LORD Richard Faulkner says it is paramount to the survival of Worcester City Football Club that plans for a new stadium at Nunnery Way are approved without delay.

The Labour peer, a staunch City fan, has thrown his weight behind the club’s plight by urging Worcester City Council to back the scaled-down application from St Modwen, which has yet to be heard at the Guildhall.

City have 18 months to find a home because they have to be out of St George’s Lane, their base of more than 100 years, by June 2013. But, crucially, they face being hit for a capital gains tax bill in the the region of £400,000 if they have not channelled the proceeds from the Lane sale into a new ground by December of the same year.

City will receive £1.266million, the remainder of the sale money from Careys New Homes, when they move, but it will go straight to St Modwen as part of the contract to build a ground.

Under the terms of that agreement, which the club are tied to until 2017, the cash cannot be used to pay off capital gains.

It also prohibits them from pursuing alternative sites as they are legally bound to move to Nunnery Way.

Without a home or way of avoiding capital gains, City’s future would be bleak and Lord Faulkner insists the council has to act.

“The contract with St Modwen ties the club exclusively to the Nunnery Way scheme,” he said.

“It is thus of paramount importance that the council grants planning permission for the new stadium without further delay.”

He added: “Even putting aside any future tax liability, the future is still extremely uncertain. Worcester City will be without a permanent home until planning permission is granted or the contract expires in 2017.

“The club will therefore need to find a venue from which to operate and play its matches, either by agreeing a ground share agreement or some other temporary means.

“Depending on the arrangements which can be agreed, attendances would be likely to diminish, sponsorship would fall off and these losses could only be compensated for by a proportionate reduction in the club’s outgoings, including its playing budget.

“Such an effect on the club’s financial standing would, I fear, threaten the long term viability of the club, certainly in its current form.

“All this leads to just one conclusion — the Nunnery Way scheme is, given the circumstances and contractual obligations the club are under, the only realistic option available.”

• For an MS Word version of the full statement click this link: Lord Faulkner statement December 2011.docx