WORCESTER City Football Club needs a “smaller scheme” to break a Brexit-style deadlock over its homecoming.

That’s the view of Councillor Louis Stephen, the man attempting to create a cross-party coalition to find a stadium site for the exiled club.

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Cllr Stephen remains resolutely behind residents objecting to plans for a stadium at Perdiswell, despite Worcester City Supporters’ Trust being granted planning permission on appeal.

The leader of the Green Party in Worcester acknowledged there were “no planning reasons people can use to object” but that residents “want us to defend their position and we make no apology for doing that”.

He added the Greens “would probably support it” had there been will from those living nearby but that the granting of planning permission “doesn’t mean the council should accept the ground is built there”.

“I think there are ways to get a ground somewhere, not necessarily at Perdiswell,” said Cllr Stephen.

“The way I think this could be done is to find somewhere the club could start with a ground, not a stadium but a ground that is much lower in terms of a built-up area and with a lower base.

“The size of what was applied for was quite large because the club tried to futureproof its aspirations.

“As I understand it they have gone down a couple of leagues and what they probably need to do is start with smaller scheme somewhere else, with community football (that can) gain support from residents.

“People will then come to support and trust the club and it can go on from there.

“At the moment it is a little bit like Brexit, everyone has become polarised. It is a big stadium and everyone is worried and concerned about it.

“We need to find a way of creating a smaller scheme somewhere and building trust and support over time, then who knows where it could go in terms of how big it could get.

“Like everything, if you end up with a very polarised position you find it very difficult to compromise.”

Asked for what he saw as a realistic scale for a ground, Cllr Stephen replied: “I am not an expert on football and could not say.

“All I can offer to do is to work constructively with the other political parties, the managing director (of Worcester City Council) and the football club to find a solution to this.

“I cannot be drawn on technicalities because I know nothing about it. I can only be in the room to work with the other parties, people who know what they are talking about in football.”