background: I have 3 boys all under 10 who I'm trying to encourage to support City. Given that the future of City depends on attracting new young supporters, wouldn't it be a good idea to follow the lead of a number of other clubs and greatly reduce the price of tickets for youngsters accompanied by an adult. For example, Southend have done this - and it was the deciding factor in us attending the match there a couple of weeks ago].

I'm taking two of my boys to Bournemouth tomorrow - here's hoping for 3 points. (A 4-0 win would be great because we'd then go above them in the table!).

Jonathan Horner (Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey)

We constantly review the ticket pricing, but at the moment we are concentrating on trying to get as many people into the ground as possible, to justify playing the games.

Questions from Terry Espiner, a lifelong supporter, aged 44, living in Hillam near Leeds.

1. Will JB make a statement that should YCFC not be in a position to play at Bootham Crescent in 2002/03, then all supporters who have bought a season ticket already will will entitled to a 100% refund?

It is our intention to ensure the future of football at BC one way or the other for next season.

2. Has JB been to the USA yet and sought the sponsorship deals which would make 'Manchester United's efforts derisory'...his words back at the Grand Opera House. If not why not?

I havenít been to the States yet because I just havenít had time.

3. Was JB at Bournemouth yesterday. If so did he see the performance that I saw (ie City creating next to nothing, being overrun in midfield, and it being only a matter of time before Fletcher punished us for our lack of height at the back) or did he see the performance that his manager (sic) saw....I quote from today's Mail on Sunday....' I am absolutely gutted because we felt we created enough chances to win the game but we've been beaten again. We created a lot of good openings but failed to make the most of them'. Pathetic, truly pathetic from Dolan.

I wasnít at Bournemouth but with regard to Terry, see the previous answer.(which was posted yesterday, Nov 12)

4. How much longer does JB think his honeymoon will last....you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time but you cant fool all of the people all of the time. If JB's wallet was as big as his ego then we just might have a chance.

Sadly, I donít think you can rely on people coming into football clubs and not expect them to try and run them as a business. The core element of running a company as business is that itís income is greater than itís expenditure and that is what Iím working on at the moment. I think the days of people coming in, I mean I have put significant money into the club, but there has to come a point when you say to yourself, Iím never, ever, ever going to see this back. Until we can make a position here, where it is actually making a return on its investment I donít think you will find people doing that. Whoever is here, it has to work as a business.

5. Does JB still think that a 15000 capacity stadium is still viable?

I do, but not necessarily just for football.

6.When do we the REAL supporters of the club get to know what the hell is going on?

When the chairman knows what is going on, Iíll tell you.

7. Why does JB hide behind an internet Q&A session....how about another Supporters Trust session......or does he finally realise that the 'jam tomorrow' story wont do next time so it's much safer to hide behind technology.

I donít mind, Iíll take anyone on anytime. I must be the most accessible chairman in the league and you can come here and ask me anything, anytime.

8. Does JB realise what an absolute embarassment it was to see him on the pitch in the pre season friendly against Bracknell Town?

Yes I do, but I quite enjoyed it!

9. Will JB do us all a favour and bugger off, perhaps then giving the Trust a chance of finding somebody who will help us out of this plight?

If he really, really wants me to bugger off and he can get significant number of people to back that and he thinks he can do a better job, or that anybody can do a better job, then go for it.

10. Will JB agree to meet me 'one to one' so that I can tell him why this matters to all us true supporters? Some chance.

Of course Iíll meet him one to one, Iíll meet anybody one to one.

We are very shortly going to be in 2003! We have been promised a new stadium in which we will start season 2006. This leaves a mere 3 years and yet the fans don't know the location or when work is going to start. Is a new stadium just Bachelor propaganda which he thinks the fans want to hear, or is it actually going to happen? If so, when and where?

Chris Wilson, Royal Air Force Akrotiri, Cyprus.

As soon as we know more about the stadium, everybody else will believe me. Iíd love to put that out in the open. It gives me no great pleasure to sit here and say Ďyouíll have to wait and seeí.

Why is it not possible to 'come clean' on the New Ground situation,Is it really going to happen , or is it a pipe dream struggling to come to life.Is there any funding for this at all?

Why are previous Directors still involved, they are obviously only in it for the money.

Why is a rift appearing between the Chairman and Supporters Trust, they both had the same aims initially.

Why are all the rash statements issued on a regular basis , ie ITV Digital, Taking Football league to Court, changing the league structure, buying the Ground etc etc , when nothing becomes of any of them. All of this just helps the Club become a laughing stock.

Why is Terry Dolan [and Adie Shaw] still Manager, his Football motivational skills on and off the field are as bad as his tactical ability, this is not just this Season but the third in a row, any Manager who says twice with two months 'the players did not do what we told them' should not be in that position. It is obvious to all but a few that under the present guidance of Mr Dolan, we are no better than when he took over, although I believe we do have a better standard of players in the main.

Finally to repeat my first point, the Club appears to be heading in the wrong direction both on and off the field, there are Shares changing hands, talk of 93 or so Houses on the Ground, we are heading straight for the Conference, is John going to stand by his original statements

He s in it for the long term

He'll get promotion at whatever cost, as third division football is not an option next Season.

We will have a new ground in or near the City to move into before leaving Bootham Crescent.

The ground situation will become clearer in the next few weeks as the planning application moves on. The previous directors are still involved because Iím not the type of personality that would chuck people off the board that have given long service to the club.

I know there is animosity between some fans and some previous members of the board but they work extremely hard for the club and to dispel anybodys beliefs, certainly arenít doing it for the money because the directors are non-exec directors and are not getting paid and neither is the chairman.

I donít believe there is a rift between me and the Supporters Trust as will become apparent in the next few days they are going to be heavily involved in the club.

There are no shares changing hands. Iím trying my best, that is all I can say.

All the questions regarding Terry Dolan and claims made by John Batchelor in the past six months have been answered in reply to previous questions.

Now that crowds have dropped below 3000 and the team have not managed a win at home since 17 September surely its time to make some changes on the player management side. How could the best player this season (outfield) be left out? At 20 years of age I would have played every day for a grand a week never mind needing a rest.

Also Mr Okoli and Rogerio seem to be no difference to the first team, who picks these players to sign?
I have no personal agenda against Mr Dolan but I consider he has had a fair crack of the whip with his own team which he signed and the results are not forthcoming.

Mat Triggs, Catterick Garrison

P.S I put my money where your mouth is by backing us each way this season loooks like I can kiss my money goodbye!!!!!!!!!!!

If this is relating to Chris Smith he is injured. I donít think that the recent results really represent what we are capable of doing, I think we can do better. Okoli and Rogerio are having some difficulties with where they are getting to with training, but we will keep working with them.

I think it is a little early to kiss your money goodbye.

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