A POTENTIAL move to Sixways which would have involved Worcester City being taken over by Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham has collapsed.

Goldring confirmed talks had been held with City’s supporters’ trust – the umbrella organisation that holds the majority stake in the club – over ending more than six years of exile but that any deal would have seen fan ownership relinquished.

Worcester News understands City and trust officials had planned to pitch that option alongside the possibility of staying community owned and relocating to Claines Lane when members and shareholders meet at Worcestershire Cricket Club on Thursday, November 28.

But Goldring, who said he had been aware of City's Claines Lane talks, revealed Warriors had already switched focus to developing a "multi-sport" facility at Sixways, including its own football club.

“I think it is important to give some background, being transparent with the supporters of the rugby club is something Jason and I believe in,” said Goldring.

“We want to serve our community as best we can and believe that is done through multi-sport with rugby at the heart of it.

“We have always wanted to bring in other sports with football being a big part of it because we want to reach out to that community. That’s our focus more than bringing in a first team that is in whatever tier of the league system, the community aspect is the priority for us.

“We want to be inclusive of all sports and that’s part of the values of rugby, whatever sports we do we will look to transpose those values.

“It goes hand in hand that you also have a first team as well as community teams and I can confirm we have held talks with Worcester City over the past few months, mooting the idea of them coming to Sixways.

“We thought it was right to give them the chance given their history in the city of Worcester.

“Those talks went so far, they were exploratory to see whether it would work for them but in the last meeting we had with the trust I think they made it quite clear – and I understand this completely – that they are a community-owned club, that is their focus and the way they want to go.

“I fully support members of the club wanting to achieve that, I understand they have this option to go elsewhere and I am very happy for them but I can say having looked at it and heard what they want to achieve that it is not the right fit for here.

“It is not an option for them to come to Sixways now."

Asked whether the option could be revisited, Goldring replied: “I would say never say never but as it stands now, I can’t see it working given what their objectives are and what we want to achieve here.

"It is not likely to happen in the near future.”

Asked whether the move would have involved taking over City, Goldring replied: “The prospect we were mooting involved Jason and I taking over a club, yes.

“Whatever club plays out of our stadium we want to have control of ownership of, whichever club comes here or if we start a fresh club that is community based, Jason and I would own it.”

On whether that had scuppered the deal, Goldring said: “I wouldn’t say that was the sticking point, what they want to achieve as a club is different to what Jason and I want to achieve here for the community.

“For example, one of their objectives was to own their stadium and we were never going to surrender ownership of the stadium we have here. The objectives didn’t tally.”

“I wish the fans of Worcester City all the best and am very glad they have had this option (Claines Lane) come up.”

Claines Lane, the permanent home of West Midlands (Regional) League outfit Worcester Raiders and amateur sides, is currently being redeveloped by landlords Worcestershire FA.

Top brass from City and its trust remained tight-lipped with club chairman Steve Goode and trust vice-chair Julian Pugh declining to confirm or deny either proposal.

A joint statement insisted speculation about done deals had been "vastly ill informed" but did not offer detail on whether talks had taken place.

It read: “The football club are aware of claims relating to the club signing a deal to play at a ground in Worcester.

"Worcester City FC assert(s) that no such agreement has been made with any party relating to playing arrangements for next season and that any reports suggesting so are vastly ill informed.

“Supporters are advised to attend the joint shareholders and trust members meeting on November 28 where all options available to Worcester City FC will be openly discussed.

"Any updates on playing arrangements will come directly from Worcester City FC.”

City return to the Victoria Ground, Bromsgrove, tomorrow to tackle Lye Town in Midland Football League Premier Division (Wednesday, 7.45).