TALKS over Worcester City moving to Claines Lane were instigated by a cross-party group of council leaders who "would be open to supporting the club in a financial way".

Councillor Louis Stephen, leader of Worcester's Green Party, revealed City had been encouraged to take the option with Worcester City Council's managing director David Blake leading discussions with stakeholders over a period of "many weeks".

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Club shareholders and members of Worcester City Supporters' Trust, the umbrella organisation that has control above City's board, are set to discuss the option at a meeting at Worcestershire County Cricket Club a week today (Thursday, November 28).

An option to move to Sixways, which included surrendering ownership of City to Worcester Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, has been taken off the table.

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Claines Lane is currently the subject of a delayed redevelopment by Worcestershire FA (WFA), the county association which ran the site and leased to Worcester Raiders and amateur clubs before purchasing the land from Worcestershire County Council in June.

Floodlights and a base for a stand being put in by Raiders have been installed but there is no sign of the 3G pitch and new office and changing facilities which were due to be in place by the end of September.

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City councillors have been wrestling with what to do about homeless City for some time, suffering backlashes from protestors and fans for not getting behind a new stadium at Perdiswell.

Cllr Stephen, one of the objectors to Perdiswell, vowed to push for a cross-party coalition to resolve the matter in September and said the Claines Lane option had the backing of Conservative and Labour counterparts, Cllr Marc Bayliss and Cllr Adrian Gregson.

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"There has been quite a lot of work done behind the scenes," said Cllr Stephen.

"A lot of people have been quite jaundiced over many months and years thinking alternative sites get talked about but never happen.

"It is to David Blake's credit that he has found a possible site and I think it is really important that this has the cross-party support to give it a chance of success.

"It would be wrong to say this has all come from me, it has been a cross-party initiative and I believe there is no political advantage for anyone on this issue.

"All three groups are supporting the proposal, we are united in wanting to bring the club back to Worcester."

WFA chief executive Nichola Trigg previously indicated Claines Lane would not be an option for City with fans likely to fear stifled on-field progress by not having control over or scope to meet ground grading requirements if the club heads there.

Cllr Stephen acknowledged "a bit of extra work" would be required "in conjunction with what the Worcestershire FA is already doing" to accommodate City. He understands "there is goodwill on all sides to enable them to be where they are now" with "potential on the site to be able to meet those requirements in the future".

"I have not been involved in those conversations but I understand they have been had," he added.

"It is my opinion that it will probably be sufficient for them for at least the medium if not the longer term, it may not be the absolute final destination but will last five to 10 years, at least.

"Things can change and it depends how well they do but my understanding is that it would be suitable for the football club for a long period of time. It is not just (for) one, two or three years, it is more like a 10-year plan."

Cllr Stephen did not know whether existing tenants had been consulted and said that would be "a Worcestershire FA area".

Asked whether the proposal would involve any council funding, Cllr Stephen replied: "I believe the council would be open to supporting the club in a financial way.

"Obviously it would need to be reasonable and we have to talk about the details but the first thing that needs to be overcome is whether there is a will from the club to do this.

"As soon as they say they want it, I believe Worcester City Council will want to work with the club and the trust to make this a deliverable project."

Asked about the scale of any financial help, Cllr Stephen said: "The devil is in the detail and we need to get past the first stage of whether this is something the club wants to do.

"They will only know that once they have consulted the members, if they decide they want to go into more detailed discussions then I think the door will be open to work with the club.

"There is a genuine desire to help the club come back to Worcester."

Put to him that the proposal could be perceived as a way of the council buying its way out of thorny issue, Cllr Stephen said: "Sometimes perfection is the enemy of the good.

"This is a way for them to get back into Worcester, to build up their attendances and sponsorship, to have a shop and a bar and create something that steadies the ship. I think this gives them something for the future.

"Everyone has to work together on this to make it work, if people start throwing stones at it then it will fall down like all of the other ideas that haven't happened before. I think this has a chance."

Asked if he believes the plans have support from within the club and trust, Cllr Stephen said: "You would have to ask them but my understanding is that there are senior people within both who are in support of this.

"I hope this is going to find a solution for the supporters of Worcester but the club has to want to do this. It is their call now."

Trigg and Worcestershire FA's football development manager Martin Collier, a senior figure in the Claines Lane development, were both unavailable for comment.