WORCESTER City Supporters’ Trust will formally request land for a stadium at Perdiswell and "make the council decide" on the back of Labour's call to arms.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, leader of the Labour Party in Worcester and deputy leader of the city council, called for “a clear business plan and a strategy” for the project in a statement released on Saturday.

READ MORE | Green Party leader invited to City away day to see what Perdiswell could look like

READ MORE | Evesham United could face deduction of up to 11 league points

It reiterated Labour’s “in-principle” support alongside the claim “city council officers from the managing director downwards are trying to be as helpful as possible” despite being “hamstrung by the shortsightedness of some local politicians”.

But that also came with the warning that “Labour councillors cannot be expected to campaign or vote to simply sign over land with no detailed planning having been scrutinised, no matter how worthy the cause” proposed for the city council-owned plot that the trust has planning permission for.

Director Richard Widdowson indicated the trust had held back due to the weight of political opposition but that the push for a call from the full council would now begin.

“There was a business plan submitted with the planning application and that’s now updated because the club has become community owned through the supporters’ trust,” said Widdowson.

“Over the past year we have met with the leaders of the three parties several times and it has been stated to us ­— clearly and categorically ­— that there is no political will for a football ground on Perdiswell.

“I asked straight out, if there was a vote tomorrow how would it go? The Conservatives would be against it, the Green Party would be against it and Labour would be for it.

“On the basis of what Labour have come out with we will finish off the changed business plan and submit a full request for a community asset transfer.

“We hope all councillors will read it and vote objectively having read what it is, along with the planning.

“The devil is in the detail. They need to look at the information in front of them and not base decisions on what they think it might be, which is what we have been up against for a long time.

“The planning application shows that. For instance Louis Stephen (city councillor and leader of the Green Party in Worcester) has proved over the past week that he knows nothing about the application yet he has made up his mind.

“Surely you have to make a decision based on what’s in front of you.

“We will follow the advice of ex-councillor Gareth Jones that he wants this heard by the whole city council. Now it is time to do that and make the council decide.”

READ MORE | Raiders raid rivals Pershore in Zaq attack 

Asked how far the business plan is from being finalised, Widdowson replied: “It is a case of changing a few words, there is hardly anything and we will be ready in the next week or so.

“We had certain aims in the initial business plan such as becoming community owned that have now happened, they have been achieved, the final aim now is to apply for a community asset transfer or any other suitable means that is of benefit to the city.

“One thing we will prove to the city council is the community benefit of this facility.

“Several community groups of various types have already stated they want to use it. Tudor Grange Academy was the first to get in touch to express an interest in using the facility if it is built.”


There has been a lot of social media speculation and reporting about the situation surrounding Worcester City Football Club and the proposed stadium site at Perdiswell.

READ MORE | City chairman rails against "protestors and council interference"

READ MORE | Louis Stephen part four - Green leader says 90 people raised objections to Perdiswell stadium during doorstep rounds

READ MORE | Louis Stephen part three - Why I backed hockey club plans and not Perdiswell 

READ MORE | Louis Stephen part two - City needs "smaller scheme" for homecoming

READ MORE | Louis Stephen part one - Green leader pushing for cross-party alliance over City stadium search

As leader of the Labour Group of City Councillors, ex-leader of the council and current deputy leader I want to make it clear where Labour stands on the issue.

Firstly, Labour fully supports the desire to bring City back home and we believe the best place for a new ground is Perdiswell.

READ MORE | Cllr Adrian Gregson's view on stadium at Perdiswell - October 2018

The Tory and Green-dominated planning committee's decision was overturned on appeal and we in Labour certainly welcomed the inspector's decision.

The Tories and Greens have never seemed to understand the importance of the football club to Worcester. Labour does, and the City faithful can rest assured that they enjoy the full support of the Labour Party in their desire to return the club to Worcester.

However, we will require help from the club itself to turn what is strong support in principle into practical support in the council chamber.

As elected officials, Labour councillors cannot be expected to campaign or vote to simply sign land over with no detailed planning having been scrutinised, no matter how worthy the cause. The club needs to help push the city council into making a decision.

We urge the club to come forward with a clear business plan and a strategy for moving forward that we can debate and vote on as councillors. Until then, the Tories and the Greens can and will get away with claiming there is no agreement on the site.

City council officers from the managing director downwards are trying to be as helpful as possible and manage expectations, but they are hamstrung by the shortsightedness of some local politicians.

That is why Labour is keen for WCFC to present their plan and let us get on with testing the votes of these local councillors to make a decision.

City have been away for far too long, and only by working together can we bring our club home where it belongs.