Few Tears For John Batchelor

The former York City owner John Batchelor died at the relatively youthful age of fifty-one in a Stockport hospital on the eleventh of April. The news of his death has been greeted with a mixture of shock and surprise by many that were aware of him. It would, however, be fair to say that his death hasn’t been greeted with much sadness by those that came into contact with him in football, at least. Batchelor, who seemed to revel in role within lower league football so extreme that by the end he could almost be described as a pantomime villain, never seemed to give a damn about those that he screwed whilst he was alive. Perhaps the lack of sadness at his parting is what he would have wanted. His arrival at York in 2002 was all about creating a fuss and creating headlines. Having had a moderate career in touring car racing, he was unknown within football but promised great things for the club. He redesigned the club’s kit to incorporate a chequered flag and changed its name to “York City Soccer Club” as a rebranding exercise. For the duration of his involvement at Bootham Crescent, however, he was running it into the ground. Persimmon Homes, who had agreed to purchase the club’s ground, had paid him £400,000 in sponsorship money for the sports club that he was...

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