CHAIRMAN Anthony Hampson insists Worcester City has the means to fund its Parsonage Way stadium project and remains on track to move in for the 2019-20 season.

The club is set to outline proposals for the site next month but remains under pressure from Worcester City Supporters’ Trust to deliver details of its financial position beforehand.

Trust secretary Rob Crean called on City chiefs to prioritise an annual general meeting (AGM), questioned whether the project could be funded and how long the club could continue.

The last set of published accounts revealed City’s net worth up to May 2016 had dropped to £496,714 on the back of more than £150,000 of losses in the previous 12 months.

City have since opted to drop three levels in a bid to cut costs with Hampson reporting “vastly reduced” losses last month.

In response to Crean’s questions, Hampson politely declined to reveal exact figures but was adamant the club had the clout to secure a “modest stadium” in Worcester with scope for better facilities dependent on access to grants.

Hampson added that a second public consultation had been scheduled for February with the planning process set to start in June.

“We are waiting to see what comes from Parsonage Way,” said Crean. “Nothing has been released to the trust, the fans or the shareholders which is unusual.

“When big decisions are made, shareholders are normally consulted first and I am not quite sure why that hasn’t happened.

“We are all in the dark but looking forward to seeing what plans the club reveals in December. Hopefully an AGM will be announced at the same time to see what the finances are looking like.

“I don’t think you can have one without the other. The most important thing is putting this to shareholders first because they need to know what money the club has left.

“If the money is going to run out next year, which Anthony has been quoted as saying in the past, then what is the point in Parsonage Way? How much money is left and how much do we have to raise?

“Let’s be open, honest and transparent. Let’s see what the club’s vision for the future is and then put it to shareholders so we can all get behind it. We need some solid answers.

“How much money is left and how can we pay for it? Can we survive long enough to build it? How can we trust them if they’re not open?”

Hampson said: “We would not be pursuing this if we didn’t feel we could back it up with finance. It will need the people who regard themselves as supporters to back the club, back the board and back the project.

“We are getting prices in for the construction at the moment and the club can afford the first phase of development, sufficient for the level of football we operate at now and the level above, from its existing situation.

“Should grants come through our partnership with the Worcestershire FA then further scope would be considered. That scope will be in the planning application so that elbow room will be there to move further up the leagues in the foreseeable future.”

A date for the club’s initial consultation is expected to be announced imminently.

“Invitations are being sent out to Warndon Parish Council and parishioners and that extends to anyone else interested in the project,” said Hampson.

“We will be taking views, listening to what people have to say and making amendments accordingly. From there we will have a further public consultation in February with a view to taking the project to planning in June.”

Asked whether the club is still working to its 2019-20 move-in target, Hampson replied: “Provided we can stick to those timescales without disruption, yes.”

The trust last week confirmed it had lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the rejected stadium proposal for Perdiswell, a project the club has distanced itself from.

“The application was always the first bit,” said Crean. “We have not asked for the land or for money, we want to get the planning through first. The timescales will be extended for the appeal but we are still on track.”

Worcester City Council own the land (at Parsonage Way) and are highly supportive of us going there. That support is not there for Perdiswell,” said Hampson.

“We have more chance of securing the club's future through the project at Parsonage Way than we would have by going for Perdiswell.”