SUPPORTERS OF York City Football Club are celebrating the victory of a two-year campaign to save their club and its ground. The Supporters' Trust won control of the club last year, and now a deal has been announced by which the club will remain at its Bootham Crescent home for 'the foreseeable future'.
Stadium owners Bootham Crescent Holdings (BCH) and housebuilders Persimmon had been trying to evict the club so they could demolish the ground and build luxury flats on the site. The supporters' campaign included pickets of Persimmon sites in the York area. Supporters of other football clubs were preparing to mount solidarity protests at Persimmon sites around the country. Fearing a demonstration at York Races last September, Persimmon withdrew from sponsoring a race.
Details of the deal have yet to be finalised, but it's clear that pressure from the supporters' campaign played a significant part in persuading Persimmon and BCH to back off. Many other football clubs still face extinction because of the actions of asset-strippers and the inaction of government. Brighton, for example, is threatened by a government planning inspector who believes the club's plight is unimportant because it's only 'a provincial club'.
Brighton fans organised a sit-in at last Saturday's game, and are calling on fans of all clubs to write to John Prescott, urging him to overrule his inspector and allow the club to build its new stadium at Falmer.