Disbelief, anger, hurt and despair… these were the emotions suffered by York City fans as the club fell to a terrible new low.
After a second successive relegation, City dropped into National League North.
In a bitter blow to the club, their hard-fought 2-2 draw with play-off contenders Forest Green Rovers was not enough to secure their place in the National League.
A last-gasp equaliser by Guiseley Town saved their skins and sent City down.
As the final whistle was blown, it was greeted by an eerie silence. Then the fans applauded the team off the pitch.
A group of fans gathered under the windows of the directors’ boxes after the match, venting their anger at club chairman Jason McGill and former manager turned chief executive Jackie McNamara.
They chanted “Jason out”, and demanded to see the club officials – in vain.
That anger was reflected among City fans online. “If we’d got rid of McNamara earlier we’d have been fine,” wrote Jefferson on The Red And Blue Net.
“Mills was ultimately left with too much to do. We’ve got to 50 points which is normally enough but needed more.”
YorkiePhil wrote: “Top 3 wage budget this season, strong budget last season yet back to back relegation means, I would argue, that the evidence shows that factually he’s the least competent chairman in English professional football. Probably ever, as I doubt anyone owning a club has been so incompetent before.”
“Dark times ahead,” wrote Steve_Minstermen.
“I really don’t think if we do have a club that we won’t get out of that league we’re now heading to at the first attempt either.”
Big names join the criticism
York City supporter and BBC football commentator Guy Mowbray joined the chorus of criticism on Twitter.
“2 relegations, 2 seasons in a row. Chairman, “Chief Exec” (joke) – you two are responsible. Regional football awaits,” he wrote.
“Chairman & his mate turn down interview requests again – insulting every single supporter. Hiding things? Only conclusion without answers.”
Guy gave his backing to City manager Gary Mills, who had done a “terrific job”.
Angry, yes. Upset, hugely. Let down, massively. Over and out.
— Guy Mowbray (@Guymowbray) April 29, 2017
Meanwhile former city legend Richard Cresswell added his voice to the chorus of disapproval.
“Jackie Mc has not only ruined a fantastic club but he is also responsible for many other things that have happened behind the scenes,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Rob, Sophie and Jason had the best interests for everybody involved with YCFC but Jackie has also managed to break not only a club up but a family.
“He’s the reason this great club is where it is today!”
Praise for Mills and team
Fans lined up to praise the team after they played their hearts out. They came back twice from behind, but were unable to get the winner.
And there was much goodwill directed to manager Gary Mills who came so close to keeping the club up.
Afterwards Mills said: “It’s tough for everybody, but the fact of the matter is it’s happened.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it for the fans in the end because they’ve been incredible. But they need to know I couldn’t get any more out of my players.
“They’ve been incredible for me as you’ve seen again today.”
Questions now remain about the future of the club and the York Community Stadium. And in the meantime, City go to Wembley on Sunday, May 21 to face Macclesfield Town in the final of the FA Trophy.