CHAIRMAN Anthony Hampson revealed Worcester City could go “fully amateur” next season in a bid to save the homeless club.

Hampson estimates City will have £150,000 left in the bank by the end of its first season in the Midland Football League, a drain of approximately £60,000 according to accounts published last week.

It comes on the back of a loss of more than £290,000 for the financial year to the end of May 2017 with the club still hoping to build a new stadium at Parsonage Way with the help of grant funding.

Hampson remains confident City can “scrape to phase one” of the ground project provided “everyone works together” but admits it is likely to depend on keeping back the remaining pot of cash – even if John Snape’s men achieve promotion.

“There will be about £150,000 left at the end of this season,” said Hampson.

“We have had favourable responses to the potential grant applications, certainly to be able to fund phase one should we get planning permission.

“If everyone works together we could scrape to phase one. It is a much smaller club now and will be run in a far more realistic way."

Asked for a response to criticism over the club’s losses in 2016-17, Hampson replied: “Worcester City had an aspiration to play at a certain level of football, an aspiration it has had for 25 or more years. You cannot just pull it straight down, you would totally lose any fan base.

“In the end it had to go down and it may have to go fully amateur. I make no bones about that. We may have to conserve the money we have.

“There may be a few expenses but we cannot sustain paying out large playing budgets.”

Asked whether that would happen next season, Hampson said: “I would have to speak to the present manager to see what his aspirations are.

“He knows local players and the type of money they are getting and we have to decide once he comes back with that information whether it is something we can work with.

“If we go up, we go up. My understanding is the budgets at the next level are not particularly dissimilar to the top five where we are now but it will be a decision for the board as to whether they keep spending money on the budget.

“If my fellow directors decide they want to carry on for promotion, we would have to determine how we could afford that and have any hope of the Parsonage Way plan. It is one thing or the other as far as I can see.

“Getting promoted is one thing, the playing budget is another. It would then be making the same mistakes (to allow one to influence the other). We would not be jacking up the playing budget with any significance.

“If we get promoted, that’s fine, but the budget will probably be controlled on a weekly basis dependent on circumstances.

“The important thing is to keep the club going and get Parsonage Way started off.

“I think Parsonage Way can be delivered on an extremely low-key phase one. Getting back into Worcester will provide the supporters with some confidence that there will be a club to get behind.

“We can no longer do both, though. We cannot sustain playing budgets and Parsonage Way, it is not viable.”

Asked for his position ahead of those talks, Hampson said: “It would be death by a thousand cuts as far as I see. We need Parsonage Way to happen.

“We cannot keep spending money on other people’s grounds and facilities where we don’t have any control. If we cannot get Parsonage Way, where are we going to play?”