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Hampson hopeful of a bright City future
10:00am Friday 16th August 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
After 108 years at St George’s Lane, the club will tomorrow play their first game at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough stadium.
It is the start of an exile brought about by selling the Lane for housing but being unable to afford a new ground.
With a move to Nunnery Way dead in the water — the St Modwen contract is due to be terminated — and the club’s supporters’ trust plan for Perdiswell the only potential option on the table, there are uncertain times ahead.
However, Hampson has been buoyed by 550 season ticket sales, which have brought in much-needed cash, and the youthful team being assembled by manager Carl Heeley.
The bank balance will also be aided in December by the last of three annual sponsorship payments of £62,500 from Careys New Homes.
While acknowledging there is a sadness in leaving the Lane, he also talks of a sense of relief at no longer having to prop up a relic of the non-league game.
The City chief said: “There are a lot of clubs that are probably in the same position as us in that league at the moment who are around our level so I am not pessimistic in any way, shape or form.
“I think it looks very optimistic at the moment.
“I think Worcester deserves a vibrant football club and that’s what we’re trying to do. There have been some bad mistakes along the way which we’re trying to draw a line under.
“It’s proving tricky but we’re working to make sure that there will be a healthy club when City actually come back to play in Worcester.
“We really hope it won’t be for more than two seasons otherwise it’s going to be very difficult to keep the club together.
“The forecast we have at the moment gets us through this season cash-wise as long as attendances don’t plummet dramatically.”
He continued: “All is not lost. There is a considerable saving in what we’re trying to do in terms of not maintaining an old ground with the problems of all the ageing facilities.
“Even though we all like to go to the traditional ground of St George’s Lane, the upkeep was horrendous. There were additional bits of costly maintenance turning up all the time.
“We put a lot of work into the pitch in the last three years to get the surface right but it was costly with the drainage and reseeding.
“That cost is now out of the way at the moment. It’s a welcome relief and hopefully it will mean our focus will be more on fundraising.”
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