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Opinion

York stadium funding takes the biscuit

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Arsenal football club is in discussions with the Royal Bank of Scotland to issue a new £260 million 30-year secured bond to help finance the construction of its new £357 million stadium.

York City, though ? five divisions below Arsenal in the UK's Nationwide Conference ? has slightly more modest stadium financing needs. The team is on the brink of finalizing a £2.1 million deal to buy 75% of the shares of Bootham Crescent Holdings, which owns its Bootham Crescent stadium.

But it's not a bank that's organizing the cash. The club, which aims to finalize the purchase in February, is getting a £2 million loan from the Football Foundation's Football Stadia Improvement Fund, secured against the ground. The other £100,000 is being stumped up by the producers of the famous KitKat bar, Nestlé Rowntree. The only catch? The name of the ground is being changed from Bootham Crescent to KitKat Crescent.

Supporters sceptical about the decision to rename Bootham Crescent, which the club has occupied for 73 years, after a chocolate and wafer-based snack, should rest assured that the decision was entirely logical.

?KitKat Crescent was the obvious choice of name for the ground as the product is manufactured in York and, like KitKat, City's home strip is red and white, ? says York City managing director Jason McGill.

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