BLOG: Forgive Worksop Town fans’ new ground scepticism, they’ve seen it ALL before

Windsor Food Stadium, Sandy Lane.  Worksop Town FC  (w120711-1g)
Windsor Food Stadium, Sandy Lane. Worksop Town FC (w120711-1g)

Worksop Town fans have had so many false dawns, it’s surprising they believe the sun exists at all.

There have been regime changes and promises of new grounds, the Kilton Forest scheme, the Vesuvius site and last year MP John Mann said he had identified five potential sites for a new home.

Once bitten, twice shy – so any period of silence was always going to give rise to the scepticism of a fanbase sick and tired of good things not coming to pass.

Mr Mann has promised news early in the New Year, but that hasn’t been met with noises of contentment or trust from the Worksop Town faithful.

‘Here we go again,’ is a statement made by one supporter on social media that probably just about sums up the reaction of Tigers fans to the potential for a stadium update.

You can’t blame them.

Things might well have been progressing at a terrific pace, Mr Mann could have the most exciting of announcements to make in January, but the lack of noise, even the lack of speculation has been deafening.

And all the while, an absence of an announcement on an extension to the Sandy Lane groundshare agreement increases the worry that once again, Tigers will be on the road.

Unfortunately it’s not good enough to simply ask fans to trust that behind the scenes all the necessary work is being done to safeguard the momentum the club has built while back in the town.

And you can’t expect them to believe that this new stadium proposal is more than a pipe dream.

They’ve been here more than once and they’ve heard it all before.

There are some things you can’t broadcast publically until they’re agreed and secured, because information is sensitive.

But who can tell the difference between a confidential silence and the lack of communication that comes when a hopeful situation dies?

Getting information on whether or not a supermarket and a football stadium were still in the offing at Vesuvius was like pulling teeth.

Everyone is ready to give a statement when press coverage will draw publicity at the ‘yet to be given planning permission’ stage.

But after that the walls go up, especially if the truth would be damaging.

And in essence, at least as far as the public record is concerned, nothing has changed.

Sandy Lane, to me at least, still looks like the most realistic and practical solution to Worksop Town’s homelessness – but the lease costs more than this fan funded club can afford.

There is currently no new stadium being built in the town.

The club can still not return to the level of football they were accustomed to until they own the ground on which they play their home games.

If Mr Mann, or anyone else looking to get involved in the future of Worksop Town, want the fans to get on board and back their plans, they’ll need to show they can deliver on their promises, and release a steady flow of information.

Some people tend to be as trustful of politicians as they are journalists, because they suspect alterior motives.

For politicians, there can be career aspirations and electioneering, for journalists there is the need to sell copies and attract link hits.

Anyone who makes the Worksop Town ‘dream’ come true will go down as a legend with a fanbase who have seen their club lose two grounds in under 20 years.

Is that motive enough?