WORCESTER City discussed a temporary move to Sixways which would have led to “someone involved with the rugby club” working “above the board” of the football club.

City chairman Steve Goode confirmed the talks had since ended and that the matter would not be pursued despite both club and supporters’ trust initially supporting the move.

Vice-chairman Colin Layland revealed at a shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday that talks had started “before Christmas” with an unnamed person involved at Worcester Warriors.

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Goode said there had been an “out of the blue” telephone call which led to him joining Layland and fellow director and trust chair Dave Wood for a meeting that City’s top brass viewed as “quite positive at first”.

Following a second meeting the trust were sounded out and were “quite keen to get involved” but negotiations stalled from there with Goode claiming the individual was “no longer interested”.

Layland said he had instigated a third meeting “to keep some dialogue” and then approached the person about the possibility of City using facilities for pre-season training but that it had been clear the matter was “dead and buried”.

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Fielding questions from Worcester News after the meeting, Goode stressed talks had not got as far as thrashing out finer details but that he had seen any move to Sixways as a temporary solution with a new stadium at Perdiswell top of the agenda.

“We were approached by the Warriors. I am not prepared to say who we spoke to because they were private meetings,” said Goode.

“Ideas were put to us and we were keen to go that way in theory. Unfortunately there was no deal when we went back and nothing happened.

“The reason we have put it out there is to let fans and the people of Worcester, some of whom may think we should be based at Sixways, that we tried. It is not going to happen.

“The idea was that we would play as Worcester City at Warriors but someone involved with the rugby club would have been above the board.

“The board would have run the (football) club but we would have had someone else involved with a bit more of a say than we would have had.

“At the time we were in favour of doing that, mainly for the sake of keeping Worcester City going, but it was not to be. That’s life and at least we tried.

“Since I have been at this club we have had many meetings and in each of them the only interest is to make Worcester City viable as a club and to get somewhere to play.”

READ MORE | City ratify community ownership plan 

Before Tuesday no individual or organisation could own more than one per cent of the available shares in City, blocking a majority shareholder taking overall control.

Some supporters have argued that prevented potential investors from coming forward.

While that rule has now been scrapped thanks to shareholders passing a motion to move to community ownership, all remaining shares will be allocated to the supporters’ trust.

Asked whether the share cap at the time had influenced the breakdown in negotiations, Goode replied: “Shares were not talked about. It was just playing football at the stadium.

“The finer details were never discussed, it was an idea around a table and that was it. We had our input, discussed it at board level and then involved the trust which was only fair with all the work they have done.

“The trust thought it was a good idea if we could make it work but it did not happen.

“Many people have tried to push us that way, many Worcester City fans have never wanted to go there.

“My own opinion is that it is too big for us but if that would have been the best option we would have done it because this is not about one person, it is about the club and its survival.”

Asked what a move to Sixways would have meant for Perdiswell, Goode added: “In my opinion it would have been temporary. I don’t think we would have wanted to stay there for good because we want a ground of our own.

“That was not discussed but I am sure the board would have wanted a temporary arrangement.”

Goode said the person’s role beyond any City stay at Sixways “was not discussed”.

The Worcester News has approached Warriors for a comment.

  • Worcester City Supporters’ Trust holds its annual general meeting (AGM) tonight (7.30) with all members welcome to attend.

It follows Tuesday’s breakthrough vote to sanction the trust acquiring a controlling stake in the club.

“We’re really pleased to be in a position now where the club and trust can finally begin the process to become a community owned club,” said trust chair Dave Wood.

“We’re well aware of all the fantastic clubs that have followed this path and made a real name for themselves from doing so.”

The meeting takes place at Warndon Hub, Shap Drive.