READ chairman Steve Goode's announcement to shareholders that Worcester City would be playing from Claines Lane next season.

Club and supporters’ trust chiefs then answered questions from the floor.

READ MORE | Goode - Claines Lane can be the "rebirth" of Worcester City

READ MORE | Claines Lane deal as it was announced​


“Out of the blue the council came to us and wanted to help,” said Goode.

“We met with the leaders and David Blake (managing director, Worcester City Council) had looked at all the sites we had looked at in the past.

“The only site they thought could work was Claines Lane, a site the trust had looked at before and believed to be a no-go.

“At that time there were certain things we were led to believe would be required that no longer need to be done now.

“They made an offer and we have accepted it today. Next season we will be playing at Claines Lane.

“A lot of people think that’s a backwards move, it is like we haven’t got any ambition but I can guarantee as soon as the paperwork is done we will have time to build.

“We will have our own bar and food (facilities) and have worked out we can make money there.

“There is going to be a lot of work done. We will have to pay rent, we are not prepared to go into what those costs are but it is not as bad as people think. If it was really high we would not go there.

“Work will be done so we can go up the leagues and I guarantee as soon as that lease is signed, I will be looking at other plots.

"This is something to stabilise the club, get money in the bank and build up our profile again.

“We will always be looking for somewhere else but this is an ideal place to be now, we know we are not going to haemorrhage money any more, we will be playing in Worcester.

“Even though it was not what we wanted – we all wanted Perdiswell because that is the ideal place – it is something and it is in Worcester.”


Will Claines Lane be suitable to play at the level we are at?

SG: “We will be able to go up two levels from where we are now.

“There is work to be done but as soon as everything is signed, the work is going to be done.

“There will be another stand and covered accommodation as well as an office where our Gold Bond manager can work from and we all believe that can take off. Agents can visit the ground to pay in money.”

Will there be any loans involved that the club has to pay back?

SG: “No, nothing at all.”

Dave Wood, trust chairman: “The loan that has been reported has not been secured for us, it has been secured for the facility, including the 3G pitch. That’s between the FA and the council.

“We will become tenants of that land and will facilitate what we need for step five (City’s current level), step four and step three. There are no loans involved at all.”

Do we have any guarantees about the cost of an alternative ground if Claines Lane is not finished on time?

SG: “We have had the guarantee it will be ready, if it is not I am sure something will be done but as far as we are concerned it will be.”

DW: “For us to play at our level some improvements will have to be done at the ground which has all been detailed with the FA and in talks with the council as well.

“One of the things the FA has committed to with what has happened with Raiders this season is temporary accommodation for us to get that ground grading.

“That has been pledged and committed and that’s why the decision has been made.

“I can stand here and say we will be playing there next season.

"The pitch will be ready, the floodlights are in which the Raiders have funded as well as a stand. We have to put in another stand, a bit of hardstanding (concrete) and a PA system.

“What needs to be done is quite minimal and they have committed to it.

“You have to get into the specifics and sign these things but at the moment that is what has been pledged.”

Will it all be in place for the start of next season?

SG: “That’s the plan.”

Have we got written guarantees over that?

DW: “We have had meetings and discussions, the legal aspects have to be drawn up and there is work to do. Nothing has been signed yet, it is an in-principle agreement.

“It is feasibility we have looked at and what can be achieved.”

What are the club’s projections for Claines Lane – are we likely to break even there?

DW: “The projection is we will break even and once we have consolidated there we can build on it, nice and steadily, a step at a time, engage with local business and take it from there.

“All I can say is we are being very realistic and keeping our feet on the ground.

"The important thing is we have a future. Personally, I can see a path to survival. I can’t say where that will end up.”

Have there been any complaints about City playing at Claines Lane (from residents)?

DW: “It is such a fine line, trying to keep things together.

“The Worcestershire FA has been very good with the neighbours, they make sure they engage and talk about things.

“They have written to local residents and one of my next meetings will be with the residents because we are going to fully engage, with Raiders as well.

“Let’s make this work because it is a community hub. Worcestershire FA is a not-for-profit organisation, Raiders originate from WCT – Worcester Community Trust – and we’re a community club owned by our fans.

“We should be able to make it work between the three of us.”

I take it Worcester Raiders will be paying the same as we (City) will?

DW: “I have no idea. They’re leasing their bit, we’re leasing our bit.

“I have no input on their costs and why would we? It is their private business. We are going to be tenants and that’s it.

“We are going to negotiate a payment for matchdays and an office full-time over 52 weeks of the year. What Raiders do doesn’t come into it for me.”

Andy Jones, company secretary: “We just have to do what is good for us.”

Other points in brief

• The rent will not be affected by how much of the Worcester City Council loan gets utilised by Worcestershire FA. It is up to £750,000 but the county association says it may not need all of that.

• The initial capacity will be 1,300 to meet with City’s current ground grading requirements with 60 parking spaces, another 30-40 to be added and a probable deal with a local school to provide 40 more.

• All sponsorship brought in by City will go to the club.

• The idea of crowdfunding for things like stands was ruled out, Goode saying “the funding will come from elsewhere, it won’t come from us”. The club has previously suggested grant funding will provide the bulk of the cash.

• The main stadium pitch will be grass. The 3G pitch will be solely the domain of Worcestershire FA but Goode is keen to discuss use for training.