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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 09:37 GMT
York unveil new owner
York's new owner John Batchelor
Projected losses for this season are 500,000
York City have confirmed John Batchelor as the new owner and chairman of the club.

The motor racing boss has stepped in to save the Third Division club after it was put up for sale earlier in the year with debts totalling about 4m.

We need to plug the gaps to stop the club losing money before we start investing
York chairman John Batchelor

At a news conference to announce the takeover, Batchelor revealed that the club will move away from Bootham Crescent.

"We have sites in mind for a new stadium, which will be attractive to other activities such as pop concerts," said York's new owner.

Batchelor is already in talks with various people and has two specific sites in mind for a new 15,000-seater stadium in the city.

Batchelor said his reasons for buying the club were that they were they were the best available and that they were in the least financial trouble.

The club has a 100,000 overdraft but no more debts and expect to make a loss at the end of the season of between 400,000 and 500,000.

Batchelor promised he would give the club exposure that Premiership clubs would die for.

That exposure includes a a seven-figure sponsorship deal due to be announced next week as well as Batchelor's touring cars bearing the name York City.

"I am here for the long haul," said Batchelor.

"I have worked with football clubs and motor sport in the past and made it work there so it should be no different this time.

York's Bootham Crescent ground
Batchelor wants to move from Bootham Crescent

"I've taken the touring car business from nothing to a premier outfit in four years and there's no reason why York City can't do the same.

"We need to plug the gaps to stop the club losing money before we start investing."

Batchelor's takeover was welcomed by former chairman Douglas Craig - who will remain on the board during a transitional period - York City Supporters' Trust and the City of York Council.

"City of York Council will be involved in future discussions with Mr Batchelor and the supporters' trust about the future plans for the club, " said councillor Alan Jones

Batchelor added he was expecting to announce between eight and 10 board members, two of whom would come from the supporters' trust.

BBC Sport's Peter Lovedale
"Is this the day Third Division football moves to the fast lane"
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