A BUNFIGHT over the banner highlighting homeless Worcester City’s plight kicked off amid claims fans were asked for £2,000 to keep it on display at Heather St John’s.

Supporters had hoped to gain exposure at Saturday’s away FA Cup tie, which was broadcast live by the BBC’s red button service, by displaying the message “Do the right thing Worcester City Council — let us come home”.

READ MORE | City sign ex-Bromsgrove Sporting and Evesham United striker

READ MORE | City plan to host Raiders derby at Bromsgrove

Saints officials had denied permission due to it carrying a “political message” unbeknown to the club’s gate staff and City followers who put it up before being asked to take down the 45-metre monster.

City supporters’ trust director Rich Widdowson later took to Twitter alleging that Heather officials had decided “they didn’t want the banner up as it was a political statement and covered non-existent advertising boards – unless we paid them £2000”.


Widdowson confirmed the financial suggestion had been made by Heather officials, adding that fans had deliberately avoided areas which had advertising boards in line with initial feedback from the home club.

Saints chairman Mick Brookes and secretary Adrian Rock, who acknowledged they had dealt with the problem on the day, refuted Widdowson’s claims.

READ MORE | REPORT, REACTION, RATINGS - Evesham United score after 23 seconds, trail 3-1 and still win

City chairman Steve Goode said: “I wasn’t aware of this £2,000 thing at the time and did not hear what was said.

“If it is true then it is unacceptable.”

Goode acknowledged there had been a breakdown in communication having initially sought permission to put up the banner.

“I rang the secretary and at the time there was no issue as long as it did not cover anything (advertising boards),” he added.

“He said if they could help then they would but when we got there it was a completely different view.

“We arrived at the ground, people from the trust asked the people on the gate and again they said it would not be a problem as long as it did not cover any boards.

“We put it up but then the secretary came to me and asked us to take it down, saying he had sent an email. I hadn’t seen it at the time but I have since. He said it was to do with it being a political message.

“I could not see the issue. There were other ‘Bring City Home’ banners around the ground and nothing was said about those.

“I know one of the trust members was very upset and did not want to take it down but we did as they asked.

“To me it was a bit petty but we didn’t want to cause a scene.

“Once it was up and they could see it was not making any major statement as such, I think it could quite easily have been left up.

“It was disappointing because it was a good opportunity to show people what is happening at Worcester City in front of the TV cameras.

“I just hope they (Heather) never find themselves in the position we are.”

Brookes said: “My secretary dealt with it. We believed it was a political thing and as a village side we didn’t want to get involved, that was the only reason we said no.

“Nobody gave permission for it to go up, I went and spoke to the chairman and he asked them to take it down.

“I don’t want to say too much about the guy who did put it up because he was a little bit naughty at times with his language to my secretary.

“We are a village club, we try to do things correctly. As much as we want to see Worcester get their own place we don’t want to be involved in the politics of it.”

Rock said the allegations about asking for money were “totally untrue”, adding: “We would not accept any money.

“It was a political statement (and) straightforward that our directors said it must not go up. That was it.”