A LEADING figure within Worcester City Supporters’ Trust has rejected a surprise offer from Anthony Hampson to replace him as club chairman.

Trust chairman Dave Wood revealed he received an email from Hampson saying he was “ready to step down” and allow him to take over the reins.

He said the message came through to him and trust secretary Rob Crean just days after their bid to make City a Community Benefit Society failed to win the backing of shareholders.

Wood said Hampson had told him that last month’s general meeting was “one of the most uncomfortable nights of his life” due to an outcry of calls for him to quit.

However, Wood refused to accept his proposal, insisting it was not the trust’s intention to take over the running of the Vanarama National League North outfit.

“After the general meeting, people showed their passion,” he said.

“Anthony said it was one of the most uncomfortable nights of his life and I understand that but on the Saturday morning Rob and I received an email direct from the chairman, via secretary John Jordan, saying, ‘Dave, I am ready to step down if you will take over the football club’.

“I made no answer apart from saying, ‘We need to sit down and talk’.”

Wood added: “We have never beaten his door down saying, ‘We are going to take over’.

“All of this was never about the trust taking over the football club.

“All this was about the club still running as a viable business but the trust enhancing it with a much stronger group overseeing things.

“We never wanted to be chairman. It was about fans having a better say on the football club and our mantra has never changed.”

Trust member Jem Pitt, who was also speaking at a forum for fans, felt the board were looking for an “easy way out”.

“I think it was pretty strong of us, Dave in particular, to say ‘No, I am not going to just step into the breach,’” he added.

“We believe the shareholders have voted, so directors have to act on those wishes and we will leave them to do that unfettered.”

Speaking after the meeting, Hampson confirmed he decided to make the offer to Wood in a bid to “unify” the club.

“I could have responded to the calls for my resignation by stepping down,” Hampson said.

“However, I believe this would have been a dereliction of my duties.

“Not only would it have created further uncertainty at board level, as no suggestions as to a replacement have ever been brought forward, but I would also have been failing to represent those shareholders who voted against the proposals at the general meeting.

“I take my responsibilities as chairman of the football club very seriously and it is my wish all parties move forward in a unified manner.

“With this in mind, I did make an offer to David to stand aside to enable him to take on the role.

“My offer was not borne out of a lack of commitment to the football club.

“I remain as committed as ever but I have no desire to retain power at any cost.

“The interests of the football club are more important than any one individual and my offer was simply a desire to bring an end to the apparent divisions, which were having a negative impact on the football club, in the hope we could move forward with unity.”