EX-CHAIRMAN Anthony Hampson reckons “Perdiswell is the only game in town” for Worcester City but argues council support for a long-awaited return home is “passive”.

It marks a U-turn from his time in charge at the homeless club when he was adamant “it is clear the land is not going to be transferred” for Worcester City Supporters’ Trust’s favoured option.

The trust continued to push for Perdiswell despite Worcester City Council – the authority that also owns the land – refusing planning permission for a second time against the advice of its own officers in July 2017.

At that point the club changed course and explored Parsonage Way with backing and up to £100,000 of funding for feasibility studies from the city council.

Ten months and £57,000 later councillors ratified the verdict of officers that deemed the site unsuitable, prompting the end of Hampson’s decade-long tenure.

Since then the trust has won its appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and seen four members drafted on to the club’s board.

There remains political opposition to a stadium at Perdiswell but Hampson believes the delicate balance of power in the city could swing the pendulum in the club’s favour.

“It is time for everyone to work together now to try to get this Perdiswell scheme up and running,” said Hampson.

“We have had Nunnery Way, Parsonage Way and Claines Lane. They were all highly expensive to look at with reports and everything else because of planning issues.

“Perdiswell seems to be far less complicated in terms of what it could provide and the council will just have to get behind that and support the club if they so wish.

“If they don’t, there is nothing the club can do to move them but the political environment has changed in the country.

“If the political colour changes in Worcester I think there is every chance that Perdiswell can be delivered. The problem will be raising the money to build a stadium.

“There are no options at the moment other than Perdiswell as far as I can see.

“We went to many meetings each month to look at other sites throughout Worcester. When all is said and done I think Perdiswell is the only game in town.”

Put to him that supporters may be critical of the club not sticking with Perdiswell instead of pursuing Parsonage Way, Hampson replied: “We were specifically and consistently told the land at Perdiswell would not be made available.

“If the colour running Worcester City Council changes over the next year and a half, I think you will find the land will become available. We could only make the decisions we did in the circumstances at the time.”

The club made reassuring noises about council support to end an exile which has already spanned more than five years but Hampson now claims “it is fairly passive” before rounding off with a blast for Councillor Chris Mitchell, the planning chair at Worcester City Council.

Mitchell, whose casting vote saw Perdiswell rejected in July 2017, was criticised for mistaking Nunnery Way and Parsonage Way in a letter to the Worcester News in October.

He later apologised for the mix up and explained his objections.

“There is no burning desire from the council to help Worcester City,” said Hampson.

“I have been around the city for a long time and find that rather difficult to understand. Let’s hope the new people can do better.”

Referring to Mitchell, Hampson said: “Frankly the guy in charge seems to put his foot in his mouth. I don’t think he is well read on what has happened with this planning saga.

“He described Parsonage Way as Nunnery Way and Nunnery Way as Parsonage Way. I think he lost the way.

“There were many inaccuracies in what he was saying. I personally think the football club could put together a good plan and should be given a chance to do that.”