York City boss Martin Gray has welcomed an end to the “open cheque book” recruitment policy at Bootham Crescent.
Gray has insisted that the Minstermen must start paying salaries more commensurate with sixth-tier regionalised football and is already in discussions with certain targets for next season, having been instructed by the current board of directors to recreate the winning culture he built at previous club Darlington. Potential new owners still have until April 30 to declare their interest in acquiring former chairman Jason McGill’s 75 per cent majority shareholding in the club.
But, with Supporters’ Trust members having voted against the proposal to hand over their 25 per cent stake in the club to McGill’s JM Packaging company a month ago, the Malton-based businessman stated that the Minstermen would need to function on a breakeven basis next term, bringing an end to the operating losses he has covered during his stewardship, which amounted to £500,000 in the last financial year alone. The Trust have previously expressed their belief that City’s expenditure should not exceed income and, following talks with directors Steve Kilmartin, Dave Penney, Ian McAndrew and Richard Adams, Gray has asked frustrated supporters to judge him after he has assembled his own squad for 2018/19 on a revised wage structure.
“We’ve got to work within a playing budget,” he pointed out. “In the past, we’ve just been funded and funded by Jason McGill and that open cheque book philosophy is not the way to manage and run a football club.
“We need a sensible, playing budget that attracts players to come, but pays the right wages for the level we are at.”
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