York City relegated from the Football League: Fans react with fury: ‘We were gutless’

Destined for the drop. Photograph: Matthew Day on Flickr
23 Apr 2016 @ 6.26 pm
| Sport

York City’s return to the Football League is over.

They were relegated from League Two after a 3-0 defeat away to promotion chasing Accrington Stanley.

That left the club on 33 points from 43 goals – nine points adrift of next team Newport with two games to play. Their goal difference, at -30, was the second worst in the league, behind bottom club Dagenham & Redbridge.

It means City are out of the Football League after only four seasons back. They were last relegated into the Conference in 2004, and only won promotion eight years later, winning the 2012 Conference play-off final at Wembley.

When current manager Jackie McNamara took over in November 2015, City were one place above the relegation zone.

At the time, he told journalists he hoped to instil a “winning mentality” at the club. Sadly, it didn’t happen. But club chairman Jason McGill has said that McNamara will stay in charge despite relegation.

‘It’s disappointing’

Taking us into the basement… manager Jackie McNamara. Photograph: YouTube
Taking us into the basement… manager Jackie McNamara. Photograph: YouTube

Jackie McNamara told BBC Radio York that relegation has “been hanging over us for a few weeks.

“It’s disappointing. It’s not something you want. We’ve paid the price for not being good enough in certain games, and not holding on to victories, wasting points, sloppiness, concentration…

“There’s so many things you can put your finger on that have cost us this season, and we’ve paid the price for that.

“I don’t believe we’re the second worst team in the league. But certain things like today shows certain weaknesses in our team.”

Does he accept the criticism he’s received from fans?

As the manager you take responsibility for everything.

Obviously I feel it’s my team. We’ve had to do things to try and plug gaps and change things, and try and help us over the line.

I always knew the toughest part was going to be to stay in the league, and building for next year. The building process is going to be important and, for me, hopefully what I’ll be judged on.

‘It was inevitable’

Understands fans' frustration… City captain Russ Penn. Photograph: Mattythewhite on Wikipedia
Understands fans’ frustration… City captain Russ Penn. Photograph: Mattythewhite on Wikipedia

City captain Russ Penn told Radio York: “We haven’t gone down on today, we’ve gone down over the whole season. A lot of errors that could have been avoided.

“I feel sorry for the fans, I feel sorry for the young lads who have come into this environment because it’s learning the hard way.”

He said he understood the frustration of the fans. “I probably would be the same. Probably not as volatile. They were having a go at some of the young players – it’s not their fault.

“They can have a go at the old pros. I can take it – I’ve been round the block. It hurts – it hurts me more than anybody, whether they believe it or not, it’s up to them…

“Hopefully we’ll learn from this and come back stronger. A lot of hard work over the summer.

“This is a big club which has got to be in the league, and we’ve got a big chance next year to do that.”

How are the players feeling?

Obviously disappointed. I think it was inevitable anyway.

It’s not about today. I think we’ve been in the bottom two since Yeovil – the first of Jan – and we’ve just drifted away really.

Fans’ react on Twitter