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City supporters want fan-run club

Worcester Editorial 13th Nov, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

WORCESTER City could be run by its supporters in the future after they unanimously voted in favour of making it a fan-run club.

Every member of the supporters’ trust who turned out at their latest meeting at Tudor Grange Academy last Thursday (November) said they wanted to become the majority shareholder at the club and therefore have the final say on how it is run.

The proposed change would see the fans have a 50 plus one per cent stake in City which Rob Crean, secretary at Worcester City Supporters’ Trust, believed would open many doors.

“Once you’re in that position of a fans owned club, that’s much more attractive to getting funding and partnerships,” he said.

“It really does make a big difference as to what is coming in.

“It would also bring a united fan base. It’s transparent. That means everything that happens the trust membership would see it. If there were issues happening in the club a lot would sweep it under the carpet and think it will be alright.

“But because of the constitution we would be obliged to let them know. It’s that communication and two way system between the club and the fans.”

City manager Carl Heeley, who also attended the meeting, said: “I have been at the football club for the best part of 20 years, from a player to assistant, to manager and it’s got tougher and tougher by the year.

“I care deeply about this club because I have been here for such a long time, and my belief is it will be beneficial for the club and the supporters’ trust.

“It is the start to a bright future.”

The proposals will now be taken to the Board of Directors with a vote on whether or not to implement the changes set to take place at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Thursday’s meeting also saw the trust set out its plans for a new community stadium at Perdiswell. The ground will hold about 4,130 people, including one main seater stand and a standing terrace, house a 3G pitch, three full size grass pitches outside, two nine aside grass pitches and conference and classroom facilities.

The supporters’ trust, who have shelled out £16,000 for costs and surveys on the planned ground, will also own the stadium.

Rich Widdowson, who spoke as a trust board member but is also a director at Worcester City, said: “The club was tied into a contract (with St Modwen) over a land deal, it was controlled by one person, a local solicitor.

“The shareholders of Worcester City were not consulted nor did they vote on signing a contract which promised them nothing.

“That brings us to where we are today, and why do we need to change? Because at the end of the day this could happen again.

“Last November the trust went to the City Council to talk about Perdiswell, and it was very simple. We asked if there was a possibility to build a ground here, if they said yes we will proceed with it, if it’s a no we’re out of here.

“We went into a meeting with the City planners, expecting to be in their for ten minutes. We were in their for two hours, we went through what we wanted to do and have been backwards and forwards with various designs.”

The planning application for the stadium at Perdiswell will now be submitted to Worcester City Council.

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